Interesting to see things heat up in the emerging category of integration-as-a-service, also know as cloud integration or SaaS integration.
Praneal Narayan at SnapLogic recently sent me a note about a developer contest they are running (more on that below). SnapLogic is a recent entrant into the field, competing with Boomi and Cast Iron Systems. In October, SnapLogic announced a $2.3 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz and others and that Informatice founder Gaurav Dhillon had joined as CEO.
Clearly in the integration game one of the key success factors is coverage -- or how many end-points can the service talk to out-of-the-box. Alternatively, an integration-as-a-service provider can allow customers and 3rd-party vendors to create their own integration points. And that's what the SnapLogic developer competition is all about.
The company created an app store, they call it SnapStore, which allows third-party developers and companies to sell their own integrations (which they call "Snaps") to various platforms. The developer competition offers each developer who submits a Snap a Kindle, and the winner of the competition a $5,000 grand prize.
SnapLogic is unique in its app store approach and I'm going to follow developments there. What's interesting to me is that typically an app store approach follows the existence of a platform with a large user base as an additional way to monetize the platform and extend the product (see Salesforce AppExchange, iPhone and Facebook).
SnapLogic is turning this approach on its ear. It's creating the SnapStore to extend the product quicker than it could itself and drive users to the system through it.
It will be interesting to follow how that plays out.