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Where’s the Amazon AWS App Store?

I was talking to the interesting folks over at DreamFactory the other day (courtesy of Phil Wainewright who introduced us, thanks Phil!), and we wound up on a fascinating topic of conversation.

At a time when many companies are still not in the Cloud, DreamFactory is in 5 different clouds with as many as 8 different applications.  They’re doing some very cool stuff that I want to write more about in a later article, but suffice it to say they’re one of a very few companies who can seriously talk about the differences between Clouds.  For example, Bill Appleton, DreamFactory’s CTO, has published some benchmarks of the different clouds that are fascinating.

One of the topics that really grabbed me during our discussions was the strange dichotomy of who has an app store and who doesn’t.  DreamFactory has gotten tremendous mileage out of being listed on the app stores of various clouds.  CEO Eric Rubin tells me they receive at least 100 leads every day from Salesforce’s AppExchange alone.  Obviously, they’re very interested in Clouds having an app store, and in this day and age where app stores are all the rage, it makes a lot of sense.  At the same time, we have Amazon Web Services, one of the most popular if not the most popular Cloud out there, and they have no app store!  Yeah sure, they’ve put up a store for Android apps, but there’s no store for AWS apps. 

That’s a real oversight for Amazon.  I mean after all, they’re only a frickin’ online retailer for crying out loud–probably the world’s largest!  How strange is it that they have no app store for AWS developers?  As I think about it, there’s quite a lot of opportunity there for them.  Given my belief that Clouds will have strong network effects, I think it is a mistake for Amazon to go very much longer without an app store.

I did a search before writing this article and see that there has been some other speculation along these lines.  James Urquhart asks whether they couldn’t sell business apps in a Tweet, and Krishnan Subramanian also speculates in a blog post.

I’m a big believer in offering bite-sized modules that go together to make up a PaaS (Platform as a Service).  Amazon has a few of these, including the newly introduced bulk email service, but a full-on app store with billing capabilities would be great for a lot of smaller apps and startups to get going with.

Honestly, Amazon, what’s taking so long for this?  What are you guys thinking?  You should have been one of the first non-mobile app stores.  The handwriting’s been on the wall for some time!

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