New ADA Group To Spark Innovation in Software Applications

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Will a new group help to spur the creation of more and better software applications for end users? Now less than two weeks old since its launch at CES, the new Application Developers Alliance (ADA) aims to promote “innovation and performance” by providing collaboration, education, cloud hosting, and other services to folks on both the consumer and business application sides in the fragmented field of software development.

Looking to recruit thousands of developers to its ranks, the ADA is offering free membership to all of those who sign up by January 31. As of January 11, the second day of CES, 600 developers had already hopped aboard.

Applications (or apps) for PCs, tablets, smartphones, and clouds

Although initially focused mainly on mobile OS such as Apple’s iOS, Android, and RIM’s BlackBerry, the ADA is also wide open to developers specializing in PC- and cloud-based apps.

“The Application Developers Alliance serves developers of every type [and] any [programming] languages, and across all platforms. Our members are individual app devs and the companies committed to their success. Developers have unique needs as creators and business people — and we aim to be your voice as both,” according to a statement by the ADA.

Specific services include industry advocacy within governments, along with free or discounted industry research and price breaks on product testing services, Rackspace cloud hosting, and a range of offerings around education and certification in application programming, trends, and platforms.

In terms of platforms alone, for example, developers now face the task of learning the ins-and-outs of major new environments such as Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich) and Microsoft‘s Windows 8.

Consumer and business software alike

Members in the consumer software space look likely to be plentiful. As its first education offering, for example, the group will co-sponsor a year-long Music Start-Up Academy geared to those interested in breaking into musical app development, an area involving complex issues around content delivery, DRM (digital rights management) and potential piracy. ADA members will be entitled to a 20 percent discount on events in the series, which is set to begin on February 14 in San Francisco.

However, the ADA is also designed to deliver a support structure for business application developers in both the SMB and enterprise categories. Enterprise-oriented developers, in particular, seek mechanisms in the areas of “regulatory compliance and mission-critical levels of service,” suggested Philip Clarke, an analyst at Nemertes Research, in a research note about the ADA.

Membership in the ADA is also open to software vendors and other corporations, which are supplying most of the initial funding for the group.




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