When you google "Enterprise App Store", you will find plenty of articles on software focused on how to develop a corporate policy around the current Apple or Android apps. This is done in order to constraint employees to use only a set of apps that follow corporate guidelines: security checked, open data, etc.
But we think enterprises need an app store with plenty of apps tailored to their business needs. That's why we are planning to build the OpenERP Enterprise App Store where we will adapt our apps to your requirements .
What makes an Enterprise app store different from a consumer app store?
Enterprise Apps Require Integration: in order to be efficient, all enterprise apps must be integrated. For example, a sales process must be integrated with the billing process which in turn must be integrated with accounting. Naturally, the sales orders could trigger tasks, delivery orders, etc. The purchase process must be integrated with inventory and accounting and so on.
Requires a Global Settings System: Enterprise Apps need more configurations than consumer app store; access rights are critical and business processes differ per company, ...
Integration boosts value: having a full integration of apps can give an exceptional value to every single and simple app. For instance, the best HR Recruitment applications are those having an integrated Document Management System (to store, index and search resumes and cover letters), a mail gateway interface (to process automatically the mails sent to email@example.com), a link with other HR features (employee directory, periodical evaluations, contracts management).
Have a consistent UI: all printed documents should share the same header/footer, you do not want to train all your employees to every single app you deploy. It's important that all the apps you install share the same look, feel and ergonomy to improve the efficiency of the users.
Complexity: Enterprise Apps are more complex than consumer apps as they all require a minimum set of features to be used by companies. To allow third party apps developers to easily release new applications, they should easily reuse core features instead of redeveloping everything from scratch. You can not expect all apps developers to redevelop a workflow editor, a report designer, a web-service API, an access rights system, settings mechanisms, complex drag&drop UI, ...
Requires guarantees on the evolution and maintenance: Entrerprise Apps are often business critical, so they require a reliable maintenance and evolution service. As a consumer, you can probably live with a smartphone application that crashes or stops being maintained, but if your company can not deliver or invoice anymore, it will be a disaster. When your company relies on apps to deliver its business, you absolutely need them to be maintained efficiently in the long term, and properly ported to each new version of the app platform. Every enterprise apps need to be covered by a maintenance contract that covers: evolutions, migrations, bugfixes and even optional support services.
Be Open: every company needs to control their own data and processes as they are part of the their assets/competitivity advantages. That's why an enterprise app store must be open.
What we plan to do in our case is to follow the requirements listed above for all the aprox. 2.000 OpenERP Apps that currently exist. Consequently, by making major improvements to the platform, it will become the leading Enterprise app store for every business applications. Therefore, before the end of the year, we plan to release a new version of http://apps.openerp.com which will become the central place to discover, test and install new OpenERP modules.
We will work on new features like: ratings, top 20 apps, top contributors, better explanations of each apps, related documentation, automated updates, etc. No need to worry about the price, you will still be able to get hold of these apps free of charge.