Open Definition or Proprietary Options

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Posted 2008-04-15 Email Print this article Print


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Coghead aims to take on with its Application Gallery, which gives ISVs and VARs a global showcase for their custom apps.


MCF Technology Solutions has two ways of leveraging the Coghead platform with customers, Davis said. The first is to use more robust, comprehensive applications to demonstrate MCF's capabilities to customers. Then, if customers are interested in the full application posted in the Gallery, they can approach MCF as a customer.

The second strategy is to develop customized applications for customers based on the published application, he said.

"We find that once customers realize it's easy to make [applications] customizable, they keep coming back for more," Davis said. Currently MCF has three primary customers that are generating a lot of business delivering smaller applications that integrate with the original application MCF developed, he said.

"They're saying, 'I really like this application, can I now get a contact database? A calendaring application, too?'" Davis said. MCF is also launching an aggressive sales push for the applications, he said.

Coghead's Charter Affiliate channel program was launched in November 2007, and McNamara said Coghead currently has 30 partners signed up. Though that doesn't seem like a large number, McNamara said there's incredible potential for growth.

"We have 25,000 user accounts on the site, and that's a very large population of potential partners. We expect this number of affiliates to grow really quickly," he said.

In January, Coghead announced a technology partner relationship with, whereby Coghead's application development platform is run entirely on's data center, McNamara explained. "They made their infrastructure available to us, and our ISVs and customers take comfort in knowing their applications are running on these powerful data centers."

Coghead Application Gallery offers VARs and ISVs two models to choose from: the open definition model, based on an open-source model, and a protected model, which keeps the application code closed and proprietary to the developer, McNamara said.

The open definition model allows developers to publish their applications, and customers to use, modify and further distribute the applications if they wish, he said. The open definition model will help to create developer communities around the best ideas, and those communities can help accelerate the pace of application innovation.

McNamara added that VARs and ISVs that create open definition applications can offer customization and management services to users of those applications, creating new revenue opportunities.

The protected model is a great choice for VARs and ISVs developing applications for use in a specific vertical market, or for developers who have proprietary knowledge or a code base they don't want to share with other developers and end users, he said.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at


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