Heroku’s New Add-Ons Marketplace Is A “Program In A Box” For Developers

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Heroku announced a new version of its Add-Ons Marketplace to give developers a “program in a box,” so they can focus on the apps they’re developing instead of spending time on such issues as marketing and billing.

Heroku COO Oren Teich said in an interview that the company has found that developers need more support for helping get their add-ons more attention. For example, developers will often describe their apps in one long paragraph without clearly stating the app’s value.

Now three years old, the Heroku Add-Ons Marketplace has 85 providers participating, offering data stores, email, and SMS add-ons, search capabilities and more.

To help these providers, Heroku is adding a number of new aspects to version 2.0 of the marketplace:

Easier Self-Service: A new interface gives developers a simpler way to manage their add-ons. By packaging the experience, Heroku gives developers some flexibility to test and market the apps.

Templates: A new set of templates for making new documentation, embedding it into sales pages, creating branding, visibility into analytics, etc.

Billing: All aspects of billing are taken care of by Heroku. This includes failed payments, declined cards, and all the pitfalls and complexities that go with managing transactions.

Support: Developers get first-level support to help with integration issues. Developers also get help selling the add-ons with the integrated platform.

Dashboards, which are based on Heroku’s internal ones that it has developed over the past four years, will come soon. In the meantime, Heroku will use its own dashboards to email developers if data surfaces that is pertinent to their add-ons.

I like this program. It shows the importance that developers place in the Heroku community. But even more so, it’s another example of how important developers are becoming not just for their apps but the business that they can drive to PaaS providers.