Need cash? Box is now paying developers to make apps that use its cloud

By Brandon Butler, Network World |  Software, Box, cloud storage

Box will begin rewarding developers who create applications that use its cloud storage platform.

As part of a new program announced today named $rev, Box will pay developers for applications that integrate with Box's cloud storage based on the number of people that use the application, and therefore how much data is stored in the company's cloud.

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The company has application programming interfaces (APIs) for developers to integrate the Box platform into their apps, but last year made it even easier to use its cloud service as a backend for storage needs for apps. The company rolled out coding for a one-click HTML5 feature that allows Box to be a default storage option for applications.

The partner program has been moderately successful and the company has signed on vendors like Jive, NetSuite and SugarCRM, but this new $rev payment strategy may be aimed at drumming up additional interest from new and existing partner developers.

$rev is in a pilot stage and is debuting with 10 applications. Most of these are document management services like CloudOn, GoodNotes and Notability. Box will pay application developers based on the number of paying customers using the service, making it a revenue-sharing type of arrangement. Developers can get up to 15% of the cost of a Box platform seat, which start at $15/user/month for between 3 and 500 users. Larger enterprise plans with more granular security controls are individually priced, Box says.

"Box will monitor and measure usage of third-party apps that are part of the Box $rev program and based on that usage by Box's paying customers, developers are paid," a Box spokesperson wrote in an email.

The other apps in the program to begin with include iAnnotate, Documents by Readdle, Genius Scan, Outline+, PDF Expert and SmartOffice.

Network World senior writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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