Working to woo developers with a new initiative that promises to spark community and teamwork, Cisco has launched a new developer program dubbed DevNet. The program aims to drive an open community of software developers -- including ISVs, customers and systems integrators and channel partners -- to help them build Cisco-enabled apps faster.
Susie Wee, vice president and CTO of networked experiences at Cisco, said the company is encouraging developers to adopt APIs across its products while also fostering integrations with third-party products. DevNet’s overarching goal: fueling software innovation.
“As Cisco adds powerful software and services to our market-leading hardware portfolio, we recognize that developers are critical to creating value for our customers,” Wee said. “With the advent of so many market transitions -- mobility, cloud, the Internet of Everything (IoE), the application-centric infrastructure; driving and accelerating innovation -- the value of our networked platforms is greatly enhanced by the applications that run on them.”
Unlocking Internet of Everything
In a blog post announcing DevNet, Wee points out a pain point for developers. Namely, the struggle to marry software applications with networking hardware. The network, she noted, simply wasn’t software-friendly and programmable. Now, the development environment is “rich and ready” to leverage open and intelligent networks, she said, and developers have an opportunity to monetize and differentiate their offerings using the network.
“Developers can tap the DevNet ecosystem and use the tools and community to create innovative network-aware applications,” Wee said. “DevNet helps developers drive productivity and innovation by lowering barriers of entry and by providing a variety of resources, including engineering platform APIs, SDKs, ready-to-use code samples, a developer sandbox, developer support, and community management.”
Citrix, Davra Networks, and Glue Networks are among the Cisco partners already using DevNet to drive application and network automation for mutual customers. As part of the DevNet initiative, Cisco is working on API development and management, new development tools, and assembling a team of developer evangelists, community managers, and developer support engineers.
“Ultimately, a developer community like DevNet and other open source communities are critical to unlock the value of the Internet of Everything, and it is Cisco’s commitment to empower developers to capitalize on the next generation of application development using the network as a platform for innovation,” Wee said.
Cisco as Platform Vendor
We caught up with Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, to get his take on DevNet. He told us, frankly, it’s about time, especially considering Cisco’s developer initiatives go back at least a decade and spawned separate platforms for VoIP, mobility, unified communications, and routers.
“DevNet is bringing all those programs together under a common umbrella. What developers are telling me is that the experience they had working with Cisco varied by group because the developer programs are run within the different groups,” Kerravala said.
“Having it fall under one unified umbrella brings a lot of consistency and actually can help developers leverage multiple Cisco platforms with a similar experience. Cisco is trying to position itself as a platform vendor and if you are going to be a platform vendor this is a very important part of it," he added.