NEW YORK (05/03/2000) - The target market for AppCity Corp.'s slew of hosted business applications are customers who want to order applications like they would Chinese food.
AppCity is using its patent-pending AppZapper development tool to build a menu of business applications from which users can select ones they want. Customers will pay an annual subscription fee to use the applications, which run at a data center hosted by Genuity.
The service has been available in beta form since February, and goes live as a hosted Web service May 15. Users can use a Web browser and an Internet connection to access the applications on Genuity's shared servers, or they can use AppCity's 32-bit Windows client to run the applications offline and resynchronize with the server programs later.
Another option lets customers download the applications and run them on a corporate intranet server. Later this year, AppCity will release code that lets PalmOS and Windows CE handhelds access the applications.
AppCity relies on Genuity's service-level agreements regarding performance, availability and similar issues.
End users can use AppZapper's graphical screens and wizards to modify applications to fit their personal or business needs, says Mark Frankel, CEO and co-founder of AppCity.
Last month, the company released eight new applications into beta testing, for a total of XXX. The new ones include an employee directory, a project tracking program, an academic calendar and applications for tracking billable time and expenses. The company had already rolled out applications including sales force automation, Web-based ordering and a group of personal applications for managing money, fitness regime and Amazon.com shopping.
Donald Bellomy, director of Internet business strategies for Strategy Analytics, a Wellesley, Mass., research company, finds the AppCity model fascinating, but says it's untested. "They need a much broader array of [application] suites to appeal to businesses, so their customers can say, 'Hey, I can get most of what I need at this site for human resources, and so on, all integrated and all with one user interface.'"Wolverine Trading, a Chicago derivatives trading company, has been testing the AppCity employee management and calendaring applications for about two months.
Beta testers have also been downloading the applications.
Larry Berman, a principal with Wolverine (who's not a programmer), has used AppZapper to create a program to show the firm's stock positions on an ongoing basis. "AppZapper is almost like a wizard. It guides you through the process of creating the application," he says. The newest version of AppZapper has an improved, easier-to-use interface, he says.
The entry-level, single-user AppCity service is free, offering access to a subset of the applications. For $3,000 per year for every 10 users, customers get the application suite, AppZapper for customizing them or creating new ones, Web hosting of these programs and a software package of applications and access for mobile professionals.