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IBM enhances software development program

IBM is creating a software code exchange program to help developers share code to design new applications.

IBM Corp. is enhancing its software developer's support program by creating a software code exchange.

IBM's developerWorks Exchange is an addition to its broader developerWorks program. It seeks to give developers globally the opportunity to share code and other information with one another and tap into the collective expertise of the developerWorks


The formal announcement of the Code Exchange is expected Tuesday, but an IBM executive discussed it Monday at the Developer Relations Conference, a technology forum in Redwood City, California.

IBM's Code Exchange will be used to help developers design applications to run on IBM's instant messaging (IM) platform Sametime, said Kathy Mandelstein, director of IBM's worldwide developer marketing and developer relations.

Sametime features Web conferencing and video sharing on its IM platform but independent developers can sample code to develop other features, called plug-ins, Mandelstein said.

"This helps people who might have a special [feature] but the functionality's not there yet there to create their own plug-in. They can share their APIs with others and get feedback," she said.

Managers of software development communities at several major technology companies, including Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Motorola Inc. are at the conference.

Motorola calls its development network Motodev and encourages its members to develop software applications to run on Motorola mobile phones or set-top boxes, said Claudia Backus, director of marketing for ecosystem and software platform at Motorola.

"Developers are looking for knowledge of course, [but] they don't want just technical knowledge. They actually want us to help them go to market and be successful in selling their applications," Backus said.

Companies such as Microsoft, Nokia Corp. and IBM each have millions of independent software developers worldwide who need support, said John Andrews, chief operating officer and president of Evans Data Corp., which hosted the conference.

"Those developers are critical to the success of all those technology companies because they are the ones who drive the innovation," Andrews said.