Unless you were one of the lucky ones to get an invitation to the Apple event in Cupertino tomorrow where Steve Jobs will unveil the iPhone SDK (Software Developer Kit), you’ll have to wait for the news reports to find out how much power Apple will give to third party developers.
In advance of that I thought I’d ask a few ISVs what they’d like to see in an SDK.
[ Get the whole scoop on the iPhone SDK, how to make the iPhone fit in the enterprise, and the latest security issues that the popular smartphone raises in InfoWorld's special report. ]
Ronjon Nag, CEO of Cellmania, is an ISV with a large community of developers that use the Cellmania platform for mobile applications.
Nag says at a minimum level, developers need access to the iPhone APIs for phone book, address book, location-based and GPS-based services plus access to the media player functionality.
However, Nag says Apple is likely to be wary of handing out too much control to the developers lest they interfere with the carriers service and network.
On the business side, Apple has to answer the most important developer question of all, how can I make money? And, Nag warns, if any one of the parties that share in the revenue stream gets greedy the whole ecosystem breaks down.
Antonio Rodriguez, former CEO of Tabblo, a photo sharing site since acquired by HP is now the general manager of HP publishing services.
Rodriquez would also like to see programmatic access to location-based services and access to the iPhone camera.
However, Rodriguez has his doubts as well if this will happen.
If you rate Apple from 1 to 10 on how much they want to control their environment, Rodriguez says, he would give Apple an 11.
"Apple will come out tomorrow and probably sand box developers from using the network altogether. If they do grant access to the network it will have to go through some sort of certification process like they do with iTunes," said Rodriguez.
Rado Kotorov, Technical Director of Strategic Product Management at Information Builders, a business intelligence ISV says it’s all about VPNs [Virtual Private Networks].
"The key problem is there is no enterprise level security and no enterprise level VPN," Kotorov said.