Sage is hoping its latest mobile and cloud solutions willl lure in a new batch of partners to its Developers' Programme, despite some developers being put off by an annual subscription fee.
The programme, which already has 900 UK member companies, offers Sage-compatible software and applications for developers to download, modify and add to.
Developers wanting to be part of the programme must pay an annual fee which varies from £99 to £2,700, depending on the level of support required.
Darren Liddell, manager of Sage's Developers' Programme, claimed that the quality of the Developers' Programme justifies the annual fee.
He said: "Developers must pay a premium, and we make no apology for that. With the higher-end products [inclusive of technical support], you can pick up the phone and speak to someone who speaks your language right away," he said.
"It is a slightly different approach, but it is one that has worked very well for us so far."But former Sage developer partner Gary Kind, cited the "extortionate" fee as a reason for parting company with the developer.
He said: "A one-off joining fee is fine, but not every year. My view has always been [that] developers build add-ons which increase the functionality of the core product...which leads to more sales.
"If [Sage] is truly serious about embracing the developer community then the software development kit should be free. Microsoft and many other vendors do this for all their products from the entry level up to enterprise level. This is simply greed on the part of Sage."
The cloud and mobile markets are ripe for developers to exploit, according to the vendor, which claims that 20 per cent of its workforce is dedicated to exploring emerging technology.
Sage, which has 840,000 UK customers and partnerships with RIM, Netvibes and Microsoft, said that it is unwise for companies to ignore emerging technology trends.
Liddell added: "A big part of the new Sage developers' community is offering new solutions for mobile and cloud as we go forward. That in itself will attract new type of developers to us and the programme.
"We have to acknowledge these emerging markets and be responsive to our developer community taking their first steps into the cloud," he added.
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