New applications have been flowing to the Google Apps Marketplaceever since its debut in March, but today's launch of 16 new programs is the biggest addition since the service launched.
More than just an online storefront, programs in the Apps Marketplace are designed to integrate with other Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) applications such as Docs, Gmail and Calendar, and they are all available via a single sign-on password enabled by OpenID .The news comes at a time when Google and other cloud-based vendors are pushing online applications as an alternative to traditional on-premise applications. Even Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), is getting into the cloud-apps game, releasing a Web-based version of its popular Office suitelast week.
Most of the 16 new applications are business- or productivity-related. Google provided a brief snapshot summaries of each applicationat its Enterprise Blog site.
For example, Jive Express is designed to bring social networking and collaboration features to both employees and customers. Among other features, Jive Express lets you create discussion areas with comment features, create Web documents that can be shared collaboratively and add individual and group blogging and polls.
Another addition to the Marketplace, Gantter.com , is described as an enterprise Web 2.0 project scheduling application that optionally integrates with Google Docs. Unlike some competing desktop project management software, Gantter runs off of a Web browser so no installation is required.
Google said the application can be used for a full range of projects from complex construction jobs to rolling out a new Web site or managing a big IT project. Gantter also includes a gallery of project templates designed to give users a head start on building a schedule.
Another new app, Harvest, is a simple time-tracking application designed to make it easier for businesses and freelancers to keep track of their time. Harvest can be used on the Web, from within Gmail or on the iPhone.
Google said Harvest is well-suited for service professionals, creative agencies, design firms, technology consultancies, non-profits and teams that need to track time for productivity or billing. Other features include automated reminders and optional approval workflow.
Google said that after installation and evaluation, Google Apps administrators can deploy any of the Marketplace appswith a few mouse clicks.