Customer relationship management giant Salesforce wants to make it easier for developers to build apps for its ecosystem, and has just launched a new program to help them do just that. The Salesforce AppExchange partner program is designed to accelerate the process of building, marketing, and selling intelligent apps with the help of the company's artificial intelligence (AI) platform, Salesforce Einstein.

The program appears to have the needs of independent software vendors (ISVs) particularly in mind, as the new program will replace its existing ISV partner program. The new partner program will include a new pricing structure designed to reward partners based on metrics such as the success of their products, clients, and the level of certification they have attained through the company's Trailhead training platform.

AI Development Tools for Partners

The program will also make it easier for partners to access AI technologies, such as machine learning and natural language processing, for use in their apps, the company said. The company's goal is to encourage the inclusion of those technologies in the apps partners plan to develop for the Salesforce ecosystem.

"The convergence of AI, IoT and massive datasets has created incredible new opportunities for developers to move beyond the app -- and build components, intelligent bots, data streams and more," said Leyla Seka, executive vice president of AppExchange, Salesforce, in a statement. "The new AppExchange Partner Program empowers the next generation of Salesforce ISVs with a single destination for everything they need to succeed -- the training to create solutions on cutting-edge Salesforce technology and the programs to turn them into businesses with global reach."

The company is also aiming to accelerate the time-to-market for new apps with new on boarding tools to make it easier for developers to learn how to use the AppExchange platform. It will also include several new payment tools that should make it easier for developers to set up their payment systems and automate their submission processes.

New Investment Fund

Salesforce also plans to update the platform three times a year to ensure partners always have access to the company’s latest innovations. Developers can also build apps in any programming language, while the platform will feature GitHub integration.

In addition to the new partner program, Salesforce is also launching a new fund under the aegis of its Salesforce Ventures corporate investment division to encourage development of apps for its ecosystem. The fund, known as the Salesforce Platform Fund, will launch with $100 million in capital. The objective of the fund is to invest in companies and entrepreneurs developing apps and other components for the ecosystem.

The company is planning to partner with other venture capital funds to identify and invest in potential joint venture opportunities in the app development sector.