The purpose of this document is to provide web application developers and application distributors with recommendations for creating application packages in accordance with the Application Packaging Standard (APS).
Because of the extensive development and integration requirements, hosting providers today offer a limited variety of hosted applications. As a result, independent software vendors have little incentive to create hosted applications that they cannot sell, and customers suffer from limited application choices.
In response to this, Application Packaging Standard (APS) was developed. It is an open format of packaging and managing web applications that will make it easier for the whole hosting industry to take advantage of the expanding software-as-a-service (SaaS) market.
By defining such open format, APS increases business opportunities for the entire hosting ecosystem bringing together application vendors and hosting service providers. By implementing APS, application vendors get access to a vast sales and marketing channel of APS-enabled hosting providers. In turn, hosting services providers, by implementing APS, gain access to a great variety of APS applications.
Application vendors implement APS by creating application packages in full compliance with the rules defined by the standard.
Definitions, acronyms, and abbreviations
The following special terms, acronyms and abbreviations are used in the document.
Web site. Collection of web pages, typically common to a particular domain name or sub-domain on the World Wide Web on the Internet.
Control panel (CP). Hosting provider software designed for managing user accounts, web sites, site applications, etc.
APS. Application Packaging Standard.
Site application (hereinafter "application"). Web application that can be hosted on a web site.
Application Package (or Package). Site application in its distribution format which includes all application and application-related files created, structured and packed according to the APS.
Application Instance. Site application installed from application package on a particular web site and accessible via a unique URL.
Controller. APS engine, the control panel part responsible for processing application packages and instances.
Aspect. Additional specification that declares how to describe in the application package metadata file technologies used by an application and application management scripts, and how these descriptions must be processed by Controllers. The technologies include any software or executable code.
Qualified technology. Software or executable code described in an aspect included in the APS: Package Format Specification.
We use XPath notation to describe the structure of XML documents, and to refer to XML elements and attributes in the text.
We refer to the APS: Package Format Specification as to the Specification.