Cisco Systems is attempting to be a uniter, not a divider, when it comes to setting up a big tent for software developers to take part in coding applications that run swimmingly on Cisco's products and services.

Cisco is based in San Jose, California, where it designs, manufactures and sells Internet protocol (IP)-based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industry and also provides services for these products and their use.

Citing the philosophy that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is how Cisco explains its software development strategy.

Naturally, the idea is pure quid pro quo. You scratch Cisco's back, and well, that's enough of that visual.

To enact Cisco's "we're all in it together" vision, the company has created DevNet, or Cisco Developer Network.

DevNet is meant to enable an open community of software developers, including ISVs, customer and Systems Integrators/Channel Partners, to build Cisco-compatible applications to sell and use. These applications would rest on top of Cisco APIs to add functionality and management controls to Cisco networks and platforms.

As Susie Wee, vice president and CTO of Networked Experiences writes in a blog post, "As Cisco adds powerful software and services to our market-leading hardware portfolio, we recognize that developers are critical to creating value for our customers. With the advent of so many market transitions - mobility, cloud, the Internet of Everything (IoE), the application-centric infrastructure; driving and accelerating innovation - the value of our networked platforms is greatly enhanced by the applications that run on them."

As part of the goodness of DevNet, it offers many resources to developers, including engineering platform APIs, SDKs, pre-fab code samples, a developer sandbox (bring your own pail), support and management tools.

Cisco says that the very serious-sounding Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC EM) for WAN is in beta, but when ready will be available for free download.

Cisco is including in DevNet's many tools to make developers easily partake in sharing in the Cisco experience - API development tools, API management capabilities, Development tools that will allow developers to integrate with Cisco technology with minimal investment. The DevNet Sandbox program eliminates the cost and time of acquiring lab equipment and maintaining technical staff. Most importantly, it allows developers to test and verify application functionality and features prior to deployment.

Cisco also cites shared expertise as part of the DevNet package. Cisco-sourced developer evangelists, managers and development support engineers will be on hand to guide third-party software developers to successful engagement.

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