What's a partner programme? And what's a developer program?

The word “partner” is used relatively prolifically these days so we wanted to try to clarify the two different types of programmes even though the names are often interchanged.

The key difference is in nature of the relationship.

Once that has been defined the ensuing steps are effectively the same but the approach is different, for example, with regard to thecommunication. Communicating with a business development executive online is totally different from how you need to communicate with developers.

So, back to nature of the relationship.

A partner programme, also known as a channel partner program or alliance program, creates additional routes or channels to market, effectively more “feet on the street” selling.

For example, if we recommended a crash analytics provider to our customers in our AppBuilder process they would acquire more customers. Additionally, if an agency sold a subscription to our Digital Portfolio Manager platform they would be considered a partner.


Partners, or “resellers” might include systems integrators, consultants, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), software publishers or distributors.

In neither of the above examples would the functioning of either business be dependent upon the partnership, it is a strategic sales strategy.

By contrast a developer program is about scaling the development of a product or service, for example, to sell phones consumers expect lots of great apps. It is crucial to the success of the company that developers work with them. Can you imagine a company trying to create a successful device business in house but then having to conceive of, and create, millions of apps at the same time? It couldn’t be done. Creating developer programs was the root of success for Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Paypal etc.  

Thinking of setting up your own partner or developer program? Don’t hesitate to get in touch to see whether your needs could be met by our Developer Network of over 3000 companies globally, or by our Digital Portfolio Manager.

You can Request Demo if you're interested about building a developer community. 

Root Exicon