Salesforce offers many out-of-the-box solutions for business. Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, Community Cloud, and Marketing Cloud are the most popular, and they can be treated as ready-made applications that require only little configuration effort to implement a given solution. In the case of more complex requirements, it is possible to extend standard functionalities of the Platform or add new ones thanks to Apex, VisualForce, Lightning Web Components, and other technologies.
However, to do this, you need a team of experienced developers who can maximize the Platform capabilities and meet the business requirements. Of course, many projects that Craftware carries out involve writing thousands of lines of code by our developers so that we can meet all, even the most peculiar, requirements of our customers. However, it’s a good idea to check whether a specific functionality not implemented yet by Salesforce has been created by someone else. Where can you find such functionalities? At AppExchange.
What does AppExchange offer?
AppExchange is a portal where you can find ready solutions offered by Salesforce partners. Here are some examples of solutions available at the portal:
- single components ready for developers to use, for example “DocuSign” which enables users to sign documents electronically;
- components which do not add any new feature, but make administrator/analyst work easier, for instance, “Salesforce Adoption Dashboards” which provides access to several dozens of ready-made reports and dashboards that facilitate determining popular business indicators;
- out-of-the-box applications which offer many new functionalities, for example, “Conga Composer” which enables users to generate Word, Power Point, and Excel files, or define more complex e-mail templates than the ones provided by standard Salesforce functionalities, etc.
Reliable and verified offer
The process of publishing a solution at AppExchange has many stages. The Salesforce vendor is required, among others, to describe the application features in detail, add screenshots or videos presenting its operation, provide licensing information, and add a business plan which should contain information about the vendor, their operations and the application architecture.
Before publishing, a product is checked for safety, general usability, etc. to ensure that solutions offered at AppExchange are of high quality and have not appeared there by accident.
Enhancements for users
There is a multitude of products available at AppExchange which may make it difficult to find exactly what we need. Fortunately, all products are categorized by their intended use, for instance, education, financial services, health care, and many others.
Additionally, the Platform allows you to rate an application using a 5-point scale and to write a review. It is very helpful when we need to pre-filter the products we are looking for.
After selecting a suitable product, you are required to install it in the environment where you want to use the product. Thanks to AppExchange, the installation process is very simple: it requires just a few clicks and lasts no more than several minutes.
What else do you need to pay attention to?
It is worth mentioning that products differ from each other with respect to licensing and costs. At AppExchange, you can find many free apps ready to be installed, but usually, the paid products offer more features and they come with the vendor’s support. No matter what application you choose, a free or paid one, it is installed in the target environment as a “managed package”. It means that the client is not able to edit the source code of any product element – this is to protect all copyrights of the application author.
When you choose a product, you should also consider whether it is supported by the vendor. Many free applications are provided without support which means that if you notice abnormal operation, you are on your own. However, if the application vendor offers it with full support, you can send them your feedback, and when fixes are published, you can install them in your environment.
Apart from applications, you can find a vendor here
Another interesting functionality provided by AppExchange is the possibility to search the database of Salesforce partners. If you are looking for a team which has suitable competencies and is able to build a solution based on Salesforce, then AppExchange is a perfect place to find your future software vendor. In this case, you can filter partners, for example, by their status which depends on the number of certified consultants and customer satisfaction. Platinum or Global Strategic Partners are the most recommended ones.
As you can see, AppExchange is an extensive portal which brings Salesforce partners and clients together. Clients can find a vendor who will be responsible for project completion, and partners can share their solutions which reduces implementation time.
- Salesforce Developer at Craftware
He participates in all stages of projects: from collection of requirements, through suggesting the solutions, to the very implementation. The projects he takes part in are based on Service Cloud, integration with external systems, and custom solutions built using the technologies offered by Salesforce: Apex, Visualforce, LWC, Lightning Component Framework.