A Simple Guide To Understanding Salesforce AppExchange

Sep 3, 2020


What is Salesforce AppExchange?

Firstly, It’s no rocket science. I know it can be intimidating at first but let me explain in simple terms. I’m sure Android users know about ‘Google Play Store’ and Apple users know about ‘App Store’. Ah, most of you know about both the stores. Similarly, Salesforce has it's own ‘Salesforce store’ called AppExchange. It is a market place where you can find ready-to-install solutions (Apps, Components, Lightning Data) and more. AppExchange is the world’s No. 1 business enterprise marketplace and over 75% have at least one app installed from AppExchange.

What purpose does AppExchange serve?

Similar to how android and Apple users consume or install apps onto their device using their respective stores, Salesforce customers can install and share applications published by Salesforce partners. If you’re looking for a solution for your business and you’re short on time or you don’t want to integrate with a heavy third party service, head over to Salesforce AppExchange and probably you’ll find an app that meets your business needs.

What can you find on Salesforce AppExchange?

You can, in general, see 2 kinds of listings: solutions and consultants. A solution is something that plugs into Salesforce and extends its core functionality. For example, an app that integrates an external survey tool with Service Cloud. Consultants are Salesforce professionals who specialize in building custom solutions for specific clouds or industries. For example, a consultant can work with an equipment manufacturer to develop a set of apps for assembly technicians.

What is an AppExchange partner?

Salesforce AppExchange Partner is someone who creates and distributes customization, like an app, that is built on the Salesforce platform.

There are 3 key things to be aware of here - AppExchange Partner Program, Partner Community, and Partner Support Team.

  • AppExchange Partner Program gives you everything you need—including knowledge, tools, and infrastructure—to take your ideas to market. As an AppExchange partner, you build on the Salesforce platform.
  • The Partner Community is the online home of the AppExchange Partner Program. Essentially, it is a meeting place for AppExchange partners and Salesforce experts to gather and share knowledge.
  • The Partner Support Team will assist you with questions that Partner Community resources couldn’t answer. It could be about your application to AppExchange Partner Program etc.

What is Managed and Unmanaged Packages?

So finally if you’ve decided on installing Salesforce AppExchange solutions, you have to be aware of containers called Packages.

Packages are containers for apps, tabs, and objects. They come in 2 variations: managed and unmanaged. The package type determines how the solution behaves in your org.

Managed Packages

Solutions that can be automatically upgraded by the provider or creator and where solution code or metadata cannot be changed by the customer are called Managed packages. They are typically used by Salesforce partners to distribute and sell applications to customers. These packages must be created from a Developer Edition organization. Salesforce AppExchange and the License Management Application (LMA) can be used by developers to sell and manage user-based licenses to the app. Managed packages are also fully upgradeable by the provider.

Unmanaged Packages

Unmanaged packages are solutions that can be edited in the organization they are installed in. The developer who created and uploaded the unmanaged package has no control over the installed components, and can't change or upgrade them but the customer can customize code and metadata, if desired. As a best practice, install an unmanaged package only if the org used to upload the package still exists. If that org is deleted, you may not be able to install the unmanaged package.

What is Salesforce AppExchange Pricing?

Thousands of solutions and the most popular solutions are free to install and use. This makes Salesforce AppExchange a very interesting and affordable option to find business solutions. Another great benefit is, many Salesforce Partners let you try their solution before you decide on buying their solution. This helps a customer decide if the solution meets their needs.

Adarsh Ponnana