One major reason why Salesforce remains the No.1 CRM platform is the wide range of customer processes that can be enabled on this platform by using an appreciable number of out-of-the-box modules. However, as each organization’s functional processes differ, the Salesforce platform needs to be integrated or customized with many outside solutions and third-party apps. To incorporate a wide range of business-specific functions that are not covered by the in-built modules, an application store named Salesforce AppExchange got introduced.
For those who are on Salesforce, AppExchange is something like Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store. This is a go-to place for the Salesforce users to explore many amazing native and third-party apps and add-ons for Salesforce implementation and functional extension needs. You can find anything and everything here, ranging from the pre-configured solutions for custom processes to identifying a good consultant for the CRM process and so on.
AppExchange from Salesforce is now the No. 1 marketplace for enterprise applications, which also acts as the hub for the Salesforce ecosystem, listing more than 5000 high-end applications and more than eight million installations. As of late, about 88% of the Salesforce users and 95% of the Fortune 100 enterprises have installed at least one app from AppExchange.
Individual Salesforce developers or enterprise SF teams can now launch and sell their specialized solutions on the AppExchange in the form of installable apps. These solutions’ scale ranges from the simple point solutions, which are created for standalone use cases, to full-blown automation apps. Research has shown that the Salesforce ecosystem of developers and partners will create about 4.2 million jobs and nearly 1.2 trillion dollars in terms of business revenues globally between the year 2019 and 2024.
Salesforce AppExchange has introduced back in 2006 itself, but there was nothing out there for long. Force.com followed in 2007, a destination where you could put an app using the development resources and try to find a market for the same. However, later AppExchange rediscovered the ways to how the business developed, discovered, and purchased the apps.
Solutions offered by AppExchange
Even though it started as a simple app marketplace, AppExchange has later grown to a big extent and now covers many solutions to meet most almost all varying needs of Salesforce users. There are applications for different industries and budgets. On AppExchange, it has become much easier now for the users to try out various solutions before purchasing them, and you can also be confident about the Salesforce security team evaluating and testifying all offerings out there on AppExchange. Further, we will discuss the different types of offerings available at AppExchange as explained by Flosum.com experts.
We can find more than five thousand pre-configured solutions at Salesforce AppExchange, which can be added directly to the Salesforce org or used in the existing configurations.
The pre-built and thoroughly tested app can be installed directly to the Salesforce org. AppExchange offers a lot of paid and free apps, which are further categorized based on the solution use cases, industries, and different business processes. There are countless apps available on the AppExchange store, which cater to any possible use cases. Some examples are:
- Document generation with Conga Composer.
- Complete project management solutions with Inspire Planner.
- E-signature solutions with DocuSign.
- Survey and form build with Formstack.
- To import and export data with Dataloader.io.
- Mapping solutions like Geopointe.
- Image management with SharinPix and so on.
The Salesforce customers can also take advantage of Lightning-based app development and the UX. For this, AppExchange also offers a lot of predefined components for Lightning which can be simply added to your pages and apps with drag-and-drop functionality. With this, you can significantly reduce the Salesforce-development time and effort.
Salesforce communities enable the users to avail themselves an unprecedented level of experience, and to help with this, AppExchange also offers Lightning Bolts. These are custom-made templates as industry solutions built by the Salesforce ecosystem of partners and can offer you the first to market benefits. Lightning Bolts also contain various industry process flows, Lightning Components, Apps, and Communities. All these are seamlessly integrated with the Salesforce platform and the CRM. Bolts can also be included as a part of the service agreement with the consulting partners.
Lightning data offers a pre-integrated, scalable, and approved data solution to help automate data operations as scoring, filtering, deduplication, and so on. As a result of this, the end-users can simply work on enhancing their business without worrying about identifying the relevant data for them to work on.
Lightning flows also offer configurable and pre-built automation flows that can be added directly to workflow logic without additional coding. You may simply download configurable and pre-built business processes with the flow templates and install standalone building blocks using the flow actions.
Along with these, AppExchange also offers industry-specific solutions, industry collections, certified expertise, etc. There are detailed categorizations of the consultants out there by the level of expertise, partnership tiers, certification, and rating out there to help the AppExchange users choose apps.
The solutions at AppExchange are also categorized based on how these are built and how to manage them. All the solutions listed out at AppExchange come under any of these below categories.
Native Apps – These are built and hosted inside the Salesforce itself with the use of Lightning Platform.
Non-native Apps – Apps built outside the Salesforce platform and can be integrated with the Salesforce ecosystem using Salesforce API.
Managed Packages – These are full-scale solutions that are installable onto Salesforce. The provider will be for customizing the apps and upgrading them for optimizations.
Unmanaged Packages – These usually come as open-source solutions which the developers can use as a baseline for developing custom functionalities. Unlike managed packages, the providers will not stay responsible for customizing or upgrading these packages.
Now, we have covered the basic structure and features of Salesforce AppExchange; you can further explore it based on your enterprise app development needs for the Salesforce ecosystem and make appropriate choices.