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How to build apps using Salesforce AppExchange?

  • In this article, you will learn about Salesforce AppExchange, how it works, and how you as a Salesforce partner can get started on AppExchange.

Build apps with Salesforce AppExchange

We can’t just dive into learning the app building process using Salesforce AppExchange without acknowledging a few topics like what exactly AppExchange is? How does AppExchange work? and How as a Salesforce partner or ISV does one get started on AppExchange? You probably are aware of the fact that Salesforce is the fastest growing cloud-based and SaaS-based CRM solution for managing the business’s relationships and interactions with customers. By working with Salesforce, one provides value to the Salesforce ecosystem, and likewise, it provides value back to you. 

What is Salesforce AppExchange?

To put it simply, AppExchange is the Salesforce app store. Initiated in 2005, It is a marketplace for all third-party apps, components and consulting solutions that integrate into the Salesforce platform. AppExchange doesn't just include apps but other types of solutions too, such as components, Lightning Data, Bolt Solutions, and Flows. It is enabling businesses to spread the functionalities of Salesforce across every field and industry. So much that now it’s an ecosystem with over 5,000 installable apps, 80,000 peer reviews, and 6 million customer installs. If you are a Lightning platform developer or consultant or thinking of becoming one, then you can use AppExchange as a bridge to connect customers with your enterprise solutions. If you are a Salesforce CRM user, then you can use the AppExchange for finding tools and resources to enhance your company’s productivity.

How does AppExchange work?

Listing your app on the AppExchange marketplace is your primary method for promoting your lightning app or component. The listing should include a description of your solution, its pricing and support details. You can also attach videos, white paper and any additional relevant content. All this information and details of your service should help customers determine if what you are offering is right for them or not. This also helps AppExchange curator in categorizing the listing into different sectors of business, like marketing, finance, sales, or analytics.  

You can only create one listing per app or component, so that customer easily finds all your reviews in one place and there is no confusion over several similar listings. For a Salesforce platform app builder, it's convenient for them to maintain and upgrade your app services and obtain a higher ranking on the app cloud. 

Getting  started on Salesforce AppExchange 

We take you have already made your decision to build your custom app using Salesforce AppExchange. But you don’t know where to start, and that’s what we intend to help you with. Before you develop an app on the AppExchange, it is essential to learn that there are three types of apps. 

Integration type apps: Apps that integrate with Salesforce interface and perform syncing of data between systems. Ex: iContact - Email Marketing

Augmented functionality apps: Apps which lets you create, add features and functionalities to Salesforce. Ex: Adobe Sign

FSM apps: Apps that work as a platform solution and bring forward other innovative business software and services to the customers. Ex: ServiceMax

Once you have decided which type of app to go for, here are a few steps you need to take to transform your idea into an app on AppExchange. 

1. Join the Salesforce Partner Community

The Salesforce Partner Community connects your business with Salesforce partners on the platform. So you need to follow the simple set of steps to set yourself up for the partner community license. It is a resourceful method with which you can collaborate with the Salesforce ecosystem through groups, discussions and webinars to learn best practices. You can put up your queries there to stay up to date on new features and tools for partners. The primary purpose for joining this partner community is to receive a free development org called ‘Partner Development Org’.

2. Strategize and build your App

Now it's time to start the app-building process and turn your idea into reality. Begin with Planning and strategizing how you want to develop your app. Choose the type and the Salesforce edition (Classic or Lightning) for your app and shortlist the tools that are required for the app development. Every app on AppExchange must go through certain security standards before public listing. To secure your app, you need to include these Security Review practices into your app from the beginning. 

3. Develop and Package your AppExchange app

You should spin up the main org for development, and another org for packaging to start the building process. For that go to the Environment Hub app, and simply click the “Create Org” button to spin up a new org.  Firstly, spin up the free Partner Development Org to work as your “Development Org” to start building your app. After that, spin up a second free Partner Development Org to work as your “Packaging Org” to package your app for distribution.

4. Adjust your app for  AppExchange security review

Securing customer data and maintaining their trust is important for being part of Salesforce. Security Review will ultimately help build trust between you and your customers.  Every app on the AppExchange must go through AppExchange security review to ensure they follow proper security guidelines. Therefore you need to adjust your app for the security review in the development process for listing it in the AppExchange. To assist you with it, Salesforce offers various free security resources for the development of apps.

5. Provide free trials to consumers/prospects

Your prospects are likely to buy your apps when they learn if it is worth the money they are spending. It's a good practice to offer a free app demo which attracts more customers to use your app. This method also doubles as your initial review process to let you know if there are any shortcomings with your app.

6. Prepare your app for AppExchange listing

Make sure you prepare a compelling AppExchange listing that helps you attract more prospects. Your listing should include the features of the app with demos, reliable screenshots, pricing and installs. To make it more finished, include an attention-grabbing image in the dashboard and write the description with SEO-rich keywords. 

7. Manage app licences and customer support

The final step doesn't necessarily fall under the app-building process, but it is very essential for Salesforce developers.  Acquaint yourself with the different licensing options, this will help you distribute your solutions to wider audiences, and in certain cases, outside the AppExchange. Manage the selling process of your app and provide excellent support to your customers to retain them.

Conclusion

Salesforce AppExchange is growing at a rate of 48%. Additionally, it is found that 88% of all Salesforce customers, which is over 150K customers around the globe and 89% of Fortune 100 customers use at least one AppExchange product. In 2018, Salesforce crossed its goal of reaching $10 billion, in terms of revenue which is now $20 billion by the year 2022. There is no uncertainty in the fact that partnering with Salesforce provides tremendous opportunities for businesses and seeking out for a Salesforce consulting company would make the process easier. 

Evon Technologies helps you kick-start your app development on AppExchange. Our expertise in the subject has enabled us to provide Salesforce development services from India to Salesforce partners. We can help your SaaS business grow on Salesforce AppExchange, right from joining the partner community to publishing a listing on AppExchange, while utilizing every tool and resource Salesforce offers to develop and sell an app. While you are thinking of getting on the AppExchange, I assure you there’s someone out there already jumping on the bandwagon. Schedule a consultation to talk to our experts today.

 

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