Let’s Talk About Declarative Development First. It’s Your Best Practice Approach, Isn’t It?
Even Salesforce says so! Salesforce Administrators should always consider declarative development whenever possible. Salesforce already provides a huge range of tools and features out-of-the-box to make most common business scenarios work. So YES, this is your Best Practice Approach!
Declarative development tools include the Lightning App Builder, Object Manager, Validation Rules, Approval Processes, just to name very few. These tools are incredibly powerful already if you know all their capabilities. Always start there first!
The Salesforce AppExchange Exists For A Reason
Now there must be a reason why the AppExchange has become so big! Actually, there is more than one reason. The main reason though is that all declarative tools have their limits. While they can usually cover common business processes, some organizations don’t follow common practices. Not because they don’t want to, but because of the way their business is set up.
The apps on the Salesforce AppExchange are an extension to a Salesforce org to support specific business needs. These include industry-specific requirements, for example, the finance industry or the health industry. These also include specific requirements for more complex business processes like large data management.
Use An AppExchange App As Your Next Best Practice
Salesforce Developers are not too happy to hear this, but before you even consider getting a developer involved to write code for you, make sure to have a look at the AppExchange first!
Why? Because the Salesforce AppExchange hosts a large range of Salesforce Applications that have been developed either by Salesforce themselves or by Salesforce’s community of AppExchange Partners. This means you get access to pre-built solutions, referred to as Managed Packages or Unmanaged Packages.
How Do You Find A Suitable AppExchange App?
That depends! Here is a list of questions you need to ask yourself first:
Don’t Forget To Run A Test Drive Of The AppExchange Listing
Don’t take the AppExchange Offers for granted. They often require adjustments and proper installation. In most cases you can sign up for a free trial version to verify whether the solution works for your specific Salesforce Org. And that’s where your Sandbox comes in. It allows you to run a test drive of the app in a safe environment. Never install a new app straight into your Salesforce production org. You have been warned! 🤓
You will find the downloaded app in the Setup menu under “Installed Apps” where you can view all of it’s components. As part of the test drive, you will be able to determine whether there are any potential interferences with other apps, any feature gaps, or unwanted functionalities. Also, get some of the impacted users try it out too.
Finally, once you’ve completed the test drive and you’re happy with it, you can deploy the app into your production environment.
AND ONLY in case both the declarative tools, as well as the AppExchange offers, can’t solve your business problem, ONLY THEN should you consider a programmatic solution.
In this video tutorial, I will also walk you through the AppExchange and how to verify potential solutions.
VIDEO TUTORIAL WALK-THROUGH SCRIPT: (AppExchange demo starts at 2:14)
- Open a new browser window
- Type in the URL “appexchange.salesforce.com”
- Here you go. Right at the top, you have a search bar where you can search by keyword or for a specific app you may already have heard about
- In the menu below, you can browse for apps by type or collections. You can even search for consultants or developers
- On the top right hand side, you can log in with your Salesforce account and you will get personalized listings according to your role, industry, expertise and other information provided on your user profile.
- Let’s select Solutions by Type, then Apps. From here you will find additional filter options, such as pricing, editions, ratings and more
- And to view more details about an app that sparked your interest, just click the app – let’s use the Conga Composer as an example
- You can view a preview, see the pricing on the top right, read more details under the Overview tab, read through reviews
- When you scroll down you can see a few action items like save, watch demo, get it now to install. The action items vary by app.
Additional Information You Should Know About The Salesforce AppExchange
Did you know that the Salesforce AppExchange can do much more than apps? Initially, the AppExchange was born as a marketplace for Salesforce Partner Apps. As Salesforce is evolving not only their amazing products but also their entire ecosystem, so is the AppExchange.
You will essentially find three main sections on the AppExchange:
1 – Solutions to extend Salesforce to your business’ needs
2 – Experts to work with, including a Job Marketplace
3 – Community to learn from and support each other
Take a look around the AppExchange. Do let me know if you’ve already installed an app from there and how it worked out. I’d really love to hear about it!
This video tutorial is part of our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. They cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.
We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.
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