It may seem improbable that the world’s leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) could possibly get any more robust, but custom software solutions created for Salesforce extend the myriad of features already available through the platform. With custom development, a variety of apps can be built for enterprises and customized to enhance organizational capabilities and customize workflows for seamless operations.
Another side of the same coin—innovative apps built for listing on the Salesforce AppExchange grant Independent Software Vendors (ISV) the freedom to capitalize on market opportunities.
However, it must be kept in mind that not every development team is qualified to create apps for the Salesforce AppExchange marketplace. With a host of application types, platforms, and compliance guidelines to be followed, only Salesforce AppExchange partners, experienced with developing software for various industries, can provide the services that enterprises and ISVs need.
Whether developed to eliminate workflow bottlenecks or generate revenue through AppExchange purchases, Salesforce solution development benefits a variety of industries including communications, education, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, media, real estate, retail, and hospitality.
Applications, components, and solutions made to extend existing Salesforce features, remarkably accomplish the following goals, when deployed internally or to the Salesforce AppExchange marketplace:
Member Services: Support affiliates or members by responding to their demands for improved and innovative technological solutions.
Capacity Building: Build capacity in a particular niche or sector, causing technology to scale market impact and lower inefficiencies by implementing the best workplace practices.
Data Collection: Collect data systematically through research in relevant sectors by facilitating data collection for programs.
Outcomes Tracking: Track impact at the sector and program-level for greater insights that influence decision making.
Streamline Reporting: Simplify the grantee or member reporting process.
Market Opportunity: Create a business enterprise based on sustainability and revenue generation.
Having one of these clear objectives in mind is only the first half of bridging the gap between ideas and solutions and extending services or overall product offerings. A trusted Salesforce partner’s knowledge of Salesforce guidelines is the key to taking ideas all the way. It must be noted that, with a golden reputation for offering enterprise-level, highly functional software, Salesforce doesn’t just approve any solution submitted to their AppExchange.
A world-class, cloud-based software company doesn’t maintain its reputation by letting just anyone develop solutions for its enterprise app marketplace. Salesforce development partners are granted access to resources and community tools to help them, in particular, to enable ISVs to get to market faster or accelerate business to scale and grow.
Developing tools that are assured to make it to market requires a knowledge of Lightning and programming languages such as Apex, Salesforce’s proprietary Java-esque language. Salesforce also boasts its own XML syntax framework called Visualforce, used typically to generate HTML, among other in-the-know concepts and technical specifications.
Between the public and private sectors, there is an endless number of guidelines, standards, and laws that must be followed to not only produce functional apps but ones that adhere to the strict compliance that enables their deployment and listing on the Salesforce AppExchange.
Security and privacy are always of the utmost concern when dealing with the exchange of data that software solutions facilitate. This is why Salesforce partners’ familiarity with agency and industry specifications is a requisite for achieving an effective Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GCR) based system. For this to come to fruition, that means adherence to:
Various data protection standards mandated by agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) guidelines.
Following these compliances, and many others, is what gets apps past AppExchange’s comprehensive security review. To avoid delaying the deployment of solutions with costly revisions, utilizing a development team familiar with Salesforce’s requirements will ensure apps make it onto the marketplace as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The best solution type depends on enterprise needs or the services that ISVs want to extend to Salesforce users. With a range of solution types, objectives such as making existing apps mobile and lighting compatible can be met.
When it comes to applications made for integration or listing on the AppExchange, there are three flavors (so to speak) of apps that partnered developers can create:
Lightening Applications: Salesforce Lightening offers users an enhanced User Interface (UI) and better visual representations of data. Created to improve upon the failures of Salesforce Classic, Lightning is intended to give users access to sets of objects, tabs, and other items all in one convenient bundle in the navigation bar.
Classic Applications: Salesforce Classic, as suggested by its name, is the original version of Salesforce. Though many enterprises have migrated to Lightning, this predecessor is still widely used. Hailed as being less visually appealing and more text-heavy, this straight-to-the-point application style is perfect for enterprises looking for no-frills solutions for their Salesforce Classic systems.
Mobile Compatible Applications: Salesforce’s mobile app, an enterprise-level application, supplies users with access to company CRMs from the convenience of their mobile phones.
The type of app best suited to individual needs depends on what it is going to be used for, the platform in use, and the version of Salesforce being used. Depending on needs, enterprises may be utilizing Salesforce Classic versus Lightning, especially if they don’t need the enhanced User Experience (UX) Lightning provides. For ISVs, the functionality they want to offer will determine what application type is the best flavor for reaching market goals.
Salesforce Bolt solutions, known as Lightning Bolts, are solution templates containing industry process flows, applications, and lightning components. They are meant to integrate seamlessly with Salesforce’s Customer 360 platform and are automatically provided to partners.
Lightning Bolts were introduced with the intention of enabling partners to develop solutions that offer improved customer experiences and enhanced user engagement.
Flow solutions extend the power of Lightning Flow’s codeless process automation. These applications are created for the specific purpose of automating complex business processes that are prone to silos and bottlenecks.
Lightning Data solutions cater to sales and marketing efforts with scalable data solutions that are pre-integrated and pre-approved by the Salesforce AppExchange.
As a native approach to third-party integration, data sets such as those provided by HG are connected directly to the Salesforce CRM. This enables the delivery of critical insights for models, forecasts, and trends without API calls or complex integration codes.
Components are highly useful elements that are used to customize existing apps and pages. They include functional pieces of technology including panels, UI/UX elements, and widgets.
Salesforce has a range of product and service offers for improved business processes in every industry. From marketing to analytics, Salesforce apps, solutions, and components custom-built with specific verticals in mind. For the AppExchange market or internal enterprise, solutions can be made that operate seamlessly with any of their platforms including:
To solve internal pain points, Salesforce AppExchange partners are an essential resource due to their ability to consult on desired outcomes, develop apps, solutions, and components, or seamlessly integrate third-party business software.
Enterprises don’t have to go it alone as custom-built solutions can aid with honing in on specific needs. Solving how solutions will work together or how they will fit into business strategies is a large part of the implementation, support, and maintenance process that comes with custom development.
Even the most practical of solutions aren’t exempt from having to meet the strict criteria necessary to make it on to the AppExchange. For assured quality and deployment of ISV solutions, developers with deep knowledge of Salesforce customization offer purpose-built solution development that meets market needs.
Utilizing custom-tailored Salesforce applications is arguably one of the most effective ways to get the most out of any Salesforce platform. While Salesforce’s existing features benefit enterprises of all types, there is a limit to how useful any system can be without added customization. This, of course, is where custom development comes into play. Salesforce knows this, which is why their AppExchange is available for businesses looking for solutions and ISVs aiming to monetize innovative solutions.
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