Launching apps on the Salesforce AppExchange: Is it about to get easier?

Last week, Salesforce made a big announcement. In fact it was so big that they emailed it to everyone just to make sure they didn’t miss it. The announcement was this: a new Salesforce AppExchange Partner Programme was now all systems go.

What does this mean? From where we are sitting here in Bristol, in our team of Salesforce developers and MVPs, from what I am hearing, there are two important elements to note here:-

Firstly, the demystification of the Salesforce AppExchange security review 

Up until now, if you wanted to launch an app on the Salesforce AppExchange, you would have to take your carefully crafted and tested product and hand it over to Salesforce.  They would check that it was fully ready for launch before they would list it for you on their marketplace. Various developers have had different experiences with this process, and there is a reason for that: up until now it’s been partially manual so it depends who picks up your application on the day. And what’s more, it’s been difficult to understand what went wrong, as the security review process is very much a black box, with little feedback available to those who fail.

This is all set to change. Now the tricky manual process is about to be replaced by a standardized, wizard-style onboarding. In addition during this setup, there will be better options on setting up payment tools to work with your app. So in short, you can get to market much more quickly.

Secondly, there is investment money available

There is $100m available for Salesforce developers and partners. Development time is expensive and the returns are not guaranteed, so having some access to some cash to get your app off the ground removes those barriers to entry.

What will be the result?

So does this mean that launching a new product on the Salesforce AppExchange is soon going to be as easy as listing an item for sale on eBay?

In the opinion of one of our resident Salesforce MVPs, Simon Lawrence thinks not.

“The security review will still be stringent, but the rules around it are simply going to be clearer. I should think that the time it will take to pass or fail your product will also be less. So overall, the development to deployment cycle will definitely speed up as a result. However, the submission to the AppExchange is just the end point of this process, the development of the app itself of course still remains the real challenge.”

How will we see the AppExchange change?

“We will probably see a greater volume of apps available out there as these new tools and processes should have a democratising effect on who gets to list on there. This is a good thing in that it will encourage innovation, and we’ll see some amazing apps appearing that will genuinely improve the way we do business and use the Salesforce platform. BUT, there’s also a chance we are going to see multiple versions of the same tool. So for example instead of one list sorter, suddenly you’ve got to check out 5 different list sorting apps which are all largely the same bar the branding. That’s going to put the pressure back on the buyer to try to work out which is best for their needs”.

No doubt there will be much more information available over the coming months. What is clear though is that developers are mission critical to Salesforce, as the platform continues to look outside the organisation to fuel their own rocket speed innovation.

Are you ready for lift off?

Salesforce AppExchange
By Amy Grenham
15 May 2017
SalesforceThe Good Systems Blog

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