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Salesforce apps: custom-built app vs. AppExchange Store App

In the previous blog posts, we have mentioned that there’s rarely one-size-fit-all solution and many businesses require additional apps to work with Salesforce to fulfill their organization’s specific requirements.

Usually, businesses are provided with two options of either choosing to install app from Salesforce AppExchange store or develop a custom-built app. However, the answer for choosing which option could be more complicated than one might think.

In this article, we take a look at some important points business should consider in order to choose the option that is most suitable for them:

Consider Your Specific Business Requirements

First of all, consider your specific business requirements of why your business is in need of such app? Examine your existing business process: why it needs the new app and how such app can help improve the process? Additionally, you should also consider who the users are going to be, and what are the specific functionalities required of the app?

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Planning in advance

Before making the final decision to either acquire or custom develop the required app for your business, you need to plan in advance how the app will fit with your overall business strategy in the long-term as well as short-term. In case your business is going to expand, how will the app meet the scalability requirement? And if you need to scale an app, will it be possible to customize the AppExchange app accordingly? It’s best to plan in advance and account for all the scenarios.

Time

If you purchase the app from AppExchange store, the installation process should only take a couple of hours or a few days at most to complete. However, in case your business requirements going to be changed due to scalability limits, and the AppExchange app requires more time to be customized, you probably would like to take a look at the option of custom salesforce app development.

Costs

The overall costs of an app is always one of the most important factors that need to be considered by business. Going with the AppExchange route, it will usually costs you a subscription payment incurring monthly and costs based on total number of users. In the long-term and with the number of users going to increase, it could be cheaper to get your app built from scratch.

Key considerations when purchase from Salesforce AppExchange store:

If you decide to make the purchase of the app from Salesforce AppExchange store, you need to have a detailed list of requirements to help narrow down the choices that are most relevant and prevent you from acquiring an app that does not fully address all of your business needs. The Salesforce AppExchange store offers thousands of apps designed specifically for various industries and business fields. You should do a research to select app based on your list of requirements and check to see if a specific app will meet all of the items in your list.

And if you already found an app that is met with all (or nearly all) of your business requirement, consider how you will adjust and align your existing business processes with the new logic provided by such app. Also take into account the post-live support offered by the app provider in case you need to customize the app in the future.

Key considerations for Custom App Development:

The number of apps available to AppExchange store is huge but sometimes, it might not be possible for you to find the specific apps meeting all of your industry-specific requirements. Here, developing a custom app is the solution. Custom-built app can provide the necessary functions and features that an AppExchange app does not have. Furthermore, with custom development, your app will be built leaving room for scalability in the future.

Outsourcing Custom App Development

Many companies that are not in the IT industries would rarely have the adequate in-house resources to build the custom Salesforce app meeting all business and scalability requirements. If that is also a case of your business, outsourcing the development of your custom app to an offshore software outsourcing company would be a good choice. Consider the following points to ensure that your custom-built Froce.com app meets all of your requirements:

Set requirements

Clearly established business use cases and specific requirements is essential to make sure that the custom app will be developed and function as intended. This also help the outsourcing partner and their certified Salesforce app developers to clearly understand the project scope and can provide you with the most suitable option to help lower development costs.

Additionally, it is also necessary to work on a specification which details all the required functionalities, and features to help keep the project moving on-track, and avoid additional costs arisen due to constantly incorporating extra functionalities in the later stages.

Assign a responsible personnel

Constantly changing requirements due to inadequate planning and/or miscommunication can incur extra cost on your development expenses. Salesforce development team of the outsourcing partner should be provided with a dedicated personnel from your company who is responsible for all the contacts and communications. This ensures the custom developed app fully meets all the predetermined requirements as agreed beforehand.

Endnote:

Whether it’s custom app development or purchasing app from the AppExchange store, the main goal of the solution should be to improve your existing business processes and thereby, enhancing business value. Contact us today to see how our Salesforce certified consultants can help overcoming all your business challenges related to Salesforce.