19 Questions To Consider When Selecting a Salesforce AppExchange App

Key Considerations for Selecting a Salesforce AppExchange App for Your Business

Welcome, Salesforce aficionados, to our short guide on everything you need to consider when selecting a Salesforce AppExchange app for your business. In this article, we delve into 20 essential questions that will assist you in making informed choices for your Salesforce integration.

1. Application Architecture – A Crucial Foundation

Initiate your assessment by understanding the application's architecture. Is it a native Salesforce application, a composite app, or merely an API integration? Your decision should align with your organization's specific requirements, ensuring seamless integration with the Salesforce environment. 

For example, RocketPhone is available as an API integration using our separate web app, or as a native integration inside Salesforce. It really depends on how you prefer working!

An example of RocketPhone within Salesforce

2. Data Management – Bidirectional Integration and Real-Time Considerations

Examine the data management capabilities of the app. 

Does it facilitate bi-directional integration? 

Is the integration real-time? 

You should also check support for any custom objects and fields you may have.

3. Official App? – Check for Registered Partners

Ensure the app is a registered ISV partner, verifying its adherence to the platform's stringent security standards. This step is paramount to safeguarding your organization's data and maintaining regulatory compliance.

4. Licensing Framework – ISV, OEM, and License Requirements

Understand the app's partnership status, whether it falls under ISV, OEM, or both. Additionally, ascertain the specific license types required for optimal functionality within your organizational framework.

  • ISVForce: Allows partners to build packages on the Salesforce platform, which can be installed into Salesforce environments. These enhance existing processes, integrate with external systems, or deliver entirely new functionality natively on the platform.
  • OEM: Works just like ISVForce (i.e. build packages on the Salesforce platform, etc.), except that OEM partners can also market and sell to non-Salesforce customers. In other words, they can deliver their application in combination with an embedded Salesforce license – regardless of whether their customer is an existing Salesforce customer.

You can read more about that here.

5. Compatibility Matrix – Aligning with Salesforce Products and Editions

Make sure you understand the app’s compatibility with Salesforce's broad suite of products and editions. Check it supports your product before obtaining! This includes compatibility with Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud etc

6. Is the App Popular? – Evaluating the Active Customer Count

It’s always worth investigating the app's user base. How many paying customers actively utilise the product? What are the customer testimonials like? What are the reviews like?

If the App is relatively new to the market, ask to speak with some other customers!

7. Currency Management – Multinational Currency Support

This may not be relevant to every company but it’s worth considering if you have a global customer base. Determine whether the app accommodates multi-currency functionality. The ability to handle transactions in various currencies is vital for organisations operating on a global scale, ensuring accurate financial reporting and streamlined operations.

Image source - trailhead.salesforce.com 
The right Salesforce ISV app can elevate your team's efficiency many times over

Sam Gillingham

8. Language Support – Multilingual Capabilities

Explore the app's multilingual capabilities, identifying the languages it supports. 

9. Code Execution – Custom Code Processing Against Standard Objects

Scrutinize the presence of custom code within the app and how it interacts with your standard Salesforce objects. Understanding the execution process, and the ability to disable such code, provides insight into potential customization and flexibility.

10. Interface Adaptability – Compatibility with Lightning and Classic Environments

It’s 2024 people, what are you doing on Classic?

Anyway, if you, ascertain whether the app is compatible with both Lightning and Classic environments. This adaptability ensures a seamless user experience across different Salesforce interfaces

11. Data Handling Capacity – Volume Testing and Storage Requirements

Is the App equipped to deal with high volumes of data that may be held in your Salesforce. Will the app clog up your Salesforce storage with large volumes of data? 

It’s important to understand the type and size of data being stored and transferred. Remember extra storage from Salesforce comes at a price!

12. Access Control – Security Profiles and Permission Sets

It’s important to ascertain whether the App can reflect security profiles and permission sets set up in Salesforce. This is important to prevent users accessing data they shouldn’t be seeing. 

13. Task Automation – Scheduled Batch Processes

Examine the need for scheduled batch processes. Are there batch processes that need to be scheduled? How many? How often do they need to run? 

This is important to understand how regularly data will be updated from the App 

14. Global Support – Policies, Regions, and Timezone Coverage

Evaluate the support infrastructure provided by the app, encompassing support policies, regional coverage, and timezone support. A robust support system is critical for addressing issues promptly and maintaining operational continuity across diverse geographic locations.

15. Implementation Strategies – Plans for Implementation and Customer Success

Get yourself familiar with any implementation process required for the App. What support for this is offered? Do you have the capabilities in house with your own Admins? Additionally, explore the customer success plans offered, you want to be able to maximise the benefits of the application.

16. Data Transition – Migration Requirements

Is data migrated automatically or manually? How are custom fields handled and mapped?

You need to understand the answers to these questions before you implement any new App. This will determine the speed at which you can get started and what resources might be required to map all data accurately. 

17. Release Management – Frequency, Schedules, and Sandbox Compatibility

Explore the release management practices of the app. Determine the frequency and schedules of version releases, and ascertain whether these releases can be initially deployed in a sandbox environment for testing. This will ensure any bugs related to the release doesn’t impact your live data.

18. Trial Period and Uninstallation

Before committing, inquire about the availability of a trial period and its duration. Additionally, ensure clarity on whether the vendor offers assistance in the event of package uninstallation.

19. Third-Party Collaborations – Integrations and Authentication

Consider what other potential third-party collaborations are used with the app. Investigate the presence of integrated third-party software and the authentication mechanisms employed to ensure secure interactions. This knowledge is pivotal in understanding the app's compatibility with your existing security protocols and ecosystem.

So, let's summarise the key considerations that should guide your decision-making process when selecting a Salesforce AppExchange app for your business.

  1. Application Architecture: Native, composite, or API integration – align with Salesforce environment.
  2. Data Management: Bidirectional integration, real-time capabilities, and robust failure monitoring.
  3. Security Compliance: Successful completion of the Salesforce security review for data protection.
  4. Licensing Framework: Partnership status (ISV, OEM) and specific license types required.
  5. Compatibility Matrix: Support for various Salesforce products and editions.
  6. User Base Analysis: Active paying customers indicate reliability.
  7. Currency Management: Multi-currency support for global financial operations.
  8. Linguistic Compatibility: Multilingual capabilities for a diverse workforce.
  9. Code Execution: Presence and processing of custom code against standard Salesforce objects.
  10. Interface Adaptability: Compatibility with both Lightning and Classic interfaces.
  11. Data Handling Capacity: Ability to handle data volumes and storage requirements.
  12. Access Control: Delivery of Security Profiles and Permission Sets for user privilege management.
  13. Task Automation: Presence and scheduling of batch processes for efficient operations.
  14. Global Support: Policies, regions covered, and timezone support for effective assistance.
  15. Implementation Strategies: Plans for implementation and customer success to maximize benefits.
  16. Data Transition: Understanding of data migration requirements for a seamless transition.
  17. Release Management: Frequency, schedules, and sandbox compatibility for version releases.
  18. Trial Period and Uninstallation: Availability and duration of trial period, vendor assistance in uninstallation.
  19. Third-Party Collaborations: Presence of integrated third-party software and authentication mechanisms.

Selecting the right Salesforce AppExchange app for your business is a strategic decision that requires a thorough understanding of your organisational needs and the capabilities of the chosen application. We hope this comprehensive guide serves as a valuable resource in your quest for an optimal Salesforce integration.

May your app-venture be smooth and successful!

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