AppExchange, we all know has something for everyone. It gives users a place to create, publish, or install apps and extensions to Salesforce. The app that interests you could be free or paid. Understanding the platform well not just helps you use it better but also wisely.

Understand the lingo

Managed package: This gets downloaded and installed when a developer pushes bug fixes and updates out to orgs that have installed the managed package.

Unmanaged package: This is a static, one time download of the package offerings that cannot be upgraded or controlled by its developer. Most components of the package are editable.

Force.com Native: A Native App is built on the Salesforce platform; all the data is stored in Salesforce.

Salesforce1: This is ready for your Mobile users with minimal or no work.

Lightning Ready: If you are a LEX enabled org, this App is ready for the Lightning primetime. Do note if this is Lightning enabled, Lightning optimized, or Lightning only.

Possible Red Flags

Reviews: If the number of reviews is less or if the rating is poor

Release Date: If the app was released more than a year ago and do not match Salesforce release dates. Also, if there is no mention of Salesforce1 or Lightning Experience (LEX)

Version: If there is no version history indicating that the app was never enhanced or updated.

Documentation: If the listing does not provide installation instructions.

Install Org

The app can be installed in either Production Org or Sandbox Org. It is recommended to first install the app into a Sandbox Org. doing this will allow you to test and run the apps with pre-determined data under unlimited time, before you create an actual impact and real drive of your organization data.

Personalized and Intelligent Recommendations

The search algorithms in AppExchange remember your past behavior and also can compare your activity to people like you to provide personalized recommendations. These search and sort basis location, install history, site activity, profile data and edition, and will be learning and evolving over time to provide even more powerful recommendations.

Embedded Trailhead Learning

App browsing can also be a learning experience. AppExchange has integrated learning content throughout to help visitors learn best practices, new skills and help discover solutions to business needs. Additionally, there are articles, videos, ebooks and webinars that provide Salesforce-based how-to and educational information.

Trusted Templates and Prebuilt Solutions

AppExchange can also guide you on building online community, e-commerce website, or segmented customer portal. With Lightning Bolts, you get out-of-the-box solutions containing industry process flows, Lightning Components and Communities. With Salesforce integration, the information tied to the templated websites are passed into Salesforce CRM. Salesforce partners such as Accenture, Appirio, Bluewolf, PwC and Silverline provide customized solutions across several industries.

Trusted Data

Are you looking for a reliable and updated data source? AppExchange to your rescue! It is a trove of data that is already plugged into Salesforce, provided by third parties. By integrating trusted third-party data sources, you can extend the information you have on your customers and prospects, enrich customer profiles, discover data-driven insights, and also improve key sales and marketing processes like segmentation, targeting, scoring and prioritization with data specific to each business.

Industry Focus

AppExchange has thousands of industry solutions for manufacturing (Propel, Rootstock), financial services (nCino, Onfido, Orion), healthcare (FormFast, Healthwise, myStrength, Veeva), retail (CloudCraze, DemandJump, Windsor Circle) and more. This has also been added to the navigation structure now.

AppExchange is easy to surf and navigate. But taking out the best value from it is not as easy. While shopping make sure to evaluate on the basis of case studies, testimonials and referrals, be a little more aware, and stick with us to enable us to help you cross the high waters.

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