Salesforce APIs help organizations bridge the gap between tools living within the Salesforce ecosystem and other apps or resources. This allows for communication between separate platforms.
So with basic API functionality available as an option, is there reason to do any more?
Actually, there are many. For SaaS companies looking to connect with customers on the AppExchange, an API-only integration is more of a half-measure, a bare-minimum option that lacks key advantages in security, functionality and user experience and more that are provided for those who develop a full app.
We recommend that SaaS organizations develop an AppExchange app for the following reasons:
1. Safeguards and Trust
In an enterprise sale, trust is paramount. Salesforce’s Security Review process is notoriously strenuous, and can be a struggle if you’re trying to launch an app alone. That being said: If an app clears Security Review, that stamp of approval certifies your app as fully secure, eliminating this objection almost completely.
2. Full Functionality
Platform features such as workflows, reporting, dashboards, permission sets. triggers, and more unlock the capabilities of your app and remove limitations for current and future users.
Also, with just an API integration you’re missing out on packaging rich reporting and analytics that provide insights to better shape your product offering. Customers can always create their own reports and dashboards on top of Salesforce data, but a managed package allows you to provide them out of the box.
3. Direct Sales Channel
Did you know that 83% of all Salesforce customers use one or more AppExchange apps? With a listing on world’s largest enterprise app marketplace, your organization enjoys a direct channel to the ecosystem. Apps have already been installed almost 5 million times, meaning huge potential for launching an app with the right market fit.
4. Partner Benefits
Enjoy the reach and marketing muscle of the Salesforce team -- which is incentivized to help potential customers find the right product. That product may just be yours. (For more on this, check out our blog on how partners can help Salesforce’s partner account manager, sales and product teams promote your app to the right solution-seekers.)
5. Enhanced User Experience
With platform configurations and custom development, including Lightning Experience and Visualforce, AppExchange partners can seamlessly include custom objects, custom fields, and a custom data model for their integrations. Depending on your development needs and resources, there’s a lot you can accomplish with full backend customization.
Better configurability is also likely to increase adoption; with your app becoming a true solution adaptable to more use cases, customers will find more value in sticking with it after first use.
6. Customer Success
With an AppExchange product, Salesforce also provides you a free Salesforce org (or 2 free licenses in your existing org) and the License Management App (LMA) , which is essential for providing customer support. The LMA enables you to log into customers' orgs (if they have provided the permission) in order to troubleshoot any issues that you may be facing. It is crucial!
7. Full Life Cycle Management
A managed package allows you to push upgrades and bug fixes to your customers with a single click. New versions, data models, functionality, and bug fixes can be deployed to a single customer or tens of thousands of customers without your customers being involved. It makes your life easier, your product better, and your customers happier!
Sold on the benefits of launching a full app on the AppExchange? Fortunately, we can help SaaS companies go from API to fully-formed app in under a month. ConnectorScience utilizes a secure and effective process to streamline your app’s launch and drive revenue sooner.