Top Tools for Creating an AppExchange App

In this article, we’ll introduce some of the many tools and resources available to help you build a secure, scalable, and profitable AppExchange app for your customers.

If you’ll recall, there are six main phases in the AppExchange product lifecycle: plan, build, distribute, market, sell and support. We’ll present the tools and resources according to the lifecycle phase where they’re most relevant and useful.

Plan

  • TrailheadTrailhead is the best way to learn Salesforce. Find trails and modules to help you plan your AppExchange business and your application. A good place to start is the trail: Grow Your Business as an AppExchange Partner | Salesforce Trailhead
  • Salesforce Partner Community: The Salesforce Partner Community is your one-stop shop for all things partner-related. You’ll find the latest, videos and, of course, the collaboration forums where you can connect with other partners and Salesforce employees.
  • ISVForce Guide: The official ISV guide to packaging Salesforce applications. Learn to plan, build, distribute, market, sell, and support solutions that run on the Salesforce Platform.
  • AccelerateSalesforce Accelerate is a virtual program designed to provide the insights and support companies need to strategically align with Salesforce and grow with AppExchange. When you join an Accelerate program you get guidance to help build or grow your business, 1:1 mentoring, and exposure for your application.
  • ISV Platform Expert Consultation: Salesforce’s team of ISV Platform Experts is here to help every stage of your AppExchange product journey, providing in-depth 1:1 consultations on specific areas of the platform. To request a consultation, partners can log a case.
  • Salesforce Architects: The Salesforce Architects website has resources such as design guides, product roadmaps, release calendars, blogs, etc., that can help you plan your application development.
  • PDOProduct Development Outsourcers (PDOs) are partners who use their extensive experience building applications for the AppExchange to help you get to market fast.
  • Tech Talks: The AppExchange Tech Talk series features engaging demos, product roadmap overviews, and interviews with technical experts to help you learn more about the platform.
  • Become a partnerJoin the partner program to gain access to a community and resources that will help you through every step of your journey and beyond. The partner program offers you exclusive tools and co-marketing opportunities to get to market faster.

Build

  • TrailheadTrailhead is also the best place to learn how to build on the Salesforce Platform. The module Build Apps as an AppExchange Partner | Salesforce Trailhead is designed to give you what you need to build your application.
  • Environment Hub: The Environment Hub lets you connect, create, view, and log in to Salesforce orgs from one location. If your company has multiple environments for development, testing, and trials, the Environment Hub lets you streamline your approach to org management.
  • Salesforce Developer Experience (DX): The Salesforce CLI is a powerful command-line interface that simplifies development and builds automation when working with your Salesforce org. The CLI can be extended by plugins and there are a few which can help you as an ISV partner:
    – The Salesforce CLI Scanner scans your code for vulnerabilities using several powerful scanning engines helping you deliver secure applications.
    – The ISV Technical Enablement Plugin gives you tips and insights on your entire package. It will keep you informed about technical resources including Partner Alerts.
    – The Analytics CLI Plugin lets you package and manage TableauCRM apps for your customers.
  • Visual Studio Code (VSCode): VSCode is a lightweight extensible code editor and is the preferred development environment for Salesforce. The Salesforce Extension pack for VSCode includes tools for developing on the Salesforce Platform such as debuggers, Apex and Lighting Code editors, and scratch org management.
  • Technical Consultation: Contact your Salesforce technical evangelist for tech & product consultations or log a case for platform expert consultation for a personal, one-on-one consultation.
  • Security Review: Before you can publicly list your solution on AppExchange, the solution must pass a security review. The AppExchange security review tests the security posture of your solution, including how well it protects customer data. The security review helps you identify security vulnerabilities that a hacker, malware, or other threat can exploit. Salesforce security review teams test your solution with threat-modeling profiles that are based on the most common web vulnerabilities. The teams attempt to penetrate the defenses programmed in your solution. Their goal is to extract or modify data that they don’t have permission to access, just as security threats attempt to do.
  • Testing: In addition to standard development best practices around testing, perform end-to-end testing in specialized environments to ensure your application performs well for all of your potential customers. Here are a few situations which require specific testing:
    – GovCloud and GovCloud+
    – Salesforce Shield Platform Encryption
    – Very large scale
  • Community Resources: There are many community resources dedicated to sharing knowledge about building on the Salesforce Platform.
    – Partner Community
    – Trailblazer Community
    – Salesforce Developer Forums
    – Salesforce Stack Exchange

Distribute

  • Second Generation Packaging (2GP)
    – Second-generation managed packaging (2GP) ushers in a new way for AppExchange partners to develop, distribute, and manage their apps and metadata. You can use 2GP to organize your source, build small modular packages, integrate with your version control system, and better utilize your custom Apex code. With version control being the source of truth, there are no packaging or patch orgs.
    – This trailmix has more resources to understand and get started with 2GP
  • First Generation Packaging (1GP): A managed package is a bundle of components that make up an application or piece of functionality. A managed package is a great way to release an app for sale and to support licensing your features. You can protect intellectual property because the source code of many components is not available through the package.
  • Publishing Console: To publish your solution on AppExchange, use the AppExchange publishing console. The publishing console is where you will create and manage all aspects of your AppExchange listing.
  • License Management App (LMA): Use the License Management App (LMA) to manage leads and licenses for your AppExchange solutions. By integrating the LMA into your sales and marketing processes, you can better engage with prospects, retain existing customers, and grow your ISV business.

Market

  • Marketplace Intelligence: Get insight into your prospective customers using Marketplace Analytics dashboards within the Publishing Console. It gives you visibility into the performance of your AppExchange listing telling you who is viewing your listing, what are they searching for, what assets are they consuming, and more.
  • Test Drive: A Test Drive is a preconfigured org filled with read-only sample data attached to your AppExchange listing. It is the easiest way to get a demo of your product to prospective customers without installing anything into their org.
  • AppExchange Marketing Program (AMP): The AppExchange Marketing Program (AMP) offers turnkey, paid co-marketing opportunities to help partners reach a Salesforce audience, including Salesforce customers and employees.
  • AppExchange: Harness the power of the AppExchange to market and sell to the 150,000+ Salesforce customers in 100+ countries who have installed solutions over 10 million times.
  • TrialforceTrialforce is the technology that enables you to seamlessly deliver free trials to your customers and prospects. Using Trialforce, you can configure your app to your specifications, including relevant sample data. You can even customize the look and feel of your app to reflect your company’s branding.

Sell

Support

  • License Management App (LMA): Use the License Management App (LMA) to manage leads and licenses for your AppExchange solutions. By integrating the LMA into your sales and marketing processes, you can better engage with prospects, retain existing customers, and grow your ISV business.
  • Partner AlertsPartner Alerts keep you up to date on the latest program, product, and technology changes that may impact your business or your AppExchange solutions.
  • ISV DebuggerISV Debugger is part of the Salesforce Extension Pack for VSCode. It allows you to perform interactive debugging sessions directly inside your customers’ sandbox orgs to diagnose their issues quickly.
  • App Analytics: With App Analytics, you can monitor the usage of your application within customer organizations. You can use these details to identify attrition risks, inform feature development decisions, and improve user experience. Learn more with AppExchange Partner Intelligence Basics | Salesforce Trailhead

Read the full blog at the link below!

source: https://medium.com/inside-the-salesforce-ecosystem/everything-need-know-build-great-appexchange-app-b692cfbaf144

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