So, youâ€™re offering a custom software solution for your customers and youâ€™re wondering whether you should build a custom app for Salesforce. Itâ€™s easy to see why because, by creating a custom app, you can implement almost any functionality you can think of. So, youâ€™ll not only turn your ideas into solutions, but youâ€™ll also give your customers the extra functionality they need and fill a niche where there is no solution.
This sounds great, doesnâ€™t it? It does, but before you start the process of developing a custom Salesforce app to improve your productâ€™s functionality, there are some things you need to consider to ensure that your app and its implementation is successful.
But what are these considerations? In this post, we’ll take a look at them in more detail.
5 Key Considerations To Keep in Mind When Creating an App for Salesforce
Like with any other development project, efficient project management is a must to ensure that the planning, development, and testing of your custom app goes to plan. In addition, youâ€™ll need to consider these five key considerations.
When you start the process of developing your custom app, itâ€™s crucial that you determine what you want to achieve and keep an open mind about your goals.
For example, to get the desired results might require that you might need to change existing business processes. If that is the case, youâ€™ll need to weigh the benefits youâ€™ll gain with the custom app against the disruption the changing business process might have.
Another thing you should consider is complexity. So, if a process gets overly complex to design and implement, it might be a better idea to use another tool and integrate it with Salesforce to achieve the results you want. This is simply because, even though Salesforce can be an extremely powerful tool, some things are done better outside of the platform.
You should also, as far as possible, incorporate the reporting requirements from the initial design phases. These will then, in turn, drive the design decisions you need to make later on like, for instance, around field data types and object relationships. In contrast, by viewing reporting requirements as an afterthought and incorporating them later, makes it much more complex.
Itâ€™s no secret that data security is becoming increasingly important to companies and users alike. It, therefore, needs to be one of your main considerations when designing your app. Fortunately, the Salesforce platform has certifications for all major security and data privacy standards which ensure that your customersâ€™ data stays safe.
However, you should still consider implementing the necessary security features in your app and testing them before rolling them out to your customers. Here, you should carefully consider object-level security (CRUD), field-level security (FLS), and record-level security which is especially important when your app will be available to external users.
Youâ€™ll also need to consider Master-Detail relationships that dictate which users can see which data. When you do, youâ€™ll be able to properly define lookup relationships and achieve greater control over the visibility of data in your app.
Also, user-based access should be extensively tested before your app goes into production. You should, for instance, include profile-based testing of dashboards and reports because they can display different information to different users. This, ultimately, impacts the visibility of the data in your app.
To improve data visibility in your app, you should, by implication, also improve searchability. To do this, you can add tabs for objects that users need to search for. In this way, you can ensure that only the custom objects that you added tabs for, will be visible in search results and, in this way, configure visibility according to your, and your customersâ€™ specific needs and requirements.
Make Sure Your App Seamlessly Integrates With Business Systems
Nowadays, integration is vital for businesses to gain value from their data. In other words, a businessâ€™s data should be available across a variety of platforms. And with custom apps, the situation is no different, especially considering that your app will most likely integrate with other systems. In simple terms, custom apps donâ€™t exist in isolation and need to work as part of an ecosystem.
One of the first things to consider will be whether, from an integrations perspective, data from external systems will be stored in Salesforce or whether it will be queried from the external platform in real-time. For instance, Salesforce Connect allows you to query data from external sources and report on it without storing the data in Salesforce.
Also, when you want to use standard objects like Accounts and Contracts, youâ€™ll typically need to create new record types and layouts through Java Frameworks. This will allow you to differentiate new types of Accounts and Contracts specific to your app. In addition, youâ€™ll also need to review existing triggers, processes, validation rules, and workflows and add record-based conditions where necessary.
Enforce Data Integrity
You need to ensure data integrity in your app to ensure the best possible results for your customers. Itâ€™s simple, when data integrity is lacking and you use low-quality data, youâ€™ll get low-quality results. Fortunately, Salesforce gives you various ways to enforce data integrity.
For one, creating validation rules, default values, and workflow updates can not only improve the usability of your app but also contribute to cleaner and more actionable data.
You should also prevent the duplication of data as far as possible. To do this, you should, ideally, consider using unique External ID fields to prevent data duplication when integration with external systems. Also, by using Matching Rules and Duplicate Rules, you can largely eliminate duplicate records.
Updates and Support
When designing your app, you should steer away from trying to incorporate every conceivable feature into your app. Itâ€™s simple, when you try to do this, youâ€™ll add a lot of complexity which then requires a fair amount of time and effort.
It goes further than this, though. Doing this also not only makes maintenance more challenging for your customers but also makes your app more difficult to scale.
When you offer your customers a custom Salesforce app, you can help them get more value from the platform and your solution. Apart from this, it can also make them more productive, and inject some efficiency into their business processes.
In simple terms, it amplifies the benefits they gain from your software solution. But, when you plan on doing this, there are some things you need to consider. Hopefully, this post helped illustrate some of these key considerations in more detail.