AppExchange Vs Custom Development

AppExchange vs. Custom Development: Which One is Best for Your Business?

  • Shoaib
  • Salesforce, Salesforce Hacks, Technology
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Salesforce is undoubtedly the leading CRM in the world with numerous packages and features tailored toward helping businesses with sales, marketing, customer experience and IT. Salesforce helps businesses of any size to keep customers happy everywhere, which is why one would wonder which is the best option between AppExchange vs custom development for expanding the functionality of Salesforce.

Business requirements change over time. Salesforce helps businesses adapt to these changes. Several Salesforce users and business owners often tend to weigh whether to go with AppExchange or adopt custom development for business applications. Many businesses have lost a good amount of money by making the wrong choice. It is therefore important to carefully weigh your options and make the best decision for the business. 

While both options are viable for your business, there are several key factors to be considered before opting for either option. We compiled a list of several factors that you should consider when deciding whether to opt for AppExchange or design a custom application. Here is our comparison of AppExchange vs custom development and which one is the best for your business.

AppExchange Vs Custom Development: What’s the deal-breaker?

We shall outline some of the key aspects to consider for you to make a conscious business decision when adopting either option.

Implementation Time

One of the key factors to consider while weighing ready-to-install applications vs. custom design applications is the time factor. How urgent the application is and how soon you need to implement the solution are parameters for consideration. Business needs are dynamic and tend to vary in time and urgency. Some needs require immediate attention and solution while others have some good time allowance. 

In case of urgent solutions, AppExchange beats custom development. AppExchange applications are ready to install and take a maximum of a few weeks to implement. A custom design will require a relatively long period to design and develop. Custom development also encounters the problem of testing and fixing which prolongs development time. 

The outright advantage of AppExchange with time as a metric is that the applications are ready to install and have been tested and certified for rollout. The solution is immediate compared to custom development. Selecting a team of developers and getting the application up and running takes time. Therefore, AppExchange is the most appropriate option for businesses that require a quick fix.

Budgetary Allocation 

When it comes to budgetary considerations, there are several factors to consider. The first factor is the initial cost of development as compared to the cost of subscriptions. Most AppExchange applications work on a subscription model. The user is charged monthly. Custom development on the other hand works on a one-off fee paid to the development team. 

The initial costs associated with each option are a key factor for consideration. Organizations with a larger budgetary allowance may opt for custom development which is regarded to be relatively expensive than AppExchange subscription. However, the cost of subscriptions tends to inflate when the number of users increases and as the subscription time goes by.  

Another factor for consideration is the cost of maintenance. While the cost of maintenance in AppExchange is covered in the subscription fee, the cost of maintenance in custom applications is normally precluded from the initial cost of development. This means that businesses that opt for custom development incur separate costs in the development and maintenance of the application. The costs can sometimes be excessive to the business making custom application development a less feasible option for businesses on a budget. 

Requirements and Business needs

Businesses’ needs are ever-evolving, and several businesses have several requirements that dictate what applications to adopt. Therefore, an evaluation of business needs and what each application offers is key in determining whether to use a ready-to-install application from AppExchange or to opt for custom development of the application. Requirements and business needs are crucial factors deciding on AppExchange Vs Custom development for your business.

Businesses ought to list down all the requirements and do a comparative analysis of what can be met via AppExchange and what can be sorted by custom development. If the requirements are mostly available and sorted by AppExchange, then opting for ready-to-install applications makes more business sense. However, if AppExchange applications barely cover the needs at that particular time, then custom development is a feasible option for the business.

Another added advantage of custom development in the AppExchange Vs custom development comparison is the option to highly customize the applications. The application can be customized and tailored to suit your business and even represent your brand. The application can be tailored as per the business’s requirements and specifications.

Support system and after-sales service 

Post-development support and after-sales services are great factors to consider when choosing between AppExchange Vs custom development. For custom development, the developers must have a good record and goodwill to provide post-development support. The availability of post-development support is an added advantage for either of the development options. 

The support must meet the expectations of the business. After-sales support includes maintenance and regular updates to versions of the application as time goes by. In cases where the application crashes, a reasonable maintenance package should be availed to the business at a lower or no cost. 

Scalability and Futuristic aspect in AppExchange Vs Custom development 

Businesses ought to always look to the future. Solutions developed in the present must address immediate needs and have an option of scalability to extend onto the future. Applications developed in the present must address the need at the present and possibly be scaled to solve future needs. For this reason, businesses need to think about scalability and futuristic aspects when deciding on AppExchange Vs custom development of applications. Business owners must therefore consider the futuristic view. 

Winding Up

Businesses are dynamic and business needs are always evolving. Deliberating on AppExchange Vs custom development for your business should be a careful consideration that takes into account all business needs. The above-highlighted factors are some of the key considerations before making that decision.

While AppExchange allow for a quick fix at a relatively low cost, custom development allows for more customization and scalability that overflows into the future. However, custom development requires a larger budget and more expertise from the developers’ side.

Author: Shoaib
Shoaib Chaudhary is an entrepreneur and influencer with over two decades of experience in the technology industry. Shoaib founded Plumlogix with the help of the global 100 CIO, CTO, to empower businesses to eliminate today's barriers to efficiency, savings, growth, rich customer engagement, accountability, and data security. Before plumlogix, he built global businesses serving fortune 1000 companies, like Barns & Noble, Tenet Healthcare, Bloomberg, Sunnco, FannieMae, etc. Shoaib has been influencing global leaders to exceed organizational goals while advancing social responsibility. Shoaib also founded PlumlogixU.org for the advancement of in-demand digital skills globally.