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  • Writer's pictureHasti Davda

AppExchange vs Custom Development: Considering Your Options in Salesforce

Salesforce AppExchange is a marketplace of pre-built applications and components that you can install into your Salesforce organization. Custom development is the process of building custom applications or components to meet specific business needs not met by AppExchange products.

When considering whether to build or buy on the AppExchange, there are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • The complexity of the business need

  • The size of your organization

  • Your development resources

  • Your timeline

If you have complex business needs or are a large organization, custom development may be the best option for you. If you have limited development resources or a tight timeline, buying an AppExchange product may be the best option. With AppExchange, you can quickly find and install pre-built apps and components that are trusted by Salesforce and our millions of customers worldwide. You can also find customer reviews and ratings to help you make informed decisions about which apps to install.

What is Custom Development?

If you can’t find an existing app or component on AppExchange that meets your needs, you can always opt for custom development. This route gives you the flexibility to build exactly what you need, but it comes with some risks. First, custom development can be expensive, and there’s no guarantee that your finished product will work as intended. Second, if you decide to switch to another platform in the future, your custom code may not work on the new platform—leaving you back at square one.

What Salesforce AppExchange Provides for You

Salesforce provides a comprehensive set of tools and services for businesses of all sizes. Whether you're looking for a CRM system, an e-commerce platform, or a way to manage your customer service and support, Salesforce has you covered.

Salesforce's AppExchange is the world's largest marketplace for business applications, with over 3,000 apps to choose from. If you need a custom solution, there are also many experienced developers on the AppExchange who can build something to your specifications.

Best of all, Salesforce is constantly innovating and adding new features and functionality to its products. So no matter what your business needs are today, you can be confident that Salesforce will have something to meet those needs tomorrow.

Selecting an App

When it comes to adding new functionality to Salesforce, there are two main options: AppExchange apps and custom development. AppExchange is Salesforce's app store, and it offers a wide variety of pre-built applications that can be installed with just a few clicks. Custom development, on the other hand, involves building custom code to add the desired functionality. Some of the things to keep in mind before making a choice are:

  • Requirement Analysis: Make a list of all important business requirements and determine how many can be met with the AppExchange application. If the answer is less than 70%-75%, you should think about going the custom development route instead. Salesforce development companies identify gaps and develop custom, business-centric solutions that can be scaled to meet your future requirements using best practices, tools, and methodologies.

  • Budget: The cost of installing an AppExchange app is significantly less than the initial investment required to build a custom application. The majority of AppExchange solutions demand a monthly subscription and are billed monthly. You will be required to pay a higher subscription fee the more users you have. The cost of developing an app exchange is further increased by the fact that Salesforce apps require regular maintenance. The best course of action, in this case, would be to conduct a cost-value analysis and extrapolate the costs of both methods over three to five years.

  • Implementation Time: Every company sets a timetable for a development project. Custom app development can take at least three to four months, whereas Appexchange apps can be implemented much more quickly (in weeks, if not days). Salesforce Development Services and AppExchange partners can help you if your current setup lacks crucial functionality and you can't wait three to four months for custom development. Custom development, on the other hand, takes a long time to build, test, and deploy, so it should be preferred if time constraints are kept in check.

  • Futuristic View: Not only should the Salesforce solution you create or customize meet your current requirements, but it should also be compatible with scaling, maintaining, and expanding in the future. If you want to achieve your long-term objectives, having a conversation about your future roadmap with an AppExchange vendor should never be skipped. Because custom apps are designed with your business in mind, they give you more control and flexibility to meet your company's future requirements.

  • Support and SLA: Check Salesforce Development Companies' post-development support and service level agreements before making a final choice between the two development options. The development partner must have an internal workforce with a track record of developing and maintaining Salesforce apps for custom development.

Under flexible agreements, development partners with a strong Salesforce COE can provide the required support. If you don't have a strong development team, AppExchange development is a more affordable option. However, before moving forward with AppExchange app development, businesses must carefully assess whether the provided support and SLA meet their expectations.


After reading this article, you should have a good understanding of the pros and cons of AppExchange and custom development.

If you're looking for a quick solution with little customization, AppExchange is probably your best bet. However, if you need more control over your data and processes, custom development may be a better option.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your specific needs and requirements. Weigh the options carefully to decide what's best for your organization. And for more information on how to custom set up your business visit our Website or reach out to our experts at


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