The Salesforce AppExchange is a very important resource for enhancing and customizing the functionality and usability of your Salesforce org. This includes things like simplifying the process of signing documents, streamlining permission management, improving the health of your data, and many other processes.
Think of the AppExchange like the Apple Store but for extensible tools built on the Salesforce platform. Instead of adding apps to your phone to organize your life or tell you how to avoid traffic jams, you add apps to your Salesforce org to gain efficiencies and address business needs within your own environment. Some apps are free; while some are paid per user, others are paid annually based on volume. Regardless of the pricing model, they all allow you to do something that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars if you had to build it from scratch yourself. There are even apps to allow you to connect your disparate data sources and bring them together in Salesforce.
Native apps are the ones that are built and hosted inside Salesforce using the Lightning Platform. A native app resides within Salesforce and doesn’t need a separate integration with Salesforce. With native apps, all of your app data is also securely stored in Salesforce.
An app built outside of Salesforce and integrating with Salesforce using the Salesforce API is a Non-native App. The app will be hosted outside the Salesforce platform and also data might be stored outside the Salesforce servers.
Monitored, updated, and “managed” by the initial Developer via periodic releases. They might be paid or free app - typically paid because this is a huge source of business for the product company.
Editable code within a base package can be customized but may or may not be updated by the Developer after the initial install. May be paid or free apps, more often free.
The AppExchange is such a great resource, but with all that it has to offer it can often times get a little overwhelming. That is where collections come in handy. Over the years, Salesforce has built up collections for different industries and product types. Whether you are looking for an app for Sales Cloud, Service Cloud or Marketing Cloud, Salesforce has made extremely easy to find exactly the app that will fit your needs.
If you're looking more industry specific, Salesforce has created collections for Real Estate, Government, Manufacturing and much more. This will give you a great starting point if you are looking to find the most popular and most used apps amongst your industry peers.
The Salesforce AppExchange is full of important contributors, solving business challenges in all areas, including sales, marketing, operations, and technical development. No one person or organization has the capability to solve all those challenges themselves so the AppExchange provides the customer the ability to leverage the power of thousands of developers across the ecosystem.