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Ready to Build an AppExchange App? Here’s How Aptaria’s Development Process Is Different

posted on March 1st, 2022by Andrew Lawlor

build appexchange app

If you are an independent software vendor who has decided to build a Salesforce app, you are probably focused on the final product. You wonder how potential customers will find the app in the AppExchange, how users will interact with it, or how much revenue it will generate.

But ISVs should focus on how their app will be created, as well. A smooth, smart and efficient development process will ensure you get the most out of your investment.

Portions of the Salesforce app development process are similar no matter the developer you work with. But if you choose Aptaria to build your AppExchange app, three important factors make the process different — and better, we believe.

Those factors come down to Salesforce knowledge, thorough testing and agile development.

1. Aptaria’s Salesforce Knowledge

We have been an official Salesforce partner since 2009, and Salesforce is all that we do.

Other development organizations offer Salesforce as one of many potential solutions. We focus on Salesforce integrations, and it makes a difference.

That difference becomes apparent at multiple stages of the development process, such as when we share wireframes and prototypes. During this stage, we present options that will show you exactly how your app could look within the Salesforce UI.

Our expertise shows up as we discuss how your app would function within Salesforce, as well. For instance, we show customers how a Salesforce user (usually a salesperson) would interact with the app.

For apps that pull in data from an ISV’s cloud service, we define the ISV’s data that would be pulled in via API and mashed up with Salesforce data — and explain how it would help users do their job better.

We make sure to consider Salesforce administrators and their needs throughout the process, since they will be the members of your team who will install and maintain the app on an ongoing basis.

Finally, as launch approaches, we leverage our Salesforce experience to help you set up the app’s AppExchange listing for the most effective results. You have options for promotional copy, case studies, installation guides, user manuals, free trials and demos, and more. We make sure you choose the options that maximize visibility and adoption.

2. Aptaria’s Rigorous Testing

There are many aspects of a Salesforce app to test before launch, and many good reasons to conduct each test. But at Aptaria, testing comes down to one important question: Can your app work in the largest Salesforce organizations, the ones that have tens of millions of accounts and tens of millions of contacts?

If the app works there, it will work anywhere.

To accomplish this, we conduct rigorous testing. And we don’t settle for test results that indicate that the app’s performance is “okay.” We make sure your app performs at the highest level, all the time.

The key aspects of our testing include:

  • Performance testing: This ensures the app functions within large enterprises that have millions of rows of data. These tests also make sure that your APIs can handle the webservice callout load required (if applicable).

  • Internal testing of our developers’ code: Our code reviews guarantee your app meets state-of-the-art security and performance standards. In our code reviews, our developers check their colleagues’ work to make sure standards are followed.

    This stage of testing also makes it more likely that your app will pass Salesforce’s app security review process. As we described in a recent post about the characteristics of a good Salesforce development partner, Salesforce has strict security standards. If you enter the security review without having run vital tests, your app could be rejected and your launch date delayed.

  • User-acceptance testing (UAT): In this stage, we give you, the end customer, a chance to review and try out all aspects of the app before it is submitted to Salesforce.

    UAT is the final phase of testing. Customers get to see exactly how the app will function in real-world situations. When an app passes UAT, we feel we have ensured the quality of the entire app, including requirements coverage, security, performance, usability and availability.

3. Aptaria’s Modified Scrum SDLC

Every development project is different, and each one changes as time passes. That’s why Aptaria relies so heavily on our modified scrum software development lifecycle, or SDLC.

We use an Agile software development methodology, usually with two-week sprints, because it allows us to react quickly to customers’ changing needs and changes in their market.

In each sprint, we focus on a manageable portion of work and when the sprint concludes, we evaluate next steps based on what we have accomplished and learned. This iterative process allows both frequent feedback from customers and quick course corrections when needed.

The later sprints also include automated security scans; some are required by Salesforce, while some are not. They all ensure the app has no inherent vulnerabilities and guide final adjustments before launch.

At Aptaria, we’re proud of the process we’ve developed for building AppExchange apps. Our experience with ISVs of varying sizes, with varying goals and requirements, has convinced us that our approach to building Salesforce apps is different and beneficial to our customers.

If you’re curious how we would approach your Salesforce app development project, contact us to set up a consultation.

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Andrew Lawlor is a leading authority and published author on cloud computing and CRM technology. He specializes in helping companies and government agencies fully integrate Salesforce and other cloud-based applications with enterprise software. Since founding Aptaria in 2002, Andrew has led integration and implementation projects for major clients including Citibank, Danone, Colliers International, American Red Cross, and ExxonMobil. Prior to Aptaria, he held IT management positions at Verizon and webMethods. Andrew holds an Electrical Engineering degree with honors from the University of Maryland at College Park and he studied computer science and electrical engineering at Columbia University's Graduate School. He is a Salesforce.com Certified Developer. Andrew lives in McLean, Virginia with his wife, daughter, and son. When not working he enjoys playing and watching basketball and playing poker.