Salesforce Developers Guide: How to build Salesforce Apps in AppExchange?

Salesforce Developers Guide: How to build Salesforce Apps in AppExchange?

Are you looking to start building Salesforce apps? You probably have a comprehensive understanding of how Salesforce works and know that there are many things you can do to make the platform better for everyone. If you want to put yourself ahead of the competition, we’ve listed ways on how you can successfully develop Salesforce AppExchange Apps.

Why should you start building Salesforce apps for AppExchange?

The Salesforce AppExchange is the leading enterprise for over 4,600 cloud-computing apps and other ready-to-install solutions. It is a place for Salesforce Partners to build and publish extensions to Salesforce.

Salesforce appexchange statistics

You can drive meaningful business results fast and extend Salesforce from anywhere using Salesforce’s app marketplace. According to Salesforce, more than 88% of Fortune 100 companies use at least one Salesforce App, and 71% of Salesforce customers actively use apps from the AppExchange. It continues to grow by year because apps help companies adapt to the customers’ changing needs.

Apps have become necessary, and customers turn to the Salesforce AppExchange to find the right apps to solve their challenges. So knowing how to build one can empower you to be part of Salesforce’s thriving economy to transform your business exponentially. Salesforce provides low-code app-building solutions, so whether you’re a professional or a beginner, you can wing your first Salesforce app.

How do I list my app on Salesforce AppExchange?

Start by becoming an official Salesforce AppExchange partner because this will enable you to build, sell, and grow your business. Once you are an official partner, you can list your app on the leading marketplace for Salesforce apps and access resources to help you enhance your expertise.

How do I build a Salesforce AppExchange App?

There are six milestones you need to do to build a successful Salesforce app. Here’s a step-by-step on how to make sure your app development will be on track.

Step 1: Be part of the Salesforce Partner Community

The first step you need to do to become a Salesforce AppExchange Partner is joining the Salesforce Partner Community. It’s the community hub for existing AppExchange Partners and those looking to join the AppExchange Partner Program. You can discover resources and collaboration forums, manage your listing and solutions, attend webinars, and learn best practices.

Step 2: Build your Solution

You can start the AppExchange onboarding process even if your development may be well underway or already complete. Whether your solution is in the early or advanced stages of development, you should be clear on the architecture because you will need to provide that information for the AppExchange team to review.

Step 3: Prepare App Documentation

In the App Documentation, you will need to provide listing, pricing information, and insights into your solution’s go-to-market strategy and technology use cases.

The App Documentation process is made up of five key steps:

1. Start Initial AppExchange Listing Process
2. Submit Listing Price Information
3. Complete and submit the Business Plan
4. Enter Compliance Process
5. Solution Documentation Validation

Step 4: Sign a Partnership Agreement with Salesforce

The Partnership Agreement process looks different for every prospective partner and is influenced by technology use case and business go-to-market strategy. The AppExchange team will work with you individually to complete milestone four. You are a formal ISV partner once you have a signed partnership agreement with AppExchange.

Step 5: Complete Security Review

Once your App Documentation and Compliance review have been approved, you are ready to submit your app for Security Review. The Security Review ensures that the solution you publish on the AppExchange meets Salesforce’s strict security requirements and provides the highest level of protection to customer data. This usually takes about four to six weeks when the AppExchange team officially accepts your solution.

Step 6: Design and Publish Your App in AppExchange

Once your solution passes the Security Review, you can now list your app on the AppExchange. It is essential to take the steps necessary to ensure your AppExchange listing is optimized for design and content to drive the highest level of engagement and conversion.

Best practices for building a successful Salesforce app

Like all projects, there are best practices that you can note when you are building a Salesforce app to make sure you will create something that meets what is needed.

Know your goal

Before ideating, identify the purpose of your app and what challenges you are trying to solve. Having a clear sense of your Salesforce app can drive you in the right direction of your entire app development process. Make sure it is unique from what others are already offering.

Sketch, ideate, and research

Now that you know the problem you want to focus on, the next thing you have to do is strategize on how you can solve it. Research other Salesforce apps close to what you want to do and see how they address the same problems as yours. Analyze your market needs and what Salesforce users would like to see in your app. After that, you need to design the app flow, build wireframes, and get feedback.

Find the right tools to build your app

If you’re a beginner, Salesforce provides low-code development tools that can help you build a solid app quickly. The best example would be the Salesforce Platform Mobile, enabling you to rapidly create apps for employees or customers. It has a low-code mobile builder and a rich set of mobile services with drag and drop features.

Build your Salesforce app

Once you’ve found the right tools to build your Salesforce app, you can now start building it. Focus on the ease of use and user experience as you create your app because getting processes correctly and accurately is a vital step.

Test your Salesforce app

Before you launch your Salesforce app, you need to do different testing rounds. Do a small group testing and ask for feedback about functionality and bugs.

Release a free version of your Salesforce app

Businesses would want to know which app is the best before investing money. Having a free or trial version increases your chances of convincing prospects to go for the paid version. Ask for feedback for trial users, as this will help you improve your app further.

Listen to your users and make additional improvements

Constantly improve your app performance, use customer feedback to fuel your development upgrades, and distribute the new version to your users.

What are the tools you need to build a Salesforce Custom app?

The Salesforce Platform enables you to work smarter and not harder by equipping you with modern technology that builds apps faster. You’ll be able to access point-and-click tools for easy app configuration and customization to get your app running as quickly as possible.

For more complex customizations, Salesforce also provides programmatic tools for app development:

  • Apex: Salesforce’s cloud-based programming language is syntactically similar to Java or C#. Apex works with the objects and user actions that are the backbone of apps.
  • Lightning Components: a JavaScript framework for building reusable components. These components can render UI, handle client-side events, and communicate with the Salesforce server. You can use these components to develop and enhance apps. And if they’re too fantastic to keep to yourself, you can sell them on the AppExchange!
  • Visualforce: a tag-based markup language similar to HTML for building UI pages and components. Like Apex, it works with objects and user actions. It also works with third-party libraries like jQuery and AngularJS.

The different types of Salesforce apps that you can build

1. Salesforce Chatbot Apps

Chatbots can help increase the response rate of any business. It can help them answer frequently asked questions of their customers 24/7, which allows their service representatives to focus on the more advanced inquiries.

2. Salesforce Electronic Signature Apps

Make it easier for Salesforce users to sign contracts online securely and conveniently.

3. Salesforce Accounting Apps

Every business needs their accounting processes, so they need Accounting apps to connect seamlessly with their unified business data in Salesforce.

4. Salesforce Customer Onboarding Apps

Today’s market focuses more on brand experience, and you can create better and faster ways for businesses to welcome their new customers.

5. Salesforce Document Generation Apps

Empower businesses to generate and automate rich format documents by using the data found in their Salesforce platform to create PDF or HTML documents. This app gives them access to multiple document templates, creates instant quotations, automates complex reports or schedules, and more.

6. Salesforce Event Management Apps

Make organizing an event much faster with access to a set of tools that can help businesses plan, organize, and manage multiple events. It can automate workflows related to every step of their event organizations, such as attendee registration, schedule, budget and revenue management, and post-event needs.

7. Salesforce Inventory Management Apps

Businesses that sell physical products will need to have their inventory updated to keep track of everything and meet the demands of their customers. This type of app enables them to track different inventory levels and recommend the optimal reorder quantities.

8. Salesforce Project Management Apps

Help business plan and monitor projects from planning up to completion. This will help them ensure that every critical task is accomplished on time, optimize workload for their team, and share essential documents so that critical deadlines are always met.

9. Salesforce Text Messaging Apps

Through this type of app, companies can send messages faster to all their customers, employees, business partners, and leads worldwide via single or bulk SMS/MMS. You can also provide them access to features such as multiple SMS templates, message customization, link building, and more.

10. Salesforce Web Form & Survey Apps

Empower your Salesforce users to create accessible web forms and surveys with user-friendly form builders. Give them control over the level of customization that suits their needs and quickly develops forms such as contact forms, registration forms, application forms, payment forms, and so much more.

How much does it cost to build an app in Salesforce?

You will need to purchase the Salesforce Platform, offered in three different editions: The Platform Starter Edition costs $25 per user. Platform Plus Edition costs $100 per month, and the Platform Unlimited Edition requires you to contact the Salesforce team directly.

How long will my Salesforce app take to be developed?

The length of the development period will always depend on the complexity of the Salesforce app that you will be creating. On average, it can take 4 to 8 months before launching a Salesforce app in the Salesforce AppExchange.


Start building apps today with the Salesforce Platform. With a few clicks, you can start making custom cloud apps now. Once you successfully place your Salesforce app in AppExchange, you can also have your app listed as the featured app and category app leader at CRM Consulting. Please send us a message at to find out more.

Althea Mateo
Thea is an international award-winning Digital Marketer who loves writing about Salesforce and the tech industry.