What makes an app native to Salesforce? Believe it or not, many Salesforce users and prospects aren’t fully sure what makes an app truly native. In this article, we’ll uncover how non-native applications can be mistaken for native solutions, the definitive criteria of a native application, and what this difference means for you – the admin, or end user. .
Being Native: Why is there so much confusion?
There’s a lot of confusion in the Salesforce marketplace as to what constitutes a native application. We’ve encountered many prospects who think they are reviewing native Salesforce applications when in fact they aren’t. Why does this happen?
Unfortunately, many software shoppers are misled, or they aren’t fully aware of how native applications work. Just because an application can work with Salesforce, does not mean it’s native. Many of these so-called native applications only have a ‘native connector’ – something VERY different, this means that the application wasn’t built on the Force.com platform, but can only integrate with the Salesforce platform.
How does Integration relate to Native Applications?
Consolidating your business tools on a single platform is more efficient – a major reason why, is because you can avoid complicated integrations to non-native software. While you can integrate a non-native application to the Salesforce CRM, this tends to be riskier than just using native apps; this is because connecting a non-native application to your Salesforce Platform will require one or several integration points to your Salesforce solution, just to allow the two systems to communicate. We refer to this as multi-platform integration.
This traditional integration requires intensive design, development, and maintenance. The structure and use of master data involved in this integration may lead to duplicate data in the process, and often forces users to reconcile the information for accuracy. A multi-platform integration also requires learning a separate Application Programming Interface (API) to make it work.
Integrating a fully native Salesforce application doesn’t require a complex integration to establish connectivity. Instead, Salesforce’s structure enables native software to be linked automatically. Native Salesforce applications share a common object model. These common objects enable smoother information sharing between native apps because the common data is not replicated. This differs from a multi-platform integration which shares data bi-directionally between solutions, which can duplicate the data in the process. Luckily, common objects don’t need to duplicate data, ensuring system-wide accuracy.
What is a Native Salesforce Application?
Here are the core qualities that define a native application:
- Built on the Force.com
Being built on the Force.com establishes the software structure which allows other Salesforce solutions to connect readily with the app.
- Is 100% coded on Salesforce
If the application is not coded in Apex and Visualforce or doesn’t make use of Lightning web components, it’s probably not native.
- Uses 100% Salesforce objects, either standard or custom objects
Naturally, a native application will use Salesforce objects in order to work with the other applications you’re using on the platform. If not, then it’s pretty much a siloed application.
- Has no other proprietary API
The API is crucial – this is how your Salesforce applications will transfer data and initiate processes. An application with a proprietary API won’t let you use all of Salesforce’s development tools. Bear in mind that many native apps will extend the Salesforce API, but this doesn’t count as proprietary API.
5 Characteristics of Native Applications
Not sure if an application is native to Salesforce? Here are 5 ways you can tell.
- Can the application be run without Salesforce?
If the answer is yes, then the app is not native.
- Is your application built out of any code other than Visualforce, Apex, or Lightening web components?
If the answer is yes, then it’s probably not native.
- Do you have a proprietary API?
If the answer is yes, then it is probably not native or may be native but restricted in its use and your ability to integrate.
- Can I use the Salesforce data loader or import tool with the app?
If the answer is no, then it is probably not native.
- How many screens have you over-ridden with Visualforce?
If the answer is the majority or many, then it could be a native app but difficult to integrate with.
Summary: The Benefits of Using Native Applications
Going native is everything when it comes to achieving a seamless, cohesive business process on a single platform. Besides avoiding hidden costs like integration maintenance, you get more value out of your Salesforce stack. Using native applications provides you with a single user interface, data model, and security model for your entire organization. This also plays a major role in the data integrity vital for all your work from operations to accounting.
A single-platform integration possible through Salesforce architectural design allows data to move fluidly and without disruption. You avoid integration pitfalls altogether. When considering a tool as critical as accounting software, this becomes vital. Transactions, orders, and leads generated in your other apps need to be consistent and connect seamlessly into the native accounting application for accurate financial management. Instead of worrying about connection reliability and duplicate data, native applications let you prioritize customizing and automating your Salesforce system.
About Accounting Seed
At Accounting Seed, we leverage our native connection to streamline your financial workflow while giving you full visibility of your quote-to-cash process. Be sure to check out our blog for great resources on accounting, technology, and other trending topics. And of course, feel free to reach out to us with questions or to try a free demo!