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Experience Fast App Development and Customization

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Know the two paths to fast app development.
  • Identify what components come with fast app development.
  • Decide when to configure and when to customize.
  • Imagine new and creative ways to create apps for your business.

Wow, That’s Fast

We design our apps so that customers can do business exactly the way they want. It’s our job to equip them with an infrastructure that can be customized and altered at any time to move as fast as they do.

Multiple studies show that developing with Salesforce is five times faster than traditional application development.

Five times! Behold, the magic of metadata.

Traditionally, if you wanted to build an app, you’d need hardware and software. You’d have to define access and security, setup reports and analytics, and then actually build the app. If you wanted the app to be mobile and social, you’d have to set that up separately.

Building an app with Salesforce is different. There is no installation of hardware and software, and there are standard options for defining security and user access, creating reports, and making the app social and mobile. Metadata allows us to have all of this pre-built in a separate layer for our customers, so all they have to do is add any customizations they may want as icing on the cake.

Components of Our Metadata-Driven Architecture

Our metadata-driven architecture allows our customers to customize Salesforce in two different ways to fit their unique business needs. In each case, metadata is what carries over each customer’s unique customizations and automatically allows every app to deploy to mobile and account for varying currencies and languages.

Point-and-Click Configuration for all

Configuration allows anyone to quickly and easily configure your applications with a point-and-click interface. This means you don’t have to rely on a developer to create the ideal apps for whatever business goals you’ve set. It could be as simple as renaming accounts to coincide with your industry, just like Edgar’s Mission did with their “Animals” tab. 80% of all our user customizations are made through these basic point-and-click configurations.

IT sees the value in point-and-click too. Opening up simple app development to users gives developers more time to work on custom code for more advanced things like user interfaces and business logic. There’s no need for IT to build services like workflow, collaboration, dashboards, or mobile interfaces, or worry about managing its own infrastructure. Salesforce handles the scaling, performance, database configuration, servers, and storage.

Custom Code for developers

Creating custom code is slightly more complicated than configuration. When a company decides it needs advanced functionality, they can have a developer write custom code to achieve it. New features, functionality, and user interfaces help a business achieve exactly what it wants. And it’s entirely cloud-based, so your developer will only have to write it once to run it everywhere.

Another way to tailor your Salesforce experience is to connect your back-office applications with APIs. If you’re a developer, you probably already know what an API is. But for those who are new to programming, API stands for Application Programming Interface, and it’s essentially a bridge between two pieces of software, allowing them to connect to each other and exchange information.

Since we made our metadata openly available through APIs, you can connect Salesforce to anything. That includes any of the thousands of our partner apps in the AppExchange. It’s like building a castle out of Legos. The possibilities are endless.

In the next module, we’ll introduce you to the very important people in our customer success ecosystem, and show you how to get started on your journey toward success.