The world's biggest search engines understand that results they list are not created equal, so they write crazy smart algorithms that rank what makes page one/position one and so on. What's more, many of them look at the things their users care about and add filters to help find what they really want. On the AppExchange, one filter you shouldn’t ignore lies in the seemingly innocuous category of "other." But don't be fooled, "other's" third option may be the most important consideration you'll make when choosing a new app — it reads "native." Put simply, a native app offers benefits that non-native apps can't.
Of the 3,573 apps on AppExchange, only 13 percent are listed as native, so what makes them so special?
Example: native app vs non-native app document generation
Your team already connects to the Salesforce cloud every day. At some point, in the course of their work, they will click on a button within the app to do something, like creating a document. In the case of a native app, like S-Docs, the creation of the document happens within that same cloud and is delivered back to the user.
With a native app, to complete a task your data never leaves the Salesforce cloud to connect with a third-party cloud. All of your information and interactions happen within the Salesforce cloud.
A non-native app requires the Salesforce cloud to share the information with a third party server/cloud to generate the document, and then send it back to the salesforce cloud — meaning your data has left the secure environment of the Salesforce cloud.
5 Reasons to always choose the Native App
- Security: Because your information never leaves the Salesforce cloud, a native app is much easier for the IT department to approve — because Salesforce has addressed all the security concerns. This also means apps like S-Docs are already compliant with regulatory requirements like GDPR, data residency, HIPPA and more. And, because the app operates in Salesforce, users enjoy the same uptime, performance and reliability as Salesforce.
- Speed: Because there’s no communication between clouds, an app function like document generation happens nearly instantaneously.
- Ease: Because of how they are built, many native apps are simpler to use than non-native apps. For example, the S-Docs app was purpose-built for Salesforce, meaning it has the same look, feel, button icons and general user experience as Salesforce itself — making team training and use a breeze for everyday users.
- Cost: Because a native app and its functions live in the Salesforce cloud, there are no added infrastructure costs passed on to the customer, since they are already included in your Salesforce subscription.
- Update proof: We know Salesforce will make version updates. A non-native app would need to look at the update and make updates to reconfigure where required. Since the changes Salesforce makes must work with the Salesforce stack, users of native apps won't need to wait for a compatible version — it will already work.
Native apps sound great, right? They are, but we do offer a word of caution. Some apps that say they are native may be stretching the truth. Some apps touting themselves as native really just have a native user-experience (ie: an iFrame in Salesforce) and are built on external servers - a true native app is built on the force.com platform. That’s where it becomes essential to read specs and reviews to get a firm understanding of the app’s native functionality. Do your research and ask the right questions to ensure you're getting a true native app.
Just like major search engines, the AppExchange knows that not all apps are created equal; hence the all-important filtering functions they offer. When you’re searching for a new app on the AppExchange, consider filtering your search down, so only the native apps appear in the results — these are the only apps that can fulfill the benefits listed above.