Never underestimate the importance of being 100% built on the Force.com platform. Only by being truly native can an app guarantee:
Native apps are installed directly into your instance of Salesforce, giving you full access and control, blocking any exterior threats from viewing or altering your data.
On the contrary, a non-native app accesses your instance of Salesforce through an ‘API’ pushing and pulling your data in and out of your CRM system; giving you no control over where it goes or who has access to it. To make matters worse, an external system needs to store the username and password that it requires to access your system via the API. Exactly where and how securely it stores these credentials is also out of your control.
Not exactly comforting, is it?
A well written native app takes on the same style guide as the Salesforce user interface. Consequently, the app feels like a natural extension of the CRM system for users. Users are often unaware that the additional functionality is not a core part of the Salesforce system and as a result require little additional training.
The reverse is usually true for non-native apps. These apps are built to connect with multiple CRM systems and as a result do not take on the look-and-feel of any specific one. They are not dedicated to delivering success on Salesforce alone.
The speed at which the app runs (often referred to as Page Response Time) is a critical factor in achieving a positive user experience. Having to wait for the browser to re-load a page after performing a simple action, such as updating a record, will very quickly irritate users and reduce their productivity.
Native apps do not tend to negatively impact performance as they are run and managed by the powerful Salesforce platform, right along with the standard CRM functionality.
Non-native apps, however, pull and push your data onto an external platform, which introduces network latency issues and offer no guarantee that the external system executing the app’s logic is as powerful as the Salesforce platform.
Salesforce continue to invest heavily in ‘trust’, with a dedicated website that provides complete transparency into service availability and performance. Apps built on the Salesforce platform inherit the benefits of this investment, enjoying an uptime that supports the label of “always on”.
Further to this, the Salesforce platform is compliant with stringent data processing regulations; yet another benefit readily inherited by native apps.
Apps that are external to the Salesforce platform are highly likely to be built on infrastructure that does not have this same level of investment. As a result, they are exposed to potential outages and performance degradation that means application functionality is at best slow or at worst unavailable for long periods of time.
A native app will respect and preserve the Salesforce security model. Users will only have access to the data and functionality they have been given permission to see through the standard Salesforce security model.
External apps bypass this security model and bring data into their own systems outside of the reach of Salesforce. This requires additional data visibility rules and functional access models to be replicated.
Native apps retain the same customisation and extension model as standard Salesforce. If a new field is required or new logic is needed then the Salesforce Admin is able to operate within their comfort zone of existing configuration knowledge.
Not so for external apps, where there is a whole new administration system to learn. Many non-native apps fall by the wayside because in the months that pass after the initial implementation, nobody can recall how to administer the system. The result? The app gets neglected, falls out of use and is eventually discarded.
Salesforce deliver an automated installation process for Native apps that is extremely simple to use. A native app can be easily deployed by a Salesforce Admin, with often only minimal post-install steps to follow.
This means native apps can be up and running within minutes, rather than days or weeks; allowing business users to focus on driving value from the app rather than worrying about technical installation details.
Running exclusively on Salesforce, native apps like CloudApps ensure the highest levels of security, performance and ease-of-use.