Enterprise

Salesforce’s Private AppExchange can build custom app stores

Above: Salesforce announced a private version of its AppExchange store Thursday morning

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Since Salesforce’s AppExchange store launched seven years ago, it’s racked up more than 2,000 apps and two million installs across enterprises.

Salesforce now has a private version called the Private AppExchange, enabling managers to create custom storefronts filled with work-related apps for their employees. Administrators can add any web, mobile, or desktop app to their custom marketplace, which should (in theory) make employees more productive — or at least discourage them from downloading Angry Birds.

“Customers are extremely hungry to get their hands on this and get it up and running,” Sara Varni, the senior director of product marketing at Salesforce, told VentureBeat. “I just heard from one midsized enterprise who was about to build this themselves but decided to hold off when they heard about the Private AppExchange.”

The Private AppExchange integrates with the recently announced Salesforce Identity, so you can set custom permissions based an employee’s department or function. Additionally, you can enable Chatter integration to facilitate discussions about an application right on its page, which also features slots for screenshots and embedded videos.

The default frontend looks identical to Salesforce’s public AppExchange, though you can tweak the design with custom branding and banners. There’s a dashboard for AppExchange administrators that provides an overview of everything that’s going on inside your store, from number or requests and installs to the number of page views and published apps.

The Private AppExchange, which has been in the works for about three months, will be available tomorrow as part of Salesforce’s enterprise edition platform. For organizations without an existing Salesforce relationship, the Private AppExchange costs $5 per user monthly.

Salesforce didn’t operate a formal beta program for the Private AppExchange, but it did consult with a few dozen customers — specifically those with large app departments — during development to make sure the product addressed their needs.

“We’re thrilled to see this product go live,” said Varni. “I think we’ve really empowered the [chief information officer].”

In a February report, Gartner predicted that 25 percent of enterprises will have their own app stores by 2017. Salesforce’s Private AppExchange competes with similar offerings from a few rival vendors, like Snaplogic and BMC’s Appzone.


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