Third-party apps add helpful features to your Salesforce Org that can improve productivity and efficiency. On the other hand, they can also be harmful to your data. Third-party apps are distributed as either a unmanaged or managed package. Installing an unmanaged package in your Salesforce Org puts your data at risk. It can overwrite, and even delete, data stored in Salesforce Objects and Fields.
The flexibility and openness of unmanaged packages make them appear to be the ideal choice of app to install in your Salesforce org. Despite these benefits, unmanaged packages have inherent risks that can create unpleasant situations and hinder the normal business operations.
Before installing an app in your Salesforce Org, make sure you know what type of package it is. There are of two types of packages, or apps, that can be installed in a Salesforce Org, managed and unmanaged. However, it is important to note that Salesforce does not allow unmanaged packages to be part of their AppExchange.
Managed packages have the code hidden, and are used by Salesforce partners to distribute and sell applications to Salesforce customers. Managed packages are licensed, and can be upgraded and automatically updated. They go through a rigorous Salesforce security review process.
Unmanaged packages have the code visible, and can be edited by the Org they are installed in. If a new version is released, you would have to uninstall and reinstall to upgrade, which can be difficult once you have data in your Org.
Key Differences Between Managed and Unmanaged Packages
- Can be automatically upgraded, and fixes can be pushed to your Org as required.
- They are protected so that fundamental business rules and logic cannot be broken, either by accident or maliciously.
- Support namespaces and versioning, so they won’t affect any other packages installed in your Org.
- Managed Packages do not count against your Org limits for tabs and custom objects.
- Have the potential for data loss.
- Can be customized or edited in the organization they are installed in.
- They have to be uninstalled then reinstalled to be upgraded to a new version.
- Count against your Org limits for tabs and custom objects.
Benefits of a Managed Package
A big selling point of unmanaged packages is the attractive cost benefit. However, it’s not advisable to base your decision on pricing alone. Using an unmanaged package could lead to unnecessary costs later down the line.
- Intellectual property protection for Apex.
- Built-in versioning support for API accessible components.
- The ability to branch and patch a previous version.
- Being able to seamlessly push patch updates to subscribers.
- Unique naming of all components to ensure conflict-free installs.
- Customers can find your app in the AppExchange.
- Automatic upgrades are available.
- Salesforce manages payments and licensing.
- Full API access for all Editions.
Commercient SYNC is a Managed Package
Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales, is a Licensed Managed Package, Security Reviewed by Salesforce, and is available on the AppExchange. SYNC seamlessly integrates ERP and Salesforce systems to give businesses a full view of sales and marketing.
Your sales team can access ERP data such as customer information, sales history, invoicing, terms, serial numbers invoiced, inventory, multi ship to addresses, and more, directly in Salesforce.
Commercient has successfully developed SYNC apps for SYSPRO, Sage, Epicor, QuickBooks, VAI, Deltek, Chempax, and many other accounting systems and Salesforce. Our SYNC applications are completely customizable and available for both one-way (ERP to CRM) and two-way (CRM to ERP and ERP to CRM) data integrations.
Don’t Throw Caution to the Wind
Many businesses are in the dark about the potential risks and vulnerability issues that exist in an unmanaged package. It exposes your business to the risk of potential data loss, which can be harmful to your business. Because the source code of unmanaged packages is fully exposed, it represents a significant risk for your provider. It can be copied, edited and distributed in plain text.
Installing unmanaged packages into your Salesforce Org may save you money upfront, but this approach will most likely lead to unsupported and un-upgradeable systems that will eventually become costly to maintain.