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Salesforce AppExchange revamps user search, discovery

Salesforce updates AppExchange partner marketplace to add more effective search and surfacing of more appropriate results for users, as the app count tops 7,000.

The Salesforce AppExchange relaunched today with a streamlined interface, but the biggest improvements happened under the hood, paving the way for a possible merger of the Salesforce, Slack and Tableau apps marketplaces under one tent.

Salesforce updated search and targeting algorithms pegged to users' Trailblazer IDs to make results more personalized than the previous recommendation algorithms, said Leslie Tom, senior vice president of AppExchange marketing. Improved search results crunch data from the overall Salesforce user base and also factor in past searches, what products a user subscribes to, download history and the user's vertical industry.

"There are so many different apps and so many different integrations," said Liz Miller, an analyst at  Constellation Research. "Getting that refined search is probably the most important thing that they could have done, because that's where people were having a hard time -- getting to the actual app that could connect and finish off what they were hoping to accomplish."

Salesforce now claims more than 10 million downloads, 7,000 different apps and consultant connections in its AppExchange marketplace. More than 90% of Salesforce users have downloaded at least one app, according to Salesforce. In the early days of AppExchange, launched in 2006, the marketplace included mostly extensions and widgets, but now consultant listings, integrations, apps and APIs round out the selection of third-party tools for Salesforce users.

Salesforce AppExchange
Salesforce AppExchange now tailors search results to a user's Trailblazer ID.

Document management and electronic signature apps have been popular downloads for many years on the AppExchange, Tom said, but there's been resurgence with the increase in remote work during the last two years. Along with those, the Salesforce-Zoom integration has also seen a lot of downloads. Finance, HR and ERP users are the most active on AppExchange, followed closely by those in healthcare, according to Salesforce.

Part of the rationale behind the Salesforce AppExchange refresh is to pave the way for an eventual merging of the Tableau Exchange and Slack App Directory with the Salesforce side, Tom said. Salesforce will release a Slack SDK for developers to build Slack integrations, planned for beta this summer and general availability in the Winter 2022 release planned for this fall. That will likely trigger a rush of Salesforce partners to produce a new batch of apps and integrations for the Slack environment.

"It's just our first foray into the modernization of AppExchange," Tom said.

Don Fluckinger covers enterprise content management, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, customer service and enabling technologies for TechTarget.

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