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Salesforce takes on the enterprise app store

11/12/2014 by


Salesforce's AppExchange Store Builder hopes to do for business what the Apple App Store (and Google Play) have done for consumers

Salesforce today introduces AppExchange Store Builder, which lets any customer set up a curated storefront of their most favorite (or most required-by-business) enterprise apps -- with Salesforce's own analytics under the hood and its identity infrastructure gluing the whole thing together.

As every company becomes a technology company -- or "app company," as Salesforce puts it -- Store Builder will make it easier to connect users in just a few clicks to the cloud-based tools changing the face of business. It's included in a customer's existing Salesforce subscription and available today.

"Building apps is only one half of being successful," said Jim Sinai, Salesforce senior director of AppExchange and platform.

This isn't the first time enterprise app stores have been tried. Good Technology, Apperian, BMC and several other vendors have taken a shot at the market. And while they've certainly found a niche, no enterprise app store has yet risen to do for business what the Apple App Store or Google Play have done for the consumer.

Because of this, so many business apps are still downloaded and managed through a user's iTunes or Google account. That's not so good for any enterprise that wants to maintain a level of control over app deployment and centralization, Sinai said, and it's especially not good in today's multi-platform, mobile/tablet/desktop/smart toaster world. 

"It doesn't make sense to put [enterprise apps] in a place where consumers are buying apps," Sinai said. 

Enter AppExchange Store Builder, based on Salesforce's own AppExchange app store, which lets customers of the company's flagship Salesforce1 platform distribute and manage web, desktop and mobile applications in a fully-branded, customized experience. Sinai boasts that setup is simple. Salesforce's own logo falls to the side. Administrators can control what gets rolled out to whom. And with Salesforce's own metrics and analytics engine, users can see what's getting downloaded and by whom.

It's all tied to a user's Salesforce identity, letting users download their apps across iOS, Windows, OS X or Android with one password and minimal friction.

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