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Based on this article and most of the other threads I've seen, is it safe to say that is essentially dead? Is there an alternative to bringing an outside app into Salesforce that doesn't have a package?

Most of the solutions I've seen say to use a custom link or button to jump off SFDC and open the app in a new window.

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    If the outside app in question is under your control, you could set it up to work in iframes in salesforce by setting the X-Frame-Options header on responses.
    – martin
    Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 0:56
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    You can still use apex:iframe... if your target app allows it. Most web sites do not allow framing for security reasons, but it's not apex:iframe's fault.
    – sfdcfox
    Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 1:03
  • @martin so something along the lines of X-Frame-Options: ALLOW-FROM na#.salesforce.com ?
    – Matt
    Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 3:43
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    @Matt actually, I don't think it's possible to use wildcards in the ALLOW-FROM uri. link, but otherwise, if you want to restrict your page to only be able to be framed on salesforce, then yes, an X-Frame-Options: ALLOW-FROM header is what you would want.
    – martin
    Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 3:59
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    Although the canvas app idea below isn't bad either. Leave off the X-Frame-Options header to allow the page to be framed anywhere, but only provide the real content if the signed request passes. I kind of depends on what you are trying to accomplish.
    – martin
    Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 4:05

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Have you looked into salesforce Canvas application .Canvas offers a secure way of bringing a third party web application into the platform .Its secure since you go through a Signed Request Verification or use oauth 2.0 to securely access salesforce REST API .If you do not need to access salesforce at all then you can simply decode the Signed Request to render the app inside salesforce

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