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I am building a plugin for Thunderbird/Outlook. The plugin should be able to:

  • create/update contact in Salesforce
  • view past interaction with a contact

To release it publicly, do I need need to get into any kind partnership with Salesforce?

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No, there is no obligation to become an ISV partner. However, by becoming a partner, you will gain a number of benefits:

  • Free trainings and certifications for you and your employees.
  • Enhanced organizations available for demonstration purposes, such as a full-sized Enterprise Edition, an ISV Developer Edition (much higher storage/usage limits).
  • Ability to be listed publicly on the AppExchange.
  • Ability to have your app "ignore setup limits" in regards to any custom objects, etc (if this is a concern).
  • Possibility of obtaining a Client ID, which would allow your plugin to operate with Professional Edition organizations without the API.
  • The right to display a "salesforce.com partner" logo on your website and products.

Being an ISV has benefits. The only "downside" is that you may be required to pay a portion of your license fees (if any) for each license you sell, but the increased visibility, awareness, and recognition you receive may well be worth the trade-off. You should read the ISV partner rules before pursuing this path to see if you'd like to go that route.

  • could you explain what is "ignore setup limits?". Also, I can see this link, that the API limit is 5000/24h. Will my application be affected by this limit? – Sabya Dec 16 '13 at 6:15
  • @Sabya For example, Enterprise Edition limits you to 200 custom objects. However, "aloha apps" can be installed even when that limit is reached, and those apps do not count towards the 200 object limit (e.g. you create 50, install a package with 100 custom objects, you can still create 150 more custom objects). The API calls/day, as far as I know, are still aggregate, so your application could be limited, but it's rarely a concern in most organizations (average user uses less than 100 calls/day). The 5000/24hr is only for Developer Edition. Each organization gets their own limit. – sfdcfox Dec 16 '13 at 16:03
  • Can you only list a package publicly on the AppExchange if you are a partner? You said you don't need to be a partner to release publicly, but then listed "Ability to be listed publicly on the AppExchange" as a partner benefit. – Neo Jun 8 '15 at 17:51
  • @Neo I apologize for the confusion. You don't need to be an ISV to post a Mozilla extension publicly in the Mozilla Store. That is still public, by definition. You do need to be an ISV to post publicly on the AppExchange, which is the salesforce.com-specific "App Store." This is similar to how other platforms (Android, iOS, Mozilla, Windows) generally work-- you can post whatever want wherever you want, but if you want to use their store, you have to play by their rules. Of course, they can still block you if you abuse resources... – sfdcfox Jun 8 '15 at 18:13

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