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We are a Salesforce ISV and have a couple of managed packages. We wanted to install the package into our own customer org to better identify improvements to it. Curious how other ISVs handle this? Managed or unmanaged? I'm confused about licensing since we don't want to pay Salesforce for using our own package so if managed do you talk with Salesforce about this first?

Don't want to do unmanaged because we'd be storing real data in the app so "upgrading" it would be hard.

Related, secondary issue is that the package is an OEM app so to install for our use we'd have to also develop a second package on ISVForce?

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    The problem is that you are OEM, so your SFDC licenses are bundled in your app. I suggest reaching out to your ISV rep. – greenstork Jun 18 '14 at 17:21
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We are an OEM ISV and we have separate environments where we have the managed packages installed directly for QA and demo purposes, which we obviously don't want to pay for. On the first install, they will be in 'trial' mode and you will X days to use them, but then they do expire. What we have done is opened a case with Salesforce and asked for 1 year extensions, which they will grant to you if you explain they are for internal purposes. The only nuisance is that we have to renew the trial each year.

And to answer your other question - yes, we install the managed package for testing. You really need to so you can test any installation scripts and resolve namespace issues.

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In the developer edition org where you make the package, there is a link to install the package directly, without going to the AppExchange. I'm curious why you can't just install the package from the package version link you can find in the packaging developer edition org? There should be no issues there. Just give yourself a site license and don't charge yourself. Or do an order with zero price - they can take as much of a cut as they want from a free license, but it is still zero.

However, your OEM status, as @greenstork says, may not be a secondary issue - it is possibly the primary issue. Talk to your ISV AE.

  • But even with OEM aside, for best practices, do other ISVs install their own packages as managed? Physically doing it is not issue, OEM aside. Do they just coordinate with Salesforce to go around paying for licenses for their app? Though technically can charge $0 that's not in our agreement with SFDC. – user2451 Jun 18 '14 at 18:11
  • As far as I've been able to tell, you can't give yourself your own free OEM edition, but you can install your package in your paid org without charge. You can also install it in any demo org or sandbox for free. You only charge for client licenses and pay your dues from that amount. – sfdcfox Jun 18 '14 at 18:30
  • I used to work at an ISV and we installed our managed package in our business org, sure. The problem here is OEM though, because you can't just give yourself SFDC licenses. – greenstork Jun 18 '14 at 18:36
  • We install our managed packages in multiple orgs for continuous integration, manual testing and demo purposes. There are enough gotchas in the packaging process and differences between working in the packaging org versus working in an org that the package has been installed into to make this a necessary step. I assume that Salesforce would be reasonable about helping you out with Salesforce licenses. – Keith C Jun 18 '14 at 20:33

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