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I am trying to build an App to put on Appexchange. I have been creating some custom objects, triggers, and VisualForce pages, as well as customizations for standard pages (like the "Accounts" page) that I would like to be part of my app.

I have read recently that Saleforce apps are just collections of tabs and custom objects. Is this true? Does this mean that my customizations for the standard objects/pages won't be included in my package?

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You can include page layouts for standard objects as part of your managed package, but they will not automatically take effect upon installation (i.e. the administrator must later go to the appropriate setup page and choose to use your layout). Organizations without the Record Types and Page Layouts feature (Team Edition and Professional Edition without this feature, the default) won't be able to see or choose your layout, and will need to manually recreate those layouts.

You may also include custom fields for standard objects, and they will behave normally. You should avoid using the External ID or Unique Index attribute, as those limits apply against the object across all namespaces and can cause installation failures. However, as above, these fields don't automatically appear on page layouts without some post-installation configuration. Some developers include a post-install configuration page that can make these changes automatically for orgs that have the appropriate API (Metadata API, specifically) to ease the post-installation process.

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