Mastering Salesforce Packages: Managed vs. Unmanaged

Salesforce packages simplify application development, deployment, and distribution in the Salesforce ecosystem. This blog explores Salesforce packages, their significance for administrators, developers, and users. We'll cover what packages are, the difference between managed and unmanaged packages, and provide a concise, image-guided implementation guide.

What Are Salesforce Packages?

Salesforce packages bundle and distribute metadata like custom objects, fields, and reports for easy installation in other Salesforce organizations. They support modular development and widespread distribution.

Managed Packages vs. Unmanaged Packages

Before we delve into the step-by-step implementation of packages, let's understand the key differences between managed and unmanaged packages.

Managed Packages:

  1. Ownership: Managed packages are owned and maintained by a Salesforce ISV (Independent Software Vendor) or a developer. The ISV controls the package's development, updates, and distribution.
  2. Component Protection: Components within a managed package are protected, which means that the ISV can control which components can be customized or modified by the package's users.
  3. Upgradeability: Managed packages allow for seamless upgrades. When a new version of a managed package is released, subscribers can easily upgrade to the latest version without losing data or customizations.
  4. License Management: ISVs can enforce licenses, limiting access to users who have purchased or been granted licenses for the managed package.
  5. Namespace Prefix: Managed packages have a namespace prefix, which prevents naming conflicts between components in the package and those in the subscriber's org.

Unmanaged Packages:

  1. Ownership: Unmanaged packages are typically created and distributed by administrators or developers within the same Salesforce organization. There is no central ownership or control.
  2. Component Protection: Components within unmanaged packages can be customized or modified freely in the subscriber's org, making them less secure in terms of preventing unwanted changes.
  3. Upgradeability: Unmanaged packages do not offer automatic upgrades. Subscribers need to manually track and apply updates.
  4. License Management: Unmanaged packages do not provide license management features.
  5. Namespace Prefix: Unmanaged packages do not have a namespace prefix, which can potentially lead to naming conflicts.

Step-by-Step Implementation of Salesforce Packages

Now that we've covered the basics, let's walk through the process of implementing packages in Salesforce. We'll use images to guide you through each step.

Step 1: Accessing Packages in Setup

To get started, log in to your Salesforce account and navigate to the Setup menu. In the Quick Find box, type "Packages" and select the "Packages" option that appears in the search results.

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Step 2: Create a New Package

Click the "New" button to create a new package. You'll need to provide essential details like the package name, description, and namespace (for managed packages).

Step 3: Adding Components

Now, it's time to add components to your package. You can select custom objects, fields, Apex classes, and more. Choose the components that best suit your project requirements.

Step 4: Specifying Package Details

Specify additional package details, such as the package version, release notes, and any required licenses.

Step 5: Uploading Package

Once you've configured your package, click the "Upload" button to create and upload the package to Salesforce.

Step 6: Distributing the Package

Your package is now created and ready to be distributed. You can share it with other Salesforce organizations or users for installation using Installation URL.

Step 7: Sharing the Package

After your package is created and uploaded, Salesforce will generate a unique link for it. This link can be shared with other Salesforce organizations or users who need to install the package.

Step 8: Installing the Package

Recipients of the package link should click on it to begin the installation process. They will be directed to a page where they need to enter their target Salesforce org credentials.

Step 9: Choose Installation Permissions

During the installation process, users will be prompted to choose the installation permissions for the package:

  • Admin: Selecting this option grants full administrative privileges for managing and customizing the package components within the org.
  • All Users: Choosing this option allows all users in the org to access and use the package components, subject to the permissions defined by the package creator.
  • Custom: In some cases, you may have custom permission settings defined by the package creator. Users can select this option to apply those specific permissions.

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Step 10: Complete the Installation

Once the installation permissions are selected, users should review the package details and confirm the installation. After confirmation, Salesforce will begin the installation process.


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