Salesforce Native. You’ve probably seen this feature noted in an AppExchange listing or headline. But what does it actually mean, and beyond that, what does it mean if an app is non-native? We’ll dive into both definitions, the gray area for apps that profess to be native but really aren’t, and why a non-native app may be the best choice for your business after all.

Salesforce Native vs. Salesforce Non-Native

A 100% Native Salesforce app is built on the force.com platform and lives in Salesforce completely. Non-Native apps, in contrast, were not built with the Salesforce platform but still have integrations with Salesforce that allow organizations to enhance their use of Salesforce. There are plenty of blog posts that will tell you that Native apps are the only secure and reliable option for Salesforce apps, but this is not the case.

While Native apps may be the best choice some of the time, non-native apps can be just as secure, reliable, and flexible when it comes to integrating with other Salesforce apps, native and not. Many well-known and highly useful apps are non-native. In addition to FormAssembly, that group includes Box, DocuSign, and Conga Composer, to name just a few.

Gray Area

Just because an app says “Native” on the AppExchange doesn’t mean they are 100% native. Sometimes apps that were only partially built on the force.com platform are still marked as native. Because of this, you can’t rely on the “Native” designation alone to tell you whether an app is worth your time.

Why Is It Ideal That FormAssembly Isn’t Salesforce Native?

FormAssembly isn’t Salesforce Native, but we still have the #1 web form solution for Salesforce with an unmatched integration.

Why is it not a big deal that FormAssembly isn’t Native? First let’s look at some common reasons (read: myths) people say Native apps are the best choice. For each of these, we will offer the truth.

Myth: Only Native Apps Can Be Trusted With Your Data Both FormAssembly and Salesforce rely on the same infrastructure provider: Amazon Web Services. So saying that Salesforce is the only secure location for your data is simply untrue. FormAssembly takes security seriously, investing heavily in our people, processes, and software. As an authority on data collection, we cannot afford to skimp on data security.

Myth: Native Apps Are Always More Reliable Native apps may share Salesforce’s uptime, but that doesn’t mean that non-native apps have poor reliability. FormAssembly’s Compliance Cloud plan offers a 99.9% SLA, and we publish any service interruptions on our transparent status page. Additionally, with the same infrastructure provider, both Salesforce and FormAssembly rely on the same infrastructure for uptime.

Myth: All Native Apps Can More Easily Integrate With Other Native Apps With FormAssembly, integration with other AppExchange apps is no problem at all, due to our Web-to-Anything functionality. With our bi-directional Salesforce integration, you can send data to any standard or custom objects—even objects from your favorite AppExchange app.

In addition to these reasons, as an ISV Gold Partner, FormAssembly is devoted to our Salesforce Customer base, and we are continually working to improve the Salesforce integration for you (see a preview of our upcoming Salesforce Connector v. 3).


FormAssembly may not be 100% Native, but we’re 100% perfect for Salesforce users needing a full-featured web form and data collection solution. Download FormAssembly from the AppExchange today.

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