Before we jump into the details of native and integrated solutions, let’s first align what is what.
Native Salesforce Application is built 100% on and within Salesforce (Force.com) platform using Salesforce objects, fields, and other metadata.
Integrated Solution is built outside the Salesforce platform and must be integrated with Salesforce through API or other connectors.
Now that we are aligned, let’s have a closer look at where the difference lies, and why you need to care.
Ease of maintenance
Salesforce native solution implies that all the setup and maintenance lives in one system - Salesforce. With an integrated solution, you have to manage both. This means setup is usually more complicated, troubleshooting issues is a nightmare, you never know for sure where the problem lies, and change management requires more effort. So in the long run, you might spend more time maintaining an integrated app rather than actually using it.
If we look at the difference from a user perspective, we might see a huge impact on Salesforce adoption. A native solution implies that users stay within the Salesforce interface, whereas an integrated solution takes users away from it. Integrated solutions more often than not have their own interface and database, which means users will have to go back and forth between their Salesforce org and a tool, likely ignoring one or the other to simplify their lives (and it is usually the Salesforce org that is being ignored).
We have explained in more detail how Maven Documents being a Salesforce native tool increases your Salesforce adoption in this article, so you might want to give it a read.
When you introduce a new tool to your technology stack, you can face a lot of resistance from your team - who loves change, right?
And when you bring an integrated solution to the table you make users’ pain even worse. With a native Salesforce solution, you will not have to invest in onboarding as much since the look and feel of the tool will not be that different from Salesforce.
And as you might know, happy users – a successful business.
Data quality and security
This might be the most crucial point of all. When you are using an integrated tool, your data is processed and stored on potentially vulnerable external servers which do not guarantee the security of your data. Native tools do not take your data anywhere, thus the tool adheres to the strictest Salesforce security policies in place.
In addition, when the data is coming back to Salesforce through API from an integrated solution, it always implies some delay, which can be crucial if live data is key for your business. With a native solution, whatever you are doing in the Salesforce org, you will always have real-time data, so you do not have to constantly press refresh to make sure you are not missing out on some important metrics.
Given the discussion above, we do believe that when choosing a solution to extend Salesforce capabilities for your business, it is better to choose Salesforce native tools.
Maven Documents is one of those, so if you need a document generation tool that can turn your Salesforce data into beautifully designed documents, make sure to try it out for free.