The key for turning an idea into reality lies in its execution. From having the inception of an idea to getting it implemented as an application and into the hands of users is an exciting journey, and is one that constantly develops and evolves between you and your users. One of the great things about developing on Force.com is the support you get from the platform beyond the core engineering phase of the production process.
In this first chapter, we will use the declarative aspects of the platform to quickly build an initial version of an application that we will use throughout this book, which will give you an opportunity to get some hands-on experience with some of the packaging and installation features that are needed to release applications to subscribers. We will also take a look at the facilities available to publish your application through Salesforce AppExchange (equivalent to the Apple App Store) and finally provide end user support.
We will then use this application as a basis for incrementally releasing new versions of the application throughout the chapters of this book to build our understanding of Enterprise Application Development. The following topics outline what we will achieve in this chapter:
Introducing the book's sample application
Package types and benefits
Creating your first managed package
Package dependencies and uploading
Introduction to AppExchange and creating listings
Installing and testing your package
Becoming a Salesforce partner and its benefits
Supporting your application
Trialforce and Test Drive