Giving back to the community with open-source tools
We talk about our free tools and packages for Salesforce, and moving them to open-source
At Appitek we have a bunch of free tools and packages that we’ve build for Salesforce. There’s the Automation Search tool that let’s you search for keywords across all of your automation, the Automation Manager that let’s you export your flows and processes, GraphSQL which adds GraphQL query support to the Salesforce REST API, and the latest addition — the Pardot Field Manager, which lets you create and manage custom fields in Pardot.
Early on we decided that one of the things we wanted to do at Appitek was give back the Salesforce Community which had helped us so much during our time in consulting. Tools like the Declarative Rollup Summary or the Salesforce Toolkit were both big inspiration to us of the sort of things that are really useful in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Making free tools, free forever
As we started building some of our free tools we agreed early on that they’d be free tools for as long as Appitek is around. For us this is a no-brainer — there’s nothing worse than using something that’s making your life easier to turn around one day and be hit by a paywall out of nowhere.
But although we can say this, this is literally just our word, so we wanted to take this a step further and take all our free tools and make them open source. That way they can remain available to everyone regardless what may or may not change at Appitek.
Publishing our source-code
We’d been thinking about this for a while but we actually got the push from someone at Salesforce working in the public sector, who loved some of the free tools but just couldn’t use them for his clients due to the security restrictions. To solve this we suggested that we could package up the code to run inside Salesforce, or make the code open source!
To get the ball rolling, we’ve published the source code to the Automation Manager, Automation Search, and GraphSQL. We’re currently just cleaning up the new Pardot Field Manager and that will be uploaded too.
Our hope is that not only will this lead to a community-led approach to the tools we build at Appitek, but also inspire developers with ideas for their own tools based on what we’ve built.
Running our tools on-platform
As mentioned before, we also considered packaging up the web tools so that they could run on-platform. Not only would this mean security for those not willing to authenticate a web app, but it means our apps can skip authentication and get straight to helping make an admin’s life easier.
GraphSQL was already a released package, so we started working on the rest, and have released both the Automation Manager and Automation Search as packages you can install straight into Salesforce instead of using them on our website.
While they are both still undergoing a security review, they can both still be downloaded and used without an issue.
What would you like to see?
We’re always working on new ideas for free tools for Salesforce and Pardot, but we’d love to hear what problems you have day-to-day as an admin or developer.
If you have feedback for one of our tools, or an idea for a new free tool that would make your life easier, we’d love to hear it — drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Appitek, our aim is to help make your job easier, by creating simple but effective Salesforce applications that make you more efficient at what you do.
Appitek is a registered Salesforce ISV partner.
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