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Salesforce app development: what to expect post-launch

By: Rob Jordan

You’ve just spent months on a Salesforce app development project. You’ve gone through multiple sprints and testing phases. Now it’s time to launch the Salesforce app and make it available for the whole community.

But the job’s not done yet. Once a Salesforce application is complete, you will engage in post launch and maintenance.

What is important to note is that they are two very separate experiences.  

Post launch is the interim time between the final publishing of the application and the eventual maintenance of the app. Maintenance is generally focused around client concerns and questions. What’s key to note here is that post-launch will have a greater financial impact (or to put it simply, you’ll spend more money during the post launch phase, so be prepared).

Below is a more descriptive explanation of each experience to help you better prepare and set organizational expectations during these times.


Post launch

Post launch is primarily concerned with bug reconciliation that is typically related to the multitude of integrations that can occur after the product has been released. Although there are a number of the deployment combinations, there are usually some “Standard Outliers” that have not been predicted within the initial testing process (i.e. Integration Bugs).

It is during the post launch experience that these “Standard Outliers” are recognized and resolved.

Bugs vary in all shapes and sizes. It is a misnomer to say that if a product has a “bug” it is not performing to specifications. To learn more about the variations of bugs we recommend you read this short post.

Ultimately, what is important to understand is that post launch averages about 5-10% of your initial development costs per month. For example, if your initial development costs are $100,000 you can expect roughly $5,000- $10,000 per month in expenses.

This post launch experience usually takes between 2-4 months. The chart below shows the post launch expense curve that is typical of an application deployment.

Salesforce app development costs: time vs. costs


Salesforce app maintenance

After post launch the experience moves to more of a maintenance posture. As a result, the support costs decrease noticeably.

During the maintenance experience, the expenses do not exceed a maximum of 5% of the initial development cost per month. The primary reason for this is the deployment experience shifts to more of a predictable maintenance engagement.

Most issues are related to user error or slight adjustments that may augment some of the existing feature sets, but for the most part “curveballs” are much less frequent. This experience will stay stable until the next release which usually adds features set or significantly augments existing features.

The result is a brief experience of post launch and then a return to the maintenance trend that was experienced in the initial launch.


The cost of launching a Salesforce app

The cost of the post launch is one reason why releases must be paced. Monthly releases are cost prohibitive (due to the post launch bump), and it is recommended that a new release is planned for at a maximum of twice a year, especially for new applications ramping up.

It is important to note that there are a multitude of labor types: Code, Administration, User Training...they all require a specific touch and a different skill set to address.

Initially, it will be difficult to segment the labor. This is largely due to the fact that it is difficult to diagnose where the issue resides.

As the product matures it becomes simpler to designate labor but that typically does not happen until the second release (at a minimum). Until that time you usually are paying for a one size fits all consultant. To learn more about how case management can be executed within a Salesforce app deployment we recommend the following post.  


Ready to discuss Salesforce app development?

We have over a decade of experience in the Salesforce ecosystem and multiple apps developed. If you have an idea for a Salesforce app development project, our team of experienced Salesforce app developers are ready to get to work for you.


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