Salesforce Unmanaged Vs Managed Packages In AppExchange

Unmanaged Vs Managed Packages In AppExchange: Which one to choose

January 20, 2023 | visibility 276 views

Deploying third-party applications or tools to your business’ Salesforce org can be speculative. When Salesforce claims that it provides top-notch security for all the data entered and stored in its CRM, some insecure applications can create an exception.

But when these apps are reviewed and approved by the Security Review team of Salesforce, they can take your data management practice from above the ground.

Apps available on Salesforce AppExchange contain helpful features that let you elevate the level of efficiency and productivity of your teams working across departments. More than 80% of top Salesforce customers currently use at least one of the available applications from AppExchange.

Not to mention, these apps are transforming ideas into incredibly innovative products. Salesforce has distributed these third-party apps into two categories, i.e., Unmanaged and Managed packages. Now the question is which one you can choose.

To ascertain which package is better for you, let’s begin with knowing more about packages and then have a face-off based on different parameters.

If you are a product manager who is all set to drive growth, you will discover when you can use a particular package to move towards progress.

AppExchange Listing

What are Packages in Salesforce?

Packages in Salesforce are a collection of codes, components, objects, fields, automation, analytical layouts and other resources that fulfills different needs of businesses.

You can create packages comprising metadata and distribute them to your organization as well as other Salesforce users through Salesforce AppExchange portal or installation link. In addition, you can upload and install packages in different Salesforce editions such as Group, Professional, Enterprise, Developer, Performance, and Unlimited, if the package is supporting that particular edition.

Salesforce has two types of Packages: Unmanaged and Managed Packages. Both of them have their specific features and usage.

Before we jump on their description, let’s get familiar with these two terms:

Unmanaged and Managed Packages


A component can be a custom object or field, considered part of a package. A fusion of different components can produce a power-packed feature or application. In the managed package, users are limited to upgrading some packages. While in unmanaged packages, components cannot be upgraded.


An Attribute is a field on a component, for example, Allow Reports checkbox on a custom object, or it could be the name of an email template. Even when you have a non-upgradable component in an unmanaged or managed package, both the developer (the creator of the package) and the user/subscriber (the one who installed the package) can edit the attributes.
In the case of the upgradable component in managed package, there are some attributes that a developer can edit; some are editable by the subscriber, whereas some are locked, meaning neither developer or user can make any changes to it.

What are Unmanaged and Managed Packages in Salesforce?

Unmanaged Packages

Unmanaged Packages in Salesforce help define the open-source application templates that subscribers can modify after installing them into their organization. Components become editable in the organization once installed from an unmanaged package. However, the developer who created the unmanaged package has no control over the installed components and cannot make changes or upgradation to it.

Unmanaged packages are free, provide code visibility and let you transport unrelated components from an existing org to another org. However, once a new version is released, it cannot be upgraded, and you may have to reinstall it in the new organization.

Instead of unmanaged packages, one should use Change Set to shift components from a sandbox to a production organization.

Managed Packages

Managed Packages in Salesforce are used mainly by Salesforce partners for selling and distributing applications to customers. These packages are created by an organization having Developer Edition of Salesforce. Developers can trade and manage user-based licenses to the app with License Management Application (LMA) and the AppExchange platform.

Managed packages are designed to bind the configuration elements and code in one entity. It could be a logical functional module, reusable code libraries, or entire sub-systems comprising features of a business channel. These packages are entirely upgradable. Still, some constraints exist, such as some objects or fields that can not be removed.

Further, Managed packages got three states which are:

  • Beta (an early version of the managed package for testing apps);
  • Released (Here in the package is launched on Salesforce AppExchange and available for everyone)
  • Installed (it signifies that a package is installed from another Salesforce org, but it is managed)

When a managed package gets listed on AppExchange, it becomes accessible for all the end-users, and they can install it for catering for any purpose in their Salesforce org. Here are 6 tips to make your salesforce appexchange listing standout to help you in grabbing the attention of more customers.

The AppExchange packages have strong safeguards against interfering with a company’s customizations or other managed packages, ensuring reliable encapsulation and security. Managed package-defined dependencies also allow for one managed package to be extended by another.

Salesforce approved Managed packages carries some of the advantages which are:

  • Integrated versioning support in all API-accessible components.
  • Users can branch or patch the old version of the app.
  • Components automatically provide Intellectual property protection.
  • Keep your users informed with patch updates.
  • Different names can be given to components to prevent confusion during app installation.

Variants of Managed Packages

Salesforce provide two variants in managed packages i.e. First Generation Packaging (1GP) and Second Generation Packaging (2GP).

In 1GP, you can only own one managed package. The package versioning will only be linear. In this variant, A packaging org is the definitive source for the metadata in your package. This means that your organization has control over what you include in your package.

In 2GP, you have the opportunity to create multiple packages in one org and authority to pick which metadata you want to include in a specific package through SFDX. Here, the Version Control system helps metadata in your package becoming a reliable source. Also, it lets you choose which metadata to include in your package.

Salesforce Unmanaged Vs Managed Packages in AppExchange

Well, after this resourceful discussion, check out what is the difference between Salesforce unmanaged vs managed packages in AppExchange on different parameters:

salesforce unmanaged vs managed packages

1. Customization

Unmanaged packages let you customize their metadata and code. Still, Managed packages restrict you from changing or viewing code or metadata such as triggers, apex class, lightning component, VF page, etc.

2. Installation Source

Unmanaged packages are cataloged and catered to other businesses by the production organization through package ids or links. On the contrary, Managed packages are readily available on AppExchange, or users can get them via an install link.

3. Upgrade

For Unmanaged packages, users must uninstall the previous version of their org and re-install the new version from AppExchange. If the managed package is free, then Push upgrade option is not available for the provider. Contrarily, if it is paid, then, Salesforce enables Push upgrades for businesses and let them avail benefits of updates coming all the way.

4. Secure

Unmanaged packages are hazardous as Salesforce’s Security Review team doesn’t review them. On the other side, Managed packages go through a compact review before getting placed on Salesforce AppExchange, making them completely secure, highly protected and reliable sources.

5. Usage

Salesforce Partners use Unmanaged packages to sell and distribute apps through AppExchange. Managed packages, contrarily, are used for providing developers with open-source applications and templates.

6. Org Limits

An unmanaged package keep count of the overall limits of your Salesforce org, such as app, tab, object limits, and custom objects. Managed packages set you free by not keeping track of the total limit of tabs and custom objects of your Salesforce org.

When to use Unmanaged Packages?

When your application demands other custom settings after installation, that time you need Unmanaged Packages. The reason is the visibility of code that the subscriber can edit as per their requirements in their respective org.

Another usage of an Unmanaged package arises when you have to transfer components or metadata between different Salesforce orgs, regardless of relatability between the org. It’s far more convenient to install an unmanaged package in the Salesforce org than build one on it.

One more critical point is that the package creator isn’t left with the authority to manage the included components once the unmanaged package is installed in their orgs, but the installer can.

Unmanaged packages are good as they are free of cost and convenient to launch. Although, it is highly recommended to provide customized pieces of code to your prime customers.

When to use Managed Packages?

Managed packages are the best options for those who seek growth and success for their product in the Salesforce ecosystem. The good thing is this widens the scope for scalability, and users also prefer to put their trust in them as they are listed there on the AppExchange platform after undergoing a full security review. Refer some experts curated Tips to pass the Salesforce AppExchange Security Review.

Managed packages are a suitable match for these circumstances as well:

  • Providing generic products with unique features to various customers.
  • Catering locally customizable functionalities through several Salesforce orgs.
  • Collective products enable local implementation to add functionality and accomplish customer-oriented implementations such as the plug-in approach.
  • Code libraries that can be used multiple times with secured source code.

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Wrapping Up!

Still, figuring out which one is better? Which one should you go for? Having an experienced partner who excels in the Salesforce AppExchange development and development of managed package on your side is always a blessing in disguise as they can guide you to the right path and helps you in making your product a huge success in the AppExchange space.

This is where Cyntexa comes into the spotlight. Being the Ridge Consulting partner of Salesforce, Cyntexa is here to help you with what suits your requirements the best and how you can stay ahead in delivering the best services to the customer and manage all the crucial information seamlessly.

Want to talk more about your pain points? Talk to our experts today!

Asked Questions

Salesforce Managed Packages are pre-built applications accessible on Salesforce AppExchange. They are installed and managed by Salesforce. With these packages comes a wide range of tools and apps that are proficient in expanding the functionality of the Salesforce platform, like workflow automation, data & document management & updation and providing analytics. Additionally, users can buy Managed packages supported by Salesforce on a subscription basis.

Unmanaged Packages are created independently by the developers and catered exclusively to the Salesforce customers separately. Salesforce doesn’t take responsibility for these packages, so users can download and install them from package ids or download links. The subscriber must take care of everything from content management to future updates. Unmanaged packages come free of cost.

An unmanaged package is a package that is not supported by Salesforce and does not include any updates or fixes. It is created and uploaded to AppExchange by a third-party developer and is used to upload custom code and objects to your org. On the other hand, a managed package is supported by Salesforce and includes updates and fixes. It is generally created and uploaded to AppExchange by a Salesforce partner and can have additional features than an unmanaged package.

When you use a managed package in Salesforce AppExchange, it renders a variety of benefits:

  • Get access to additional features and enhancements which are not available in case of an unmanaged package.
  • Support & Maintenance from Salesforce and application provider.
  • Get your hands on safe, secure and updated packages.
  • It is easier to upgrade because Salesforce manages your package updates.

Developers can build and launch a managed package on the Salesforce AppExchange platform, which is a primary source for selling and distributing applications for developers to all their customers.

To add custom labels to your Managed package in Salesforce, follow these steps:

To add custom labels to your Managed package in Salesforce, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Salesforce account.
  2. Navigate to "Setup" from the top-right dropdown menu.
  3. In the left sidebar, go to "Packages" and click "Installed Packages."
  4. Select the package you want to add a label and click "Edit."
  5. Click the "Labels" tab.
  6. Click the "New" button.
  7. Enter a Label Name and Label Value.
  8. Select the language from the dropdown menu.
  9. Click "Save", and the label is added to the package

Here are the steps that can help you in upgrading the managed package in your Salesforce org:

  1. Log into the Salesforce org where you want to upgrade the package.
  2. In Setup, enter Installed Packages in the Quick Find box, then select Installed Packages.
  3. Click the package name to view the package details page.
  4. Select Upgrade to the Latest Version from the action menu.
  5. Read the release notes and click Continue.
  6. Review the upgrade summary and click Upgrade.
  7. Click Done. The upgrade process begins and can take several minutes, depending on the package size.
  8. When the Upgrade is complete, click Continue.

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