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How to Select an App on AppSource

by Tom Northrup
9 minutes read

In case you were not aware, the Microsoft app store is called AppSource. There are apps for Office, PowerBi, PowerApps, Web Apps, and Dynamics 365. As of November 2019, there are 2,105 apps for Dynamics 365. That is very impressive, and it gives users several options to sift through. You can search through those options and determine what works best. The purpose of this article is to provide you with insight on how to select an app, once you have narrowed down your options.

Reading the description will provide you with most of the insight you need. While reviewing the description, watch for the following items.

Things to Look For 

Promise too much – I am always wary of apps that offer to do everything under the sun and make my life pleasant and easy. I read through some descriptions where the detail was minimal, but the promises were grand. That doesn’t match. While I may still decide to use the app, I would do so while managing my expectations on what the app can actually deliver.  

One size does NOT fit all  The scalability of an app is a difficult task of engineering. Therefore, when an app describes it works for small to large companies, I wonder which one it works “best” for.  

Look at “Target Market” in Description – To combat the previous issue of too vague of a description, there were several that referenced their “Target Market,” which would help identify if your company is in that target.  

Look for Dependency – Watch for apps that may be dependent on a thirdparty product as part of the installationespecially, if they are directing you to download a solution outside of the AppSource store itself. Microsoft does a good job regulating and testing apps that go into the store.  

“Easy” does it – I was surprised at the excessive use of the word “easy” in the descriptions. An app may make one process easy; however, it will not make all the processes easier with easy installation and easy setup and easy administration.  

If the Shoe Fits – In the end, choose the app that fits your specific needs. Avoid any app that does 5 or 40 other things, if there is an app specifically dedicated to delivering your one functional requirement.  

Of course, most of this is common sense, but common sense is not always commonly practiced. I know for myself when I am in the weeds overwhelmed with options, good sense is needed to make the right choice. Do not be afraid to fail, either. If you install an app, you can always remove it by deleting the solution. Keep in mind if you do this, you lose the data that is part of any customization that the app made. That is why proper solution lifecycle management is important. I hope this was a useful articleWe always appreciate you joining the conversation and sharing your app stories. 

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