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Working with Unmanaged Packages in Salesforce

Working with Unmanaged Packages in Salesforce

by Alex Hales

An unmanaged package is a collection of Force.com components that you can distribute to other organizations through AppExchange. It becomes unmanaged when you upload it to AppExchange or install it in another organization using the Install from Web Site feature. Once uploaded or installed, the package and its components can’t be modified by its original creator. If you need to modify an unmanaged package, you must create a new managed version of the package, make your changes, and then upload the new version to AppExchange.

To work with unmanaged packages:

  • From Setup, enter Installed Packages in the Quick Find box, and then select Installed Packages.
  • Click Manage Unmanaged Packages for the desired package.

The following tabs are available:

  • Components: View and delete components in the package.
  • Details: View information about the package, such as the namespace, version, and status.
  • Uploaded Files: View a list of files that have been uploaded for the package.

You can perform the following actions from these tabs:

  • Click Edit to change the name, description, or other properties of the package.
  • Click Delete to delete the entire package. This can’t be undone.
  • Click Components in the action bar to add or remove components from the package. You can also add or remove individual components by selecting them and clicking Add to Package or Remove from Package.

Salesforce offers two types of packages – managed and unmanaged. Unmanaged packages are the traditional type of Salesforce package. They’re created using the Force.com IDE or change sets, and they can be installed in any organization, including production orgs. Unmanaged packages can be upgraded to managed packages.

Managed packages are a newer type of package that can only be installed in a subscriber org, and they can’t be upgraded to an unmanage package. Managed packages are creat using the Packages Wizard in the Force.com IDE, and they include metadata components that can’t be found in an unmanage package, such as Apex classes and Visual force pages.

There are several benefits to using unmanaged packages, including the ability to:

  • Install the package in any organization, including production orgs
  • Upgrade the package as needed
  • Roll back to a previous version of the package if necessary however, there are some drawbacks:
  • You can’t control who has access to the package – once it’s install, anyone in the org can use it.
  • There’s no way to track which orgs have installed the package.
  • If you need to make changes to the package, you have to create a new version and re-install it in all of the orgs where it’s been install.
  • On the other hand, managed packages offer several benefits, including the ability to:
  • Control who has access to the package – you can restrict access to people with a specific email domain, for example.
  • Track which orgs have installed the package.
  • Push updates to the package automatically.
  • However, there are some drawbacks to using managed packages, including the fact that you can’t:
  • Install them in production orgs.
  • Upgrade them manually – you have to wait for the publisher to push out an update.

Roll back to a previous version if necessary. So, which type of package should you use? It depends on your needs. If you need to be able to install the package in a production org and upgrade it as needed, then an unmanaged package is probably a better option. If you want to be able to control who has access to the package and track which orgs have installed it, then a managed package might be a better choice.

As mentioned above, unmanaged packages can be upgraded to managed packages. This process is known as convertes a package. To convert an unmanaged package to a managed package, you first need to create a new namespace for the package. You can then use the Force.com IDE to export the metadata from the old package and import it into the new namespace. Finally, you’ll need to update any references to the old namespace in your code.

Conclusion:

In this article, we’ve looked at the difference between managed and unmanaged packages, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each. We’ve also looked at how to convert an unmanaged package to a managed package.

 

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