Introducing FormulaShare Enterprise

FormulaShare is nearly five years old. From April 2023 the project is moving to the next level of maturity, with free and subscription-based options soon becoming available on the AppExchange.

I wanted to take a few moments to explain why...

Building the App

Since inception in October 2018, FormulaShare has grown from a reusable solution to an open source repository, to a security reviewed AppExchange app. The app is now trusted in over a hundred production orgs across a plethora of industries - universities and non-profits, healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, and multi-billion dollar household brands.

Github screenshot showing first commit
The beginnings in 2018 - just a license and readme...

Over time the app has encompassed an LWC front-end, automated metadata rule deployments, logging and metrics. Capabilities have developed from sharing based on an object's formula fields to using fields from the shared object or related records across the schema.

I've personally learnt a huge amount creating, publishing and improving FormulaShare. I've gotten familiar and confident with LDVs, JavaScript, JEST and CSS, as well as GitHub Actions, packaging, deployment pipelines and much more. It was during this time that I studied for and passed the Salesforce CTA review board, and the deep knowledge I'd built around Salesforce security helped a lot with this.

Growing a Product

Whilst I've personally managed the majority of technical build, together with excellent contributions to automated testing from sfdc_schwabe, the credit for usability and design is with my wife Michele.

Michele is a designer and concept artist working predominantly with charities and social organisations, and has contributed her expertise to give FormulaShare its identity and character. All the images and copy relating to FormulaShare are her work - the AppExchange slides, logos, email content, in-app images and more. She's provided with UX and UI advice and helped to make the app itself as usable as possible. And on a personal level she's generously and without reservation supported me to dedicate the time which was needed.

Images of designs in progress

Stabilising the Foundations

FormulaShare also been an enormous investment for us both. The current version runs at 35,000 lines of code. Creating, testing and refactoring this has taken thousands of hours. Writing and maintaining documentation, managing the app through security reviews and supporting subscribers has taken probably hundreds more.

Images of working on FormulaShare

Seeing FormulaShare adopted and becoming more successful has been hugely rewarding, and we're ready now to formalise and establish a business model to grow capabilities and keep the project stable and well supported.

The Next Steps

We've considered a few options to monetise the app in a way which is sustainable, while providing options for organisations of different scales.

Going forward, FormulaShare is an open-core project. This means:

  • The open source repository will stay, and contributions and collaboration on this are welcome
  • The AppExchange app has the open source repo at its core, but augments this with additional capabilities which aren't open source

An example of one of these extra capabilities is Targeted Calculation Jobs - these provide a means to tailor batch jobs to assess only specific records for performance and scalability. This is available in the latest app versions, but not in the open source repo.

The app itself will be available in a few flavours to make sure smaller organisations can still benefit without undue cost:

  1. FormulaShare Lite, allowing up to 3 standard rules, 1 cross-object rule and sharing of up to 10,000 records across all rules
  2. FormulaShare Enterprise, supporting 10 standard rules, 5 cross-object rules and sharing of up to 1,000,000 records, as well as additional features designed for larger orgs and data volumes
  3. FormulaShare Unlimited, which includes the extra features in Enterprise without limitations on rules or records shared

For more information on what's provided for each tier, check our version comparison.