Comparing the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack options: Trialforce vs managed packages

If you’re interested in getting your hands on the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP) for Salesforce, there’s two standard ways to get started.  Depending on your needs, especially if you’re just tinkering before building a full Salesforce implementation for your organization, one of these installs will likely be more useful to you than the other.

The most common way is through a system called Trialforce.  This is the type of Salesforce org that is created when you sign up for the Salesforce Foundation’s free product donation form.  The benefit of using this version of the Nonprofit Starter Pack is that it comes pre-built with a number of items that aren’t included in the managed package version of the NPSP, like record types that are specific for non-profit organizations.

This can save  you a lot of time getting up and running; however, if you’re looking for a customized installation of Salesforce, you might end up spending quite a bit of time deleting customizations.

If you’re looking for a more bare bones approach to the NPSP, you can also directly to the NPSP managed packages. These are available directly from the Salesforce developer wiki, and give you the ability to pick and choose which packages from the NPSP you’d like to install, and all with the least amount of viable information possible. This is most useful for developers and advanced users that are looking for a bit more control of their installations.

Our general recommendation?  If you’re looking to try out the NPSP as administrators or users, use the Trialforce version.  If you’re a developer looking to dig deeper in the NPSP code or integrate it with other services, use the managed packages.  And if you’re daring person…try the unmanaged packages directly from GitHub!

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 at 8:09 am and is filed under CRM, Salesforce.com. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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