Zendesk Apps add further functionality to Zendesk. They can enhance business logic and provide simple integrations. They can be visible within the right-hand app tray or they can manipulate the Zendesk native interface elements. Examples of apps include Conditional Fields and CRM record look-ups.
Apps provide additional width and depth to Zendesk, helping to reduce 'bloatware' for everyone, but also enabling anyone to get just the right level of functionality they need. Pre-built for cost advantage or custom written by yourself or 3rd parties, gives a tremendous range of possibilities.
Of particular importance is that Apps run within their own container with well defined interfaces into Zendesk, described as the Apps Framework. This means that Apps can play nicely with an ever-moving SaaS application like Zendesk i.e. they are much less likely to break. Zendesk advises well ahead of any interface change, so that developers can keep ahead, although the general aim is to keep the agreed interfaces the same.
The Apps Framework is richer still, since its API also extends to the deployment and dynamic update to configuration settings. App set-up and re-configuration of an App is a key factor in how effective an App can be. Simple Apps may need one time set-up, while more comprehensive Apps need the ability to be quickly re-configured but also defined in such a way to make it easy to understand and implement.
The marketplace is where you can publicly obtain a range of Apps, many of which are freely provided by Zendesk themselves, eco-system partners, or like CloudSET, a range of commercially packaged Apps.
Apps can either be private or public. A public App goes through a Zendesk submission and approval process, culminating in a App Marketplace listing and ability to deploy and automatic upgrades directly from within Zendesk. A private App needs to be uploaded and deployed, and is only specific to your own Zendesk. This supports the ability for anyone to enhance their own Zendesk.
In the case of CloudSET we have one public App, the CloudSET Framework, a similar management layer to the Zendesk Apps Marketplace, for all our CloudSET Apps and Modules.