Salesforce.com is one of the largest cloud solution providers today. The company started with desktop solutions and now the Salesforce platform can connect you to almost each and every device used in our daily life like mobile phones, computers and PCs. Today, there are around 3+ billion mobile users in this world. With the evolution of mobile devices, Salesforce also shifted its vision towards mobile. Salesforce took the “Mobile First” approach in its summer 12 release; since then it was improvised and revolutionized. Along with the SDKs, Salesforce also launched its own mobile app and platform, Salesforce1, for mobile development.
In Salesforce1 platform, by simpler configuration, one can bring necessary information on Salesforce1 mobile app, whether it’s your CRM data as objects, Analytics or any custom functionalities using Visualforce tabs, publisher and global actions. As of now, Salesforce1 is an online solution, but knowing Salesforce, it is pretty much guaranteed that there will be an offline release soon.
For offline solution and for providing specific functionalities for a mobile user, one can build their own custom app using Salesforce SDK. Salesforce has SDK for both Android and iOS, which has made mobile development, simpler and faster. One can build native, hybrid and HTML apps based on their business requirements.
The difference between the three types of mobile apps are as follows:
Native: iOS or Android, OS specific, rich graphics, very stable, tightly coupled with device, online and offline functionality, longer development time.
Hybrid: Most common, not specific to OS, faster development time, online and offline, loosely coupled with device, faster development time.
HTML: Web apps, not OS specific, fastest development time, only online, no device access.
With the release of Salesforce REST API for analytics, you can even bring reports and dashboards information on mobile in a very simple way. In ET Marlabs, I have been working on Salesforce and mobile development since the last two years, and as a team, we have delivered mobile solutions across the globe.
Some of the common use cases we have developed in past few years include order tracking, field collection, customer management and customer service, among other things. As a team, and as an individual, we are keeping the pace with the current mobile development best practices and modern day technologies, which can help us provide better solutions each time we deliver.