Creating native mobile applications for your smartphone which communicate with your Salesforce backend is an old hat. However, nowadays the diversity of devices and platforms like Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows Phone and Blackberry (only considering Android according to engadget.com there are 3997 different devices currently in usage) demand cross platform applications based on standard web technologies like HTML5 with the slogan “Write once, run on every device”.
Meanwhile, all modern smartphone browsers support these standards and from technical perspective it is fairly easy to access e.g. the GPS device to locate your current position, build-in sensors or the camera and make use of a local database to be able to work offline.
There’s a jungle of external frameworks available and it’s sometimes difficult to decide which way is the best to fulfill your requirements. Additionally, rarely the developer has the freedom to decide how the UI should look like. Apps need to be consumer focused or branded. IT departments usually do not have their own designers and we engineers are usually more focused on creating great functionality than intuitive user experience.
However, Salesforce innovated a solution to solve these problems:
- Salesforce1 as a base platform to develop your business applications.
- Mobile Services that help deciding which framework is best for your requirements. Read more here.
- Mobile Design Templates to help you building a modern and professional looking User Interface without re-inventing the wheel again. Read more here.
Did you know that you can preview your Salesforce 1 Apps on notebooks and tablets? The only restriction is that you cannot make use of push notifications and you cannot access the device’s calendar. It works best with Google Chrome by navigating to the home page and replacing “home/home.jsp” with “one/one.app” in the address bar of your browser.
Photo Karlis Dambrans