Salesforce.com Touch Mobile Application Development

You see the advertisements every day now when logging into or out of Salesforce.com - it goes something like this: "Building your mobile app to work with Salesforce.com is easy as pie!"



So you start thinking: "okay, cool, my team sure could use a mobile app while out on the road to access their Salesforce.com data, and the standard mobile app doesn't do what we need - so if it's so easy, lets do it."

Then you start trying to figure out how to do it and you realize, this isn't actually "easy as pie." It's actually quite involved. But, it is doable - and our development team has done it - so let me tell you what we've learned.

There are several ways to provide access through a mobile device to salesforce.com data.


Salesforce.com Mobile Device Options

1) Use the native browser on the device to login in to Salesforce.com
2) Using a Salesforce Sites page - format the output of the website to fit in a mobile browser screen size
3) Build a native application on a mobile device that can access Salesforce.com data
4) Use HTML5 and the Touch platform to deliver salesforce.com visualforce pages to a mobile device.

It is option #4 that Salesforce is advertising. And while it is WAY easier to build applications on the Touch platform than it is to build a native application on IOS or Andriod (option #3), it isn't necessarily "easy as pie".

The Touch Platform - Web Pages in an App

Here is the key thing to know about  HTML5 and the touch platform: you are simply viewing a Salesforce.com visualforce page in the mobile browser on the page without the skin of the mobile browser. Even more simply: its a web page. A mobile web page. But it LOOKS LIKE an application on the device.



In Salesforce.com, visualforce makes it possible for us to write custom pages that provide custom functionality to your users. These visualforce pages can be built with display on a computer through a normal internet browser in mind, or they can be built with the intent of displaying them on a mobile device.

The Pro - Quick and Inexpensive Development

The cool thing about using the touch platform is that we can fairly quickly write these visualforce pages and your users can take advantage of them on their mobile devices. Many companies have realized the incredible upside to building custom applications on Salesforce.com. They can provide their user's with the means to quickly handle business processes against their data stored in Salesforce.com. At Snapptraffic Consulting we've written thousands of these applications and have seen first hand how the right functionality can greatly increase an employee's effectiveness. Salesforce Touch makes it possible to provide the same kind of custom functionality through the mobile device when away from a computer. Visualforce pages can be written relatively quickly. Native mobile applications (option #3 mentioned above) are much more time consuming. So writing visualforce pages that can be deployed through Salesforce Touch is a great way to increase productivity for your mobile employees without the expense of producing a native mobile application

The Con - An Internet Connection is Required

The downside, to use the application you've written, you must be connected to the internet. If you want the application to have the functionality to download data for offline use, then the touch platform isn't for you - a native mobile app developed for the device that accesses and downloads salesforce.com data (again, option #3) is what you'll need.

Ready to Build Your Own Salesforce Touch Mobile Application?

If you're thinking about building a mobile application to access your salesforce.com data and want some help making it happen, give us a call. We'd be happy to listen to your idea, give you a feel for the costs and timeline involved, and help make your mobile app a reality. You can reach us  through www.snapptraffic.com





6 comments:

Affity Solutions said...
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internetexplorer said...
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DevRabbit IT Solutions Inc. said...

Hello,
The Article on Though Mobile App Development is Very Informative.Thanks for updating with new technology.

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