Enterprise cloud technology provider Salesforce is introducing Salesforce Platform Mobile Services, aimed at easing the process of developing mobile apps in the Salesforce environment.


“We are seeing an explosion of mobile apps today,” said Scott Holden, VP of Salesforce Platform Marketing, during a phone briefing with CMSWire. “Every generation of computing technology has a 10 times increase in user adoption rates. And mobile applications are seven times more engaging than their Web predecessors.”

According to Holden, mobile computing users spend 80% of their time engaging with apps rather than with their browsers. “It’s a new world that consumers live in,” he stated. “Mobile apps are way more engaging than anything in the past.”

Since developing mobile apps on legacy platforms is a “slow and painful” process, Holden said Salesforce decided to release two new mobile app development platform services -- Salesforce Mobile SDK 2.0 and Developer Mobile Packs. Salesforce Mobile SDK 2.0 is an open source software development kit designed to allow easy connection of enterprise data to native, hybrid and HTML5 apps running on iOS or Android devices.

“You can connect apps to Salesforce data with offline capability, so you can build an app you can connect to when you’re not online,” explained Holden. “You can also include authentication.” Holden said the apps can be developed using both native functionality and wrappers.

In addition, Salesforce is releasing open source developer mobile packs that leverage Salesforce Platform REST APIs through lightweight JavaScript frameworks to increase the flexibility of development.

Learning Opportunities

As part of this effort, Salesforce is also launching a Mobile Accelerator Program that works with systems integrators such as Capgemini and Deloitte to provide mobile development training and best practices, as well as 37 developer events in different global cities the week of April 22, 2013 as part of Salesforce Mobile Developer Week. Mobile SDK 2.0 will be generally available in June 2013. 

Mobile – The Choice of a New Generation

Mobile technology is the choice of a new generation of developers and end users, and according to PCWorld the new set of Salesforce mobile app development services is designed to maximize the amount of choice available to both constituencies.

Mobile development has posed something of a dilemma for both software vendors and end-user companies, because while native applications written specially for iOS, Android and other OSes can be more powerful than ones developed in HTML5, the latter can be deployed across multiple platforms, saving time and cost,” states PCWorld.

The article goes on to quote Holden as saying Salesforce is attempting to make mobile app development faster and easier by preserving the choice of both development styles.

Counterpunching Kapow 

Salesforce is actually not the first company to release a service designed to ease the development of mobile apps on its platform. In June 2012, Kapow Software released Kapow Katalyst 9.0, a new version of its application integration software that can simplify workflows and automate data intensive systems -- including Salesforce -- into customizable apps. Katalyst 9.0 can automate Salesforce apps and also migrate content without data entry and connect cloud apps, legacy systems, flat files, password-protected sites, invoice tools and partner apps into simplified apps.

While Salesforce surely did not release its new Mobile App Development Platform Services simply as a response to Kapow, the move does serve as a strong counterpunch to Katalyst 9.0 as a Salesforce development tool.