Salesforce Platform Review

Salesforce Platform Adds Mobile Support

Salesforce, one of the leading SaaS and PaaS providers, today announced that they are extending their Salesforce Platform to add support for mobile app development. This is a natural development in Salesforce’s platform strategy. For a long time, I have been arguing that PaaS offerings should have support for social and mobile to be part of their platforms. This move by Salesforce is consistent with such an evolution and will help developers build mobile apps that are connected with data stored in Salesforce applications/platform. In today’s announcement, Salesforce talked about the technology as well as go to market strategy.

Salesforce Platform Mobile Service includes:

  • Salesforce Mobile SDK 2.0 – Offers a secure connection to data stored on Salesforce infrastructure, allows HTML5 apps to take advantage of device features like camera and provides libraries for authentication and secure offline storage. The SDK is available on Github.
  • Developer Mobile Packs – These are set of quick start “templates” that can help developers build mobile apps taking advantage of lightweight javascript frameworks and access the realtime data and Salesforce Platform using the REST API. The mobile packs are also available in Github.

Salesforce also made some announcement on their go to market strategy:

  • A partner program with leading system integrators like Aditi, Appirio, Deloitte, etc.
  • Mobile developer week events in 37 cities across the world and office hours using Google+ Hangouts

 Quick Take:

As I told in previous paragraph, this is a natural evolution for Salesforce Platform. You will see an unified strategy along these lines in the coming year or two. As enterprises embrace the mobile first philosophy, it only makes sense for Salesforce to offer seamless mobile development through their platform. Developers will love a more integrated and unified platform experience. On the negative side, they are using a proprietary platform. Unless, they take necessary steps to avoid lock-in, they will face the usual lock-in risks that are part of any hosted proprietary platforms (Note: hosted open source platforms doesn’t automatically avoid lock-in). Developers will have to weigh in the benefits (of being able to leverage the data in Salesforce applications in a seamless way) against potential lock-in risks.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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1 Comment

author avatarit_user4401 (Developer at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees)

Salesforce is specific to its own platform and not going after a general purpose audience of mobile developers. That is not a bad strategy as it can quickly build up a portofolio of mobile apps tied to its backends that preempts its large customer base from thinking about switching.