Salesforce.com Extends Mobile API Reach in the Cloud

Michael Vizard
Apr. 09 2013, 11:00AM EDT

When it comes to mobile computing IT organizations basically have two choices. They can either try to extend their existing applications to support mobile computing access or they can develop applications from the ground up that are truly optimized for mobile computing.

Most organizations will, of course, wind up doing both. But for folks pursuing the latter approach Salesforce.com today is unfurling a set of service for building mobile computing applications on Force.com that leverage both the customer information and identity management capabilities that reside in the Salesforce.com customer relationship management (CRM) application.

The new offerings include Salesforce Mobile SDK 2.0, an open source project for building native, hybrid or HTML5 applications on any iOS or Android device, and set of Developer Mobile Packs, which combine Salesforce Platform REST APIs with lightweight JavaScript frameworks such as AngularJS, Backbone.js and jQuery Mobile.

According to Adam Seligman, vice president of Salesforce Platform developer relations, Salesforce.com is pursuing an open source approach to the Salesforce Mobile SDK because it expects developers to extend the reach of its SDK to other Javascript environments. The goal, says Seligman, is to make it easy to adapt new variants of Javascript that are coming to dominate the development of mobile computing applications.

From a corporate perspective Seligman says the mobilization of the enterprise is pushing organizations to transform business processes in a way that allows the organization to be more agile. To a certain degree that means extending existing applications to mobile computing devices. But increasingly it also means developing more data-driven applications that business people participating directly in the development process.

Seligman says that over three million applications have already been developed on the Force.com cloud computing platform. Seligman says that with the advent of mobile computing, development of new mobile computing applications in the cloud is exploding. The difference between these applications and traditional Web applications, is that end users expect them to be integrated with some actionable workflow process, versus the “brochureware” that dominates so much of the Web applications that organizations have previously deployed.

That’s easier to deliver today in a world where APIs not only given developers more control over their applications, they also have a lot more context about how those applications are actually being used.

There’s no doubt that mobile computing represents a fundamental transformation in terms of how applications are built, delivered and managed. The only question now is how long will it take for the average IT organization to come to terms with that new reality.

Michael Vizard

Comments

Comments(1)

brian

APIs are much better than offering full built applications. This developers can create apps that fit a company's unique business processes.

-Brian