Salesforce, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform provider, has just announced App Cloud, the next generation of the Salesforce1 platform. Salesforce App Cloud provides tools and services for CIOs and other IT professionals to quickly build connected enterprise applications. The announcement also includes the general availability of Trailhead, an interactive tool that helps developers learn the basics of the App Cloud platform.
Salesforce1 is a 100% cloud platform as a service (PaaS) that provides a suite of technologies allowing enterprises to efficiently build and manage custom applications. While App Cloud is the next generation of Salesforce1, it still features all of the existing components of the platform including Lightning, Heroku Enterprise, Force.com, and Wave.
App Cloud features the addition of new shared identity, data and network services to Heroku Enterprise. Heroku Enterprise now allows developers to build connected applications using network, data and identity services which are shared across the App Cloud. Kayne Burk, director of platform marketing at Salesforce, told ProgrammableWeb that most of the new identity features of App Cloud involve Heroku Enterprise such as configurable networks, global deployment options, and single sign-on.
Applications built on the App Cloud platform can be made mobile instantly. This is because the platform utilizes an API-first approach, leverages a unified data model, and is 100% cloud based. Burk told ProgrammableWeb that Salesforce has focused on an API-first strategy from the very beginning which allows customers to quickly and easily integrate their applications with other services.
The App Cloud launch announcement also includes the general availability of Trailhead, a free tool that helps developers and other Salesforce app creators learn about the App Cloud platform. Trailhead features interactive challenges that test the user's knowledge about a related unit. Points are awarded for each challenge that is successfully completed. Once all of the units in a module have been completed, a badge is automatically awarded to the user which is displayed on their Salesforce developer profile.
Burk said that Trailhead is "like Codecademy for App Cloud" and the company plans on releasing new Trailhead modules around the end of the year including an introductory module for Heroku. Several quick start guides are coming soon to Trailhead including guides for Apex, Visualforce, Reports and Dashboards, and Build Your First App. Other challenges coming soon include Wave Analytics and Nonprofit Fundraising.
"CIOs need a way to develop apps for the connected world," said Tod Nielsen in the press release, executive vice president of App Cloud, Salesforce. "App Cloud brings together all of Salesforce's leading platform services, empowering IT leaders with an integrated, trusted platform to quickly build connected apps for every business need."
According to the press release, Trailhead should be generally available in October 2015. The company plans on making Heroku Enterprise identity features available in early 2016. To find out the availability dates of other App Cloud components, check out the press release.
For more information about App Cloud and Trailhead, visit the official Salesforce website.