I’m at the Silicon Valley Developer Force User Group meeting here in Santa Clara, listening to Ron Hess doing a splendid job inaugurating the first user group meeting. Mike Kreaden spoke next, looking at mobile development on the Force.com platform. I’ve blogged before about the iPhone app, and Mike took it in a very different direction speaking about creating a mashup using Visualforce Mobile. He showed how to create a Visualforce page that embeds a Google map displaying data from a Force.com record, which is pretty cool to see. I think the salesforce.com client features an embedded Safari browser, and this is what he’s using to do the mashup. He also used the iui framework in the mashup – so instead of using the native rendering of the client, you see the native rendering of the device.

Ron took the stage again to speak about two projects he’s been working on. The first was “Geo Earth Force” (love the name!) – something he worked on for a non-profit. It integrates the Google Earth API with the platform. He uses a custom object that stores the geocoded location for some address that you want to map, and then displays them in an embedded Google Earth browser. It’s really awesome to see – I’ll need to install and make a screencast. Interestingly, it looks like Ron is using Visualforce as a templating language to create KML, which Google Earth consumes. (The “contenttype” attribute on a Visualforce page helps here.) Ron also showed a survey application that he wrote, which features some pretty complex features such as invitation keys

Next up was Ketan Khandkar from Navatar Group (sponsors of the user group), who provided a lot of good advice on how to develop applications on Force.com. They’re also running a Force.com App contest. Nice. Ketan also wrote the Ten Common Mistakes Architects Make When Building a Force.com Application article. Oh, they also sponsored the popcorn, and the pretzels with mustard (which I’ve just tried!).

All in all, a great meet up – thanks to Ron, Ketan and Mike for all their hard work.

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