I was reading an interesting article today about how “Apple (unintentionally) revolutionized corporate IT”. Now that is a pretty broad statement, but it struck home as I was working on my Dreamforce sesson, Creating Cloud Apps for the iPhone and iPad on Wednesday 8/31 at 5:00pm, (hint, hint….if you haven’t added it to your agenda, you should – it’s going to be fun!). If, as many analysts agree, Apple is going to continue it’s phenomenal growth, the enterprise is the next frontier. (no pun intended) then developers with Objective-C and iOS skills are going to be VERY high demand. I suspect that  good iOS apps designed for the enterprise, are going to be even hotter.

So how do you get ahead of the curve? Like most of my ideas, they occur over coffee.

For a while I have ordered my typical drink from Starbucks in the following way “extra hot, no water, no foam soy Chai”. This worked well for me. I understand what I want. I’ve ordered it for years. Unfortunately, it appears Starbucks barristas are trained differently – they start with the drink, and then add the details.  I would regularly receive my drink with a few of my ‘special orders’ missing.

The solution, adjust the way in which i order. “Soy Chai. Extra hot, no water, no foam”

Surprise surprise….ever since making the change, I have never had an incorrect order.

What’s the purpose of my story you may be asking? Aside from a shameless plug to Starbucks to get free drinks, the idea of changing how we approach iOS apps for Force.com and Database.com stuck with me.

Yes, we have the Force.com for iOS toolkit which does a good job of managing connectivity and wrappers to the platform SOAP API. Unfortunately, the learning curve was pretty high, especially if you were not an iOS developer. Thinking back on my Starbucks ordering experience, I wanted to change how we enabled developers for building iOS apps.

Firstly, developers need to get up and running quickly even if they know nothing about iOS development. Like many of us, we learn better by doing, and getting stuck on authentication, for example,  (Authentication is one of the major stumbling blocks for many people wanting to securely connect to Force.com and Database.com.) makes it difficult to learn more by following a sample app, or by ‘playing around’. Secondly, existing iOS developers should be able to build apps without the need to understand Force.com or Database.com.

If you fall into either of these categories, and looking to tap into the explosive growth of enterprise iOS apps, the key is to change the way you work, but do it in existing paradigms: leverage what you know of your environment and take that into account. You might be surprised at the outcome. For  my Dreamforce session, I will show you how to build a iOS app and connect it to Database.com in under a minute. But you will have to register to find out how 🙂

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