Last week, at the Glue Conference in Broomfield, CO, I presented a breakout session rather cheekily titled “We Don’t Need No Stinkin App Server! Building a Two-Tier Mobile App” (slides). The main thrust of the session was that, as devices have become more capable, and databases now speak JSON over REST, we can move on from the classic three-tier web application architecture (web server/app server/database) to a two-tier architecture of an app running on a device communicating directly with a Database-as-a-Service.

During the session, I also explored the hybrid mobile app development model, in the news recently at LinkedIn, and demonstrated a simple hybrid app, built with the Salesforce Mobile SDK, that shows just how easy it is to access from a mobile device. The app, written in HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, builds on the Mobile SDK’s ContentExplorer sample, adding a contact detail page, and the ability to capture an image from the device camera and upload it to

Since it’s Mobile Month here at Developer Force, Steve invited me to write up my app as a ‘how to’ article, and I’ve done exactly that. Developing Hybrid Apps with the Salesforce Mobile SDK walks you, step by step, through the process of installing the Mobile SDK, running the ContactExplorer sample on an iOS or Android device or emulator, and modifying it to add the contact detail page and camera integration from the GlueCon demo app. The hybrid approach allows rapid mobile app development, especially if you already have some web programming experience; read the article and get to work on your first hybrid app!

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