Salesforce.com has a long history of providing access to cloud data on mobile devices. For over 8 years we have had a product called Salesforce Mobile` that allows administrators to configure and manage what data can be accessed by which employees on Blackberry, iOS and Android phones. You simply install the Mobile Client application that renders your data much like a standard page layout renders your data in the browser. No programming required!
Developing applications on the Force.com platform always includes the option of “point and click” or “configuration-based” development and the option of procedural development to enable full expression and “pixel level” control of your application UI. In terms of mobile applications, Salesforce Mobile represents the “point and click” approach and our Mobile SDK the procedural approach. The Mobile SDK enables the consumption of Force.com data natively from iOS using Objective-C and Android using Java as well as enabling the creation of HTML5 hybrid apps to take advantage of HTML5 development skill sets while still providing native access to device capabilities.
HTML5 as a mobile technology provides many different options to the mobile developer. Not the least of these options is where I should deploy and host my HTML5 mobile app. We have identified three choices that should cover most situations. We have included samples for each Mobile Pack that demonstrate deploying to Visualforce, deploying to Heroku using PHP or Node.js for the server language. Also in the category of coming soon will be deploying to the device directly as a vanilla phoneGap (Cordova) application.
You can get started with Mobile Packs right now and over the three days we will be providing specific articles on this blog about using each of the packs and deploying them to the various targets.