Visualforce on your BlackBerry (new version just out)

The new new Salesforce Mobile for BlackBerry supports Visualforce and more. I predict interesting mashups.

I blogged yesterday about the slick new version of Salesforce Mobile for the iPhone. Well, today sees the slick new Salesforce Mobile for BlackBerry!

From the Mobile Blog, it looks like this is a hybrid client. You have the traditional power of the BlackBerry client (including offline access to data) – but now you have the added ability to access Visualforce pages too. As a result, you can grab dashboards, and whatever else you build into your Visualforce pages.

So the BlackBerry client embeds a browser – and I think this is going to open up a host of new opportunities. For example, if you need some feature not currently available on the BlackBerry client, you can go and code it yourself! And of course that Visualforce page can hook into Apex controllers and execute all sorts of complex logic…

To create a tab on your DE org that is reflected on your BlackBerry client, do the following:

  • Create your Visualforce page
  • Create a new tab (a Visualforce Tab) pointing to that Visualforce page. When you do this, mark the tab as “Mobile Ready”
    mb.jpg
  • Navigate to your Mobile Configuration (see my previous blog post) and add the tab to the Mobile Tabs section.
  • That’s it. At the next sync the BlackBerry will pick up the new configuration, and you’ll see the tab appear. Hit the tab, and it will render the Visualforce page.

I guess it’s important to emphasize that the tab will be rendered on a tiny BlackBerry, and its browser capabilities are not as great as the one you’re using on your desktop. I learned this by forgetting to switch off headers and sidebar on my Visualforce page 🙂 Nevertheless, I think this hybrid approach is novel and exciting – and I wonder what we can do with it. I imagine some sort of interested mashup for example. We all know the Google Map mashups where we show the address of an account. I wonder if you can create a similar one that shows not only the address of the account, but also your address in relation to it and directions on how to get there 🙂

Have fun, and check out the Salesforce Mobile Blog post to learn more.

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Visualforce on your BlackBerry (new version just out)