Going Mobile with Visualforce

My continued involvement with the Field Service Cloud provider ServiceMax has allowed me to discover new ways of leveraging the Force.com platform.

The results are clear:  Visualforce with Salesforce Mobile = Force.com Mobile.  In my most recent article  Force.com Mobile Development for the iPhone using Visualforce, I discuss the anatomy of an interactive mobile app developed for the iPhone. 

The example used in the article maps account data on the iPhone using Google Maps and discusses design patterns to consider when developing for this amazing device.  I just love how easy it is to develop rich iPhone user interfaces with Visualforce – once you know some of the tricks discussed in this article.

I have provided the source code and resources in an unmanaged package for you to install in your Developer Edition org (see the references section in the article).  There are significant enhancements in the upcoming (Summer '09) release of the Force.com Mobile Client, namely:

  • Navigate List Views with more clarity on the iPhone –
    List Views have been enhanced to support custom list views (configured
    in the Mobile Admin Console and displays 2 fields of data), additional
    standard list views (displays 4 fields of data for some opportunity and
    other list views), and a calendar-like event view. The events tab now
    gives you the option of seeing a date-delimited list view of events or
    using a calendar interface to quickly tap/swipe your way to the date of
    interest.
  • Junction Objects support on the iPhone. Standard junction objects as well as Custom Junction Objects are supported.
  • Visualforce Mobile 2.0 – Create custom mobile links to
    launch web page or Visualforce page in the embedded browser. You can
    pass record data such as record id as a parameter to the page. Also,
    leverage a new global JavaScript library to ease access to device
    location and enable access to new Visualforce Mobile "triggers"; you
    can now cause the native client to grab updated or newly created
    records – useful when creating a form in Visualforce.
  • Find related lists at the bottom of the detail page on the Blackberry. You no longer need to dig through the menu to find them, although they will still be there.

If this type of mobile development interests you, let me know your thoughts so we can share your ideas with the community at large.  With the new capabilities in Force.com Mobile, we have enabled an entirely new class of applications for Cloud Computing – those that can go mobile. 

What will you build today?

Published
May 21, 2009
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Going Mobile with Visualforce