Rounding Up Mobile Packs and Salesforce Platform Mobile Services

Along with the announcements of Salesforce Platform Mobile Services and Mobile Packs, the Developer Force evangelist and marketing teams have created an incredible number of tools and resources to enable you to quickly build mobile apps using tools you already use in your everyday practice. Here's what's now available to you.

This week Salesforce announced Salesforce Mobile Services and with them the release  of the new Mobile Packs, a collection of JavaScript frameworks integrated with the Salesforce Platform. Along with these announcements, the Developer Force developer evangelist and marketing teams have been hard at work creating an incredible number of tools and resources for you. These tools and resources will enable you to quickly build mobile apps using tools you already use in your everyday practice.

The complete inventory includes three new mobile packs, a new book, several feature articles, video tutorials, blogs and a brand new microsite to serve as the home for mobile development with Salesforce Mobile Services. Here’s a summary of those resources and tools.

New Mobile Site

Mobile Packs offer a variety of solutions, and with that variety comes choices. In fact there are 10 different learning paths you can take depending on whether you’re designing a native, hybrid or HTML5 app using one of the JavaScript frameworks. That’s where the mobile site comes in.

At the core of this site are a collection of quick starts that walk you through a particular solution. Each quick start is designed to help you configure, build and deploy a mobile app, usually in about 10 minutes. But determining which of the ten quick starts you should follow can be daunting. So the Mobile Services site acts like a wizard guiding you through a series of choices to ultimately provide you with the best quick start for you. For example, if you know you want to build an HTML5 app and you’re familiar with jQueryMobile, the mobile wizard ask whether you want to deploy a Visualforce app on Force.com or target a a general platform like Heroku.

Once you’ve gone through one or more of the quick starts, there’s additional resources just for you including articles, videos, related blogs, and more.

Salesforce Platform Mobile Services Developer Guide

Salesforce Platform Mobile Services contains three core components:

  • Salesforce Platform Mobile Services in Force.com
  • Mobile Container (Salesforce Mobile SDK 1.3)
  • Identity

Mobile Services in Force.com include REST APIs that  provide access to enterprise data and services by leveraging standard web protocols. Thus, developers can expose business data as REST APIs and leverage those common APIs across different phone, tablet, and web user interfaces. Mobile Services in Force.com also include social, mobile policy management, and geolocation services, identity services, and a mobile container (accessed through the Mobile SDK).

To introduce you to these services we’ve released a new book, Salesforce Platform Mobile Services Developer Guide, and have made it freely available. Note that this book replaces the Salesforce Touch Platform book.

New Feature Articles

Developing Offline Apps with Salesforce Mobile Services by Tom Gersic discusses SmartStore, which allows you to store enterprise data online and offline on mobile devices. SmartStore securely stores data in JSON format on any mobile device.

Extending the Force.com Warehouse App to Mobile by Don Robins. If you’ve worked through the Force.com Workbook,  you are familiar with the Warehouse app. This article extends the Warehouse app from the Force.com Workbook tutorial to mobile. The author leverages the Merchandise data object to build a simple mobile app that will display a list of Merchandise records, and allow basic CRUD operations. So if you have created a Warehouse app and populated it with data, you can access that data from a mobile device.

Developing Mobile Applications with Force.com and Sencha Touch Part 3

This three-part series shows how to build mobile applications with Force.com and Sencha Touch. The article builds out a mobile application hosted in a Salesforce.com Visualforce page to display a list of Leads, and allows add, edit and delete capability using an Apex controller. The series also highlights the enterprise data capability of Sencha Touch and shows how to work with large datasets by adding paging and search capability to the PocketCRM application.

In addition to the featured articles above, we utilize a continuous delivery model where we deploy articles often. New articles in the pipeline cover topics ranging from designing for UX using PhoneGap to creating apps backed by NodeJS that integrate with Chatter. So check back for continuous skill-building articles.

Developer Evangelist Team Blogs

Learn from the team that created the Salesforce Mobile Packs. The Developer Evangelist team has been a major contributor to the creation of the Salesforce Mobile Packs. So, there’s no better resource for understanding the inner workings of the Mobile Packs. This week, each team member shares what they’ve been working on.

Resources

There’s far more resources and tools than can be listed here. There are code repositories like ForceTK on GitHub, an extensive library of video tutorials and conference presentations, more articles and blogs, and the entire documentation library. This extensive archive is available on the Resources page on the Mobile Services site. So browse, explore, learn and build.

Finally, I’d like to hear your stories. What mobile projects are you working? What were the pain points and how did you address them? Have Mobile Packs influenced your design patterns? Send your stories to me directly at mfloyd@salesforce.com.

Michael Floyd

@codeJournalist

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Rounding Up Mobile Packs and Salesforce Platform Mobile Services