Salesforce.com Launches Platform Mobile Services

Cloud computing company Salesforce.com has launched Salesforce Platform Mobile Services, a set of mobile tools and frameworks designed to make the creation and deployment of mobile apps easier for enterprises.

Salesforce.com's cloud platform technology currently averages more than one billion transactions per day, approximately half of which come in through APIs via independent software vendor (ISV) applications or other mobile, or third-party applications outside of standard Salesforce.com Sales or Service Cloud Web interfaces, explains Adam Seligman, vice president of developer relations at Salesforce.com.

"The ISV business is super healthy," Seligman told CRM. "We have more than 1,700 ISV apps in the AppExchange and a huge backlog of new apps in the security review coming down the pike to get online…companies are racing to build mobile apps, too, but there are some challenges that have been a real blocker."

One of the major barriers, he says, is that mobile application development can involve a lengthy process of approvals. Another challenge is that developers are well-versed in mobile frameworks but don't spend a lot of time working with the kinds of data companies use on a daily basis to service, sell, and market to customers. "Enterprise data is either on premises or in the cloud, and these two worlds [mobile development and enterprise data] haven't really been well-connected."

Launched today are Developer Mobile Packs, which offer developers open-source, "quick start" development packs designed to build responsive HTML5 or hybrid mobile apps with integration to Salesforce.com data. Another Platform Mobile Service is Salesforce Mobile SDK 2.0, which will be available next month, enabling enterprise developers to connect secure enterprise data to native, hybrid, or HTML5 applications; SDK 2.0 also provides authentication and secure offline storage capabilities.

A new Salesforce Mobile Accelerator Program has also been introduced, which now consists of seven mobile consulting and implementation partners: Aditi, Appirio, Bluewolf, Capgemini, Deloitte Consulting, Detroit Labs, and Tquila.

"Customers have found mobile development hard because you have to put expertise together from different places, and you need the best practices," Seligman remarks. "We're trying to do that in a really community-centric way." Although Salesforce.com does not specify a target number of Mobile Accelerator partners, Seligman says the ultimate goal is to reduce the burden on customer companies and ISVs that wish to deploy enterprise-grade apps, but who want to forgo expensive, and lengthy, development processes.

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