Salesforce.com Boosts Its Mobile Developer Tools, Adds Mono Support
Salesforce.com today released an upgrade of its recently launched enterprise mobile development platform with four new template packs, including a module that helps developers build apps that can better respond to intermittent connectivity.
The new SmartSync Data Framework pack is designed to simplify the development of apps that need offline support, explained Adam Seligman, Salesforce.com's vice president of developer relations.
In addition to the SmartSync pack, Salesforce.com has added new Mobile Design Templates and Mobile Gallery with 20 open source HTML5/CSS templates that serve popular business requirements, Seligman said, describing them in a blog post today as "intuitive predesigned templates [that] are a snap to edit and connect with any customer data in Salesforce by using your favorite Mobile Pack."
The upgraded release includes double the number of developer Mobile Packs. Among them are Knockout.js, which Seligman said eases data binding and is suited for rapid development of mobile apps; Appery.io, targeted at letting users (non-developers) map UO components and data to the Salesforce Platform Mobile Services via their browsers; and the Xamarin Mobile Pack.
The Xamarin Mobile Pack, based on the Mono framework, is designed to let C# and .NET developers build iOS and Android apps that can be tied into the Salesforce Platform Mobile Services. "We're going to turn on millions of C# developers to start building iPad and iOS and Android Apps working with Salesforce data," Seligman said. Seligman said no native Windows RT is planned because there hasn't been demand for it.
The new release, which comes three months after the initial launch, underscores Salesforce.com's emphasis on tying mobile users to its cloud service, according to Seligman. "Companies need to get good at mobile apps," he said. "We believe if you want to win in this mobile world, you have to be really responsive to customers, you have to be really fast."
Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.