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Apple Enlists Salesforce in Enterprise Business App Push

Continuing its push into the mobile business app space, Apple has enlisted customer relationship management (CRM) specialist Salesforce in its latest effort.

Apple, perhaps not seeing much growth potential in the already-conquered consumer arena, has teamed up with several industry heavyweights to further its enterprise ambitions, including IBM, Accenture, Deloitte, SAP and more.

Now, Apple is partnering with Salesforce to redesign the latter's CRM-centric mobile app to take advantages of unique functionality found in the former's iOS mobile operating system.

That functionality comes with native iOS features such as Face ID, Siri Shortcuts (quicker ways to do common tasks), 3D Touch, Business Chat and more. The app will also follow Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines for an optimal user experience.

Another part of the Apple/Salesforce co-development pact will see the creation of the first mobile app for Trailhead, the system for helping developers and administrators learn about the Salesforce platform. Other apps targeting specific industries and small business customer needs will also be jointly developed.

Along with the joint development program, the partnership includes two other initiatives, empowering Salesforce developers on iOS and accelerating developer learning and career growth.

The former involves creating the first Salesforce Mobile SDK optimized for Swift, the increasingly popular programming language created and open sourced by Apple. "The native SDK will enable businesses and developers to build and deploy apps for iPhone and iPad on the Salesforce Lightning Platform, adding to the hundreds of thousands of iOS apps for business in the App Store today," Apple said in a news release last week.

Finally, the third component, learning and career growth, comes in the form of a new Get Started with iOS App Development Trail on Trailhead to teach developers how to build native iOS apps in Apple's Xcode IDE with Swift.

While that's available now, the Salesforce Mobile SDK for iOS will be available by year's end, said Apple, which added that the rebuilt Salesforce Mobile App will be available early next year, after which the first ever Trailhead Mobile App will launch.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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