Salesforce Unveils Faster DIY Mobile Application Development Platform

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In an effort to spur the development and faster deployment of mobile apps for businesses, Salesforce.com has announced a new set of tools and DIY services, collectively known as Lightning Mobile Platform.

The Lightning Platform mobile platform consists of three main parts: Mobile Builders, Mobile Services and a brand new feature called Mobile Publisher.

With Mobile Publisher, Salesforce aims to make it easier for administrators to publish employee and customer applications directly to the Apple and Google Play App Store. Mobile Publisher supports all packaging and submission processes for publishing and updating applications.

Salesforce has invested heavily in its own AppExchange for application distribution. Leyla Seka, who heads Salesforce Mobile, said the company was committed and was pleased with the growth of AppExchange.

"BYOD is at stake, and customers want to get their own apps"

"AppExchange integrates applications into the essential sales experience. With Lightning Platform, we want to bring application distribution to the end user where BYOD is at stake and customers want to get their own apps, "Seka said. eWEEK. "AppExchange remains absolutely essential for our ecosystem and partnerships and helps delight our customers with many choices."

For the other two core components of Lightning Mobile Platform, Mobile Builders provides tools to create immersive mobile experiences with a code-based development environment and predefined JavaScript components that can be used as basic elements for the development of mobile applications.

Administrators can use Mobile Builders in a variety of ways: transforming spreadsheets into mobile apps, designing their application's data model, setting up the application's user interface in a single click. AppExchange also offers more than 200 ready-to-use components for mobile application development.

Mobile services let administrators add more power to their mobile applications with elaborate workflows, Einstein's declarative artificial intelligence services, and third-party data integration. Einstein is the generic name for Salesforce for a set of artificial intelligence features it offers. A new feature specific to this set of mobile services is the ability for administrators to easily add mobile push notifications in one click.

A skills gap in mobile development

The news comes at a time when mobile devices are becoming more popular. At the same time, Seka noted that creating mobile apps for iOS and Android and improving them with back-end services can be expensive and time consuming. She cites a study published in the 2017 Salesforce Information Technology Status Report that indicates that 48% of IT organizations have a significant skills gap in development, with an additional 33% anticipating a in the next two years.

According to Seka, with Lightning Mobile Platform, Salesforce meets the need for weak code tools for mobile development, predefined components and more efficient drag-and-drop interfaces.

She said one of the first users, United Rentals, a global equipment rental company, had created an app for 2,000 sales representatives, which helped them better map benchmarks and identify opportunities to meet customers. potential and existing.

One of the first users is Cornell University, which has created a mobile app for 22,000 students to help them get information about meals, community forums, etc. Previously, this information was distributed by email.

No need to be a developer to use it

"I love this story because the woman who created the app is not a developer," Seka said.

Jumbo, a hundred-year-old Dutch supermarket chain, used the new Salesforce software to create an app for employees for internal collaboration and task management, as well as a customer application for nutritional information and delivery orders. same day, in the space of eight weeks.

The pilot or beta version of Lightning Mobile Platform is available, with the general availability of the final version set for February.