Salesforce has relaunched its mobile services offering for developers. On Tuesday, the enterprise software company announced that it was releasing an updated mobile SDK and developer mobile packs with new support for Javascript frameworks, something that it says will help make creating third-party apps on the Salesforce platform easier. In addition, the company has created a new mobile accelerator program to help teach its customers how to use these tools so that they can evangelize it internally.

Making apps more accessible to Salesforce’s platform

It’s no secret that Salesforce has become popular in the enterprise space, so much so that it has more than 3 million apps created with more than 1.7 million installs on its AppExchange. But while that may be, one thing developers have noticed is the length of time it takes to produce an app using the existing model.

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Prior to today, it would have taken much longer to create an app because developers didn’t have the the technologies in place to streamline the process. Today that all changes as Salesforce says that its developers will no longer need to trade between a great app experience and access to business data and development speed.

The refreshed mobile developer pack and SDK

The core of Salesforce’s updates today center around its mobile developer pack and SDK. For those interested in simply building highly responsive HTML5 or hybrid mobile Web apps while also accessing real-time Salesforce data, then the developer packs should be chosen. However, if the pursuit is native, hybrid or HTML5 apps, then select the SDK route. Regardless of whichever one is used, the fact of the matter is that now, both have access to new Javascript frameworks — specifically AngularJS, Backbone.js, and jQuery Mobile.

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As Salesforce describes it:

  • Salesforce Mobile SDK 2.0 - The open source project will make it easier than ever for any enterprise developer to securely connect enterprise data to any mobile app – native, hybrid or HTML5 – on any iOS or Android device. The SDK also enables HTML5-based apps to leverage device features like the camera and geolocation, and provides additional libraries for key enterprise requirements such as authentication and secure offline storage.
  • Developer Mobile Packs - These open source “quick start” packs enable any web developer to build highly responsive HTML5 or hybrid mobile apps on any platform and access real-time Salesforce data. Mobile Packs leverage the massively scalable and trusted Salesforce Platform REST APIs through a choice of popular, lightweight JavaScript frameworks – AngularJS, Backbone.js and jQuery Mobile – to offer greater development flexibility and deliver amazing data-centric mobile experiences.

Also of note with the Mobile SDK is that it comes with secure offline access and makes it possible to integrate phone/device features into the app, such as use of the camera, geolocation, and more. In addition, Salesforce says that usage of OAuth login security for customers has become generally available.

Salesforce says that its developer mobile packs are available for download today off of its Github repository. The Mobile SDK 2.0 will be available in June.

Accelerator program

As Salesforce looks to increase the number of third-party apps using platform, it also announced the creation of a Mobile Accelerator Program. With this initiative, it will be for experts and the company’s implementation partners to work with Salesforce’s customers like Aditi, Appirio, Bluewolf, Capgemini, Deloitte Consulting, and others. The idea is to provide training and best practices so that these customers have someone internally that can help guide their app development as a subject matter expert on Salesforce’s mobile offering.

Mobile Developer Week

To commemorate the occasion today, Salesforce says that it is planning on kicking off its inaugural Mobile Developer Week later this month. Held in 37 cities around the world, the goal is to get more developers to build mobile apps using Salesforce’s Platform Mobile Services. What better way to encourage more adoption than by hosting hackathons, right?

Companies are looking for new tools to help them remain competitive while still keeping them connected with their data. Utilizing Salesforce’s mobile apps alone will not work for every single business, which is why it is important for Salesforce to release an SDK and developer pack to allow its customer companies to build their own apps that suit their needs while offering the freedom and flexibility to tie it back into their Salesforce service.

Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images