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Salesforce reveals new mobile app tools

31/07/2015 by

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Salesforce has unveiled two new tools that allow companies to snap app components together as if they were using Lego blocks. With mobile applications having become so prominent in the business world, the new tools will mean that firms can more easily roll out apps as and when they desire rather than having to wait for code to be developed from scratch.

Towards the end of 2014 Salesforce launched its Lightning platform, which enabled firms to get increased and simple access to mobile applications; now, Salesforce1 Lightning Components and App Builder add to this, allowing an organisation to easily drag and drop pre-built components to create any application it might desire. The company revealed that there are many advantages to this, including circumnavigating the need for end-users to sit and wait whilst their developers build code.

The modules available in Lightning Components are based on JavaScript and can be put together in various ways and combinations. They range in complexity from micro-services with integrated data and logic to single user interface elements. Some of the components available include maps, compensation calculators, e-signature, buttons, number entry forms and calendars; meanwhile, the Lightning App Builder provides an easy drag and drop facility for the various components to be brought together.

Speaking about the changing requirements many businesses need, TECHnalysis Research’s founder and chief analyst, Bob O’Donnell, explained that although many companies have hundreds of PC applications custom built for them, there are many with just a handful of bespoke mobile applications. “A lot of organisations don't have in-house programmers familiar with writing apps for iOS, Android and other mobile platforms ‒ most of their skill sets are around Windows,” Mr O’Donnell explained, adding that tools to make mobile-app development increasingly accessible and easier are “desperately needed”.

IDC's program vice-president, Maureen Fleming, explained that the 'build your own app' trend is being led by the tech-savvy generation of users looking for ways to quickly improve team and personal productivity. She added that organisations need to plan accordingly, saying: “Enterprises will need to adopt some processes and testing to ensure the safe use” of applications that have been built in-house.

Salesforce’s latest releases are included in the company’s Force.com and CRM admin licences. Salesforce1 Lightning Components and App Builder are now generally available, as is the AppExchange for Components, allowing organisations to source the modules they want to include in their custom build mobile apps.

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