A Year of MobileCaddy Trust, a Lifetime of Mobile App Success

They say trust is the foundation of any good relationship. Strangely, though, many modern-day professionals fail to recognise that also rings true with the relationship between a technology solution provider and a client or partner.

When delivering an application with Salesforce which will support a process or workflow critical to a business, the trust and confidence in knowing that app will be able to do its job, and perform to the required enterprise-grade level, is absolutely imperative. That may sound obvious, but in truly critical situations, if the app stops, so does the business – and that’s simply not an option.

Support beyond app deployment 

The problem most often arises from an insufficient approach to mobility, and a lack of understanding regarding the fundamental differences between a mobile application built on the Salesforce platform, and a traditional browser-based application.

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Salesforce Q4 Results Reveal Platform Growth is Driving More Mobile Applications

With the demand for mobile applications which can support business critical functions and processes still accelerating, Salesforce is seeing more and more use of its App Cloud, as both partners and end customers are recognising the value of building their apps directly on the platform. Here we discuss the trends which have emerged from Salesforce’s recent quarterly financial update, with the usual focus on mobile. 

All eyes on Salesforce 

Due to its position as one of the growing dominant ‘forces’ in the global technology market, there’s always a great deal of interest in how customers and partners are actually interacting with Salesforce and its vast offering of business technology.

As most already know, each quarter, Salesforce releases a financial update which includes a breakdown of the performance and usage of its various products and services, including each of its individual clouds. At MobileCaddy, one particular statistic continues to catch our eye each quarter, and that’s the consistent growth of the Salesforce Platform, and the App Cloud, among its worldwide user base.

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A First-Hand Look at Data Recovery for an Offline-First Mobile App

Anyone with experience working with Salesforce mobile applications will know that, even at the best of times, data can occasionally struggle to find its way from the device to the platform. But when the mobile app in use is something an employee depends on as a critical tool to do their job, this sort of setback simply cannot be allowed to have a significant impact. Here we discuss a recent data synchronisation issue which arose with one of our customers, running an offline-first mobile app in a critical line-of-business function, and we offer some advice for recovery for anyone in similar situations.

Mobile apps: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

One of the primary benefits of a comprehensive solution such as MobileCaddy – which doesn’t just focus on the development of its apps up until the deployment, but also has an equal focus on post-deployment support – is that a built-in monitoring system is working around the clock to identify issues or problems which may affect anyone using our apps. The point of this? So we can either prevent these issues, or fix them as quickly as possible, of course!

We were recently alerted that one of our clients, with an app deployed throughout a large team of field sales workers, had two users experiencing a problem with the synchronisation of their records to the Salesforce platform. The users in question noticed that certain records were repeatedly getting stuck in their outboxes when all other data was being synced as expected. Within the MobileCaddy system, Mobile Logs and Connection Sessions are kept stored to allow the administrators to have visibility into these kind of issues, and to provide our technical team with the best chance of resolving them.

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Custom Mobile Apps: Answering the Burning Questions for Salesforce Consultancies

As more and more organisations place a strong emphasis on mobilising processes which are ‘business critical’, Salesforce consultancies tasked with delivering custom mobile apps capable of achieving that are facing a wave of entirely new and unfamiliar challenges. But in order to take advantage of this growing opportunity, consultancies must first be able to meet each of their clients’ mobile-specific requirements. From our experience working closely with the Salesforce partner community, here we address the burning questions which must first be answered in order to successfully provide the class of mobile apps so many businesses are currently demanding.  

 

burning2Some Salesforce partners and consultancies will inevitably feel the only question that really matters is whether the mobile app that will satisfy their client’s specification can be built or not. While this is generally the bottom line when taking on a project, there are a number finer, more intricate details which need to be considered, due to the complexity of the apps which the market is now in desperate need of.

Those details become even more important when a client’s goal is to introduce a mobile app into a workflow or process critical to its business, which is when a new, more advanced, more powerful solution is required to eliminate the possibility of failure once deployed.

This is where an evaluation of the available technology, compared to the necessary features and characteristics of the app, should take place. Within this decision making process, once you reach, and realise you need to go beyond, the limitations of an app built with Salesforce1, it will become abundantly clear that these preliminary considerations are essential to the success of your delivery.

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Salesforce London’s Calling 2017: A MobileCaddy Preview

London's Calling 2017Another year brings another slate of events, conferences, meet-ups, and networking opportunities to attend within the living, breathing, ever-growing Salesforce community.

Boasting the title of Europe’s largest community-led event for Salesforce professionals, London’s Calling 2017 will be the perfect way for anyone working with Salesforce in the UK to expand their knowledge and learn exciting new ways to get the most out of the technology.

MobileCaddy’s own Todd Halfpenny has just been proudly named one of the Top 25 people to meet at the event by Salesforce consultant Phil Walton, and will be giving a presentation on browser developer tools at the event, which takes place this Friday, 10 February.

With more and more of the partners, consultancies, and Salesforce customers we work with embracing the value of using the Salesforce platform to mobilise their employees and their operations, we wanted to take the opportunity to preview London’s Calling with a mobile-centric twist. Here’s what to expect for anyone who’ll be attending…

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Hidden Salesforce Spring ’17 Security Update Could Prove Fatal for Android Apps

Android-AppsThe upcoming Salesforce Spring ‘17 release will include restrictions to its security policy for mobile applications that are submitted to the Google Play Store, something which will affect anyone running Salesforce mobile apps on Android. Read on to learn what has changed, how it may affect your apps, and how it can be fixed.

Pre-release testing uncovers unwelcome updates

An interesting discovery was made last week during a routine pre-release test for Salesforce’s Spring ‘17 update, made by our Salesforce Pre-Release QA Administrator when testing MobileCaddy in the pre-release testing box on an Android device.

This advanced testing, designed to preemptively rectify any potential challenges or unexpected errors well ahead of time, surfaced a problem where MobileCaddy apps within the Google Play Store were failing. From our position as a Salesforce Partner, we use 10 full enterprise pre-release orgs, in varying configurations, to ensure all of our apps continue to function (this includes the Apple App Store, the Google Play store, and the Salesforce App Exchange).

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ATS Compliance is No Longer an Option for Salesforce Mobile Apps

ATSFor anybody working with – whether that’s building, running, or maintaining – mobile apps on the Salesforce platform, forthcoming restrictions to Apple’s ATS security feature will have an impact which must be urgently addressed. 

While Apple has extended its original deadline for this, any apps being submitted to the App Store will eventually be affected. This article details the changes which are occurring, as well as highlighting the different implications for MobileCaddy customers and non-MobileCaddy users. 

So what exactly is ATS?

App Transport Security (ATS) is a security feature introduced by Apple during its 2015 Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC), to improve the security of applications by forcing all connections to use HTTPS instead of HTTP, ensuring connections between applications and web services are encrypted whilst in transit. Any attempts to make connections to web services which aren’t secured will fail and result in an error.

Apple initially specified a deadline of 1 January, 2017 during its 2016 WWDC as the cutoff point for when all apps being submitted to the App Store must comply with the ATS security feature. However, Apple has recently decided to extend this and will release a new deadline at a later date.

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Top Trends for the Mobile Enterprise: 5 Predictions for 2017

the-mobile-enterpriseA new year brings new ideas and new priorities for businesses. With the technology available constantly changing and evolving at such a fast pace, 2017 is also expected to bring a number of trends for the mobile enterprise which will continue to sculpt a new set of standards and expectations for how people work.

As leading IT providers such as Salesforce continue to bolster their offerings, and place even more power in the palms of their enterprise customers’ hands to innovate from within, the mobile technologies being leveraged by modern businesses are becoming more exciting, while having a far greater impact on the daily lives of workers.

Just before Christmas we reflected on 10 important statistics from the past 12 months which shed some interesting light on the current role mobile apps are playing for businesses within the Salesforce community. Now we’ve turned our attention to the year ahead, with five predictions regarding trends for the mobile enterprise we believe will take shape throughout the remainder of 2017.

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Mobile Apps in the Workplace: The Top 10 Stats of 2016

Mobile-apps-in-the-workplaceWhen looking at the growth and acceptance of mobile apps in the workplace over the past 12 months, it’s clear to see that while priorities are moving in the right direction, some efforts are still lacking to fully accommodate what is an enormous opportunity for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Considering how these apps are delivered, when focusing on the enterprise SaaS market, there was reportedly growth of almost 40% in 2015, and analysts Synergy Group forecasted that it will more than triple in size over the next five years. Within that market, Microsoft, among others, is now challenging for leadership, but is still a way behind long-time leader Salesforce, according to Synergy.

Thanks to this growth, throughout 2016 mobile apps built on the Salesforce platform have become exponentially more capable, affordable, and reliable, and have consequently become critical to the daily running of organisations in many cases.

However, there’s still a large gap in the understanding of what’s required to deliver this more advanced class of apps successfully, which is something we’ve witnessed as a prominent challenge for the wider Salesforce ecosystem this year. Right alongside that is a lack of confidence among decision makers to place mobile apps into such important supporting roles within the core responsibilities of their employees.

Still, there are plenty of positive signs when looking ahead into 2017, as more and more businesses are acknowledging the potential of mobility as more than just a driver of productivity, but as a key competitive differentiator as well.

To highlight this, we’ve pulled together 10 notable statistics from the past 12 months which tell the story of the current state of mobile apps in the workplace, and which also shed some light on what the future may hold for businesses embracing them as a means for success.

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Changing TLS Support from Salesforce Puts Mobile Apps at Risk

TLS-Salesforce-Support

Update, 14/02/2017: Salesforce has recently decided to extend the date from which the security updates discussed in this article will take effect. The TLS 1.0 disablement deadline will now fall on July 22, 2017 (except for sandboxes, for which the extended disablement date is July 15, 2017). For more information, a full update can be found in this alert, published this week by Salesforce.

Salesforce will no longer support a version of a common security protocol known as TLS v1.0. Those accessing the Salesforce platform will consequently be required to use TLS v1.1 at a minimum, which will have an impact on business users of Salesforce mobile apps, as well as partners delivering apps for their Salesforce clients. This article explains what this means for MobileCaddy customers, and provides more detail for anyone not using MobileCaddy for their Salesforce mobile apps.

What you need to know with MobileCaddy

One of the key benefits of using MobileCaddy to deliver mobile apps within a business is an environment manager which is built-in as an inherent part of the product. This is a system that not only monitors changes to the environment all our apps operate within, but allows us to easily repair problems and deploy fixes as well, ensuring confidence and trust in the apps’ performance are maintained at all times.

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