Ionic + MobileCaddy = Rapid, Offline Salesforce Mobile Apps

Ionic UK LogoMobileCaddy had the honour of being asked to present at the first meetup for the Ionic framework user community in the UK, London.

With our commitment to making it easier for JavaScript developers to work with the Salesforce.com platform to rapidly build fully offline mobile apps this was a really exciting prospect.

And we weren’t let down. The meetup was at capacity weeks before the event and even with a move to a larger venue this was soon on a waiting list again.

Ionic is an awesome open source front-end SDK for rapidly building hybrid mobile apps with HTML5.

MobileCaddy allows any Javascript framework to be used to build offline salesforce.com mobile apps at hgh speed with a high degree of robustness plus full monitoring and point and click versioning and deployment process.

So bringing Ionic, MobileCaddy and Salesforce.com together was always likely to produce fantastic results.

Ionic, from the beginning to the future.

Sani Yusuf, one of the organisers of the group opened with a history of Ionic and the reason it need to be created. This would have struck a chord with most mobile developers as well as CTOs as the main thrust was that because of the native languages required to develop mobile apps (Java for Androind and Objective C for iOS), all the web developers were left out in the cold. And of course any enterprise thinking about mobile app development would have to consider doubling the cost of development as there would be a need to independently build and maintain both Android and iOS applications.

This is where Ionic plus Cordova/Phonegap step in and the whole idea of ‘Hybrid’ mobile applications. These are applications that are built with a single Javascript codebase and then use the Cordova/Phonegap technologies to run on multiple mobile operating systems.

I’ll write more about Phonegap/Cordova another time but it is an excellent and proven technology (note “PhoneGap is a distribution of Apache Cordova. You can think of Apache Cordova as the engine that powers PhoneGap, similar to how WebKit is the engine that powers Chrome or Safari” – see more about this here)

Hello USA!

Max Lynch then joined the meetup via a live link up from the states.

Max gave us all a run down of the upcoming features as well as the roadmap for Ionic. What we are seeing from Ionic’s development is such a game changer for enterprise apps. We are going to be able to give consumer grade front end UIs and UX but with solid enterprise backend of Salesforce.

Max spoke about efficiency gains (particularly for Android) and the Ionic.io which will bring monitoring and other paid for services to the Ionic offering. He also spoke about a live deploy option which is along similar lines to MobileCaddy’s own ‘Dynamic Versioning’.

Showcases

We then moved into the showcase part of the evening where Ryan Hanna gave an impressive overview of the two apps built with Ionic. The show stopper really was the app he has written (Sworkit on Google Play) which has garnered an impressive 3m downloads from the iOS and Android stores combined. The proof that Ionic can work at the scale and demands of consumer apps is really not in question.

And we’re up! Todd Halfpenny our Mobile Technical Architect took the developers on a whirlwind tour of how to get a fully offline app running with an Ioninc front end using salesforce.com as a backend (but using all the goodies of salesforce that make it so much more than this).

Todd presenting at Ionic

The MobileCaddy Roadmap

The demo was live and went (nearly!) without hitch. Todd walked us through how we at MobileCaddy use Ionic and how this gives front-end devs the ability to move to building enterprise apps with no extra skill sets. And then for an added bonus deploy these without having to create device builds as MobileCaddy provides these for iOS and Android pre-built.

What got the best attention though was the ‘Deploy to Salesforce’ process. This is a single click process from the local app itself, which means literally no effort on the developers side to get their new app onto the salesforce platform. This ‘low code’ approach is very similar to the ‘Deploy to Heroku’ button and I expect we will see more of this type of process from MobileCaddy and the larger app ecosystem.

So a great and enlightening evening for all!

If you are interested in developing robust, fully offline capable enterprise mobile apps for salesforce.com please take a look at our developers site developer.mobilecaddy.net. If you are interested in seeing more of what MobileCaddy can deliver to your organisation please sign up for a demo

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