Presenting… MobileCaddy for desktop
It’s with great pleasure that we can officially announce the first desktop support for MobileCaddy applications. This expansion is something we’re extremely proud of, as it marks a significant step in our mission to provide seamless mobile working within the global Salesforce ecosystem, free of any limitations. MobileCaddy for desktop will provide:
- Mobilisation of all your Salesforce workforce, regardless of device
- Truly robust, offline-first Salesforce use on desktop
- A single codebase for all your mobile and desktop applications
GA of the first release, for Windows 10, commenced on the 23rd January 2017. Some of you will have been aware that this was in the pipeline, and some will certainly be aware that this GA date was somewhat drawn in from that originally anticipated. The expedition of this had one simple driver… demand.
In the past six months we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the request for desktop support from our partners and end clients. This demand has not only come from existing users of MobileCaddy apps, such as the award-winning one built for The Travel Corporation, but also from organisations that had not heard of MobileCaddy before. The need to have solid apps to handle critical business processes doesn’t necessarily always mean an exclusive relationship with one specific type of hardware.
But it’s MobileCaddy, not DesktopCaddy, right?
While this is true to an extent, our goal has always been to deliver business value through robust, intuitive Salesforce applications to users on their chosen devices, even if this includes their desktop or laptop environments. From the very creation of our MORE(s) Design Principles, we’ve had mobile-first at our core, but it’s important to understand that refers to mobile as a context, not specific devices.
There is already a multitude of reasons a mobile workforce might be equipped with laptops rather than Android or iOS phones and tablets. Sometimes this will be to keep costs down, or perhaps because there are other business tools on their laptops, or it could be that the newest tranche of hardware like the Microsoft Surface Books have tickled the fancy of the latest IT director. For whatever reason, you can now be sure that your business critical Salesforce apps can take advantage of such hardware, while still reaping the benefits of all the MobileCaddy features, such as full offline support and custom UI.
Along with the product features of MobileCaddy, you also get the build process, allowing you to not only build mobile apps in a matter of hours, but to get a native desktop app at the click of a button too. The same code that’s written to power your business logic on phones is used within the app on the desktop, and this means a rapid dev cycle… and that’s before we even get into using MobileCaddy’s versioning system for OTA updates without the need to rebuild the native apps.
The platform and the tech
For GA, we’re officially supporting Windows 10 OS and Chromebooks, though Macs, Linux, and earlier Windows OS are soon to be made available as well. And as for what’s powering the apps (other than the awesome MobileCaddy engine, of course), we’re sticking with the incredible Ionic Framework for core business logic, but instead of wrapping the apps up in a Cordova layer to provide them with native features, we’re using the Electron project and supporting libraries to create a similar end product for desktop OS.
As in a recent popular post about this kind of architecture, we’ve tried to minimise the need for developers to explicitly handle the different runtime environments by abstracting and wrapping calls away, so as to hide the implementation details.
Absolute thanks must go out to all the projects which have been involved in making this possible. The grit and skill needed to push technology and the web industry forward is truly amazing, and I personally feel blessed to witness it.