Salesforce London’s Calling 2018: Todd Talks Einstein and Offline Mobile Apps

rsz_28423962_2013726415548367_5500423501217783306_oLast month, the third annual edition of Europe’s largest community-led event for Salesforce professionals took place in London. London’s Calling is an event designed to bring together anyone working with Salesforce to network, share ideas, solve problems, and learn new things.

We were particularly excited about the event, as our Lead Mobile Technical Architect Todd Halfpenny was not only part of the team in charge, but was also presenting for the third year running.

The rest of the great organising and volunteering team was diverse, including Simon Goodyear, Kerry Townsend, Amanda Beard-Neilson, Francis Pindar, Jodi Wagner, and Lauren Touyet. We’re very proud of our contribution to these Salesforce community events, which also extends to our sponsorship of the London Developer User Group.

2018 was the best year yet

The event seems to be getting bigger and better every year, and 2018 promised plenty of interesting attractions and engaging sessions for attendees to get involved in.

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How Salesforce Partners Can Work Closer Together to Ensure Customer Success

AppExchangeTowards the end of last year it was revealed that 87% of Salesforce customers and 89% of Fortune 100 companies are now using applications from the Salesforce AppExchange.

This is great news, because it means that large enterprises are beginning to see the value in leveraging Salesforce’s multi-cloud and platform offerings as part of their digital transformation strategies.

These forward-thinking customers are now becoming more astute and, as a result, more demanding in their uses of this technology. But that’s putting huge pressure on Salesforce partners to deliver challenging projects at speed and without risk.

Business leaders also know they need a wide variety of supporting technology solutions too if they want to get the most value out of their multi-cloud infrastructures. That means Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) like us here at MobileCaddy, and Systems Integrators (SIs), are having to work together closely to ensure their Salesforce customers’ needs are being met.

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Partitioned Versioning Enables Risk-free Production Upgrades to Salesforce Mobile Apps

Traditional deployments of updates to mobile applications are hard, and harder still in the enterprise world. Mass, uncontrolled updates to users are risky at best. Partitioned Versioning, with MobileCaddy, enables a low impact, highly iterative, approach to application update deployments which minimises the risks.

Mobile applications need to be updated for many reasons. It’s common for an initial release of a new app to contain bugs that weren’t caught in sandbox and developer environments, for example, or for a misunderstanding of workflow to pass through the UAT stage unnoticed.

Beyond this, once an app is live and mature, it will still need to evolve in line with many factors including (but not limited to): new business requirements, regulatory updates, alignment with new OS and hardware capabilities, and of course in our world modifications to support new Salesforce releases.

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How MobileCaddy Aids Bugless Salesforce Releases

We’re all aware of the thrice-yearly Salesforce releases, and how they’re unstoppable forces. We’re all also aware that bugs exist, and that any bug found post-launch is a lot more expensive than one found during testing. Here’s a quick story on one such bug, and how MobileCaddy helped to get it removed from the Winter ‘18 release.

Whenever Salesforce patches make their way into pre-release orgs our daily test runs kick off and identify the change. These tests run on 15+ org setups and report back any issues that might have been observed. One such observation was reported back during the early days of Summer ‘17 patch rollouts into pre-release. The issue manifested itself initially as the inability to complete the authentication flow on iOS devices built with Salesforce Mobile SDK v4.0.2 and lower.

During the investigations into the issue, we raised a notification on our trust site to keep our partners and customers aware of the risk of the behaviour. We also developed some internal work-arounds. If the issue wasn’t fixed prior to Summer ‘17 making it’s way into our partners’ sandboxes, these would let us unblock them from their development and testing processes.

We also discovered that the bug broke the vanilla experience of browsing standard Visualforce pages on iOS Safari; this could be bad if it got through into production.

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How MobileCaddy Keeps Your Custom Mobile Apps Running Through Every Salesforce Release

This article will detail the monitoring and testing processes MobileCaddy has in place to ensure mobile applications continue to perform through any environment changes, including the Salesforce releases which occur three times each year.


An overview of Salesforce releases

Three times per year, a major Salesforce release occurs which introduces updates to its software. These releases happen automatically and affect everyone within the ecosystem, including regular customers and ISV partners with related solutions such as MobileCaddy.

These spring, summer, and winter releases are planned months in advance and are kept on a very precise schedule to allow for as much preparation as possible. The release cycle is made available to everyone, and Salesforce administrators are alerted via Salesforce’s own email alerts for admins.

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