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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September 2017: MobileCaddy Updates for Your Salesforce Mobile Apps

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In our latest monthly product update for customers and partners, we’ve concentrated on some of the ways in which the MobileCaddy Application Delivery Framework has improved to enhance the experience of building, operating, and supporting mobile apps on the Salesforce platform.

Once again, this discussion includes Paul, our CTO, Todd, our Chief Mobile Technical Architect, and Frank, our Lead Product Engineer. As always we cover the most exciting new additions to the MobileCaddy framework in the past few weeks

So what’s new with MobileCaddy this month?

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Sealing Buy-In for Salesforce Mobile Apps with PoCs

Demand for sophisticated Salesforce mobile apps continues to rise. But any mobile project still needs to be approved, and pitching a mobile experience with UI mock-ups and PowerPoint slides won’t do your app justice. Whether you’re working internally or are a partner pitching to a client, a Proof of Concept (PoC) is a powerful way to demonstrate that an app can meet its requirements. This article will highlight the key benefits PoCs can bring, as well as examples and tips for maximising their impact.

Why bother with Proof of Concepts?

PoC applications are pivotal to any mobile app proposal, allowing the demonstration of fundamental concepts and principles. Including a PoC as part of a pitch is a great way to put something tangible literally in the hands of the decision makers. It’s an opportunity to reaffirm confidence to key stakeholders, particularly where critical technical requirements come into play.

 “The Proof of Concept system gives stakeholders a chance to understand the capabilities and limitations of the system.” - Anderson IT

A common scenario we’ve come across at MobileCaddy is the desire of our partners to reassure clients that fully network resilient mobile apps for Salesforce are possible. This example is also applicable to internal development teams working in larger organisations.

Our experience with offline-first architecture has proven this to be a grave concern for enterprises. As such, a PoC demonstrating exactly this functionality has been fundamental in progressing conversations beyond these sticking points, and further onto the real topic of how value can be gained from taking Salesforce operations mobile.

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