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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Keeping Your Salesforce Mobile Apps Working Through OS Version Updates

Changes frequently occur to mobile operating systems outside your control, and your awareness, which can cause serious problems for your applications. When those apps are supporting critical business processes, it’s vital you’re constantly testing to ensure their performance is never compromised. This article will outline an approach to prevent OS version updates, upgrades, and other environment changes from affecting your enterprise mobile apps.

 

Apple_AndroidOperating and supporting any enterprise application in the context of mobile is challenging, because you don’t have control over that app’s underlying operating systems, nor can you predict new updates, upgrades, or patches being released.

This presents a problem for those responsible, because changes to an OS can cause mobile apps to suffer in their performance, or even stop working entirely. When those apps have been deployed into functions which are critical to the daily running of the business, that effectively renders the employees or community users relying on the app incapable as well, which simply can’t be allowed to happen.

So, firstly… Understand your app

You need to be aware of all the various components which make up your application, how they interact with each other, and what relationship they have with the OS.

Any number of things within your app can change without your knowledge, and the various elements and supported systems mean that continual testing is an absolute necessity to avoid app failure. This becomes even more important when applications are supporting business critical processes and workflows.

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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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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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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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