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 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.

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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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Making the Right Choice for Mobile Salesforce Community Applications

The Salesforce Community Cloud allows organisations to bring together employees, partners, third-party workers, B2B customers, and even consumers. This article will explore three different approaches to delivering mobile Salesforce community applications, and will help readers choose the most suitable option.

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What is a Salesforce community? 

A Salesforce community is an online platform for organisations to connect employees, partners, and customers, while providing seamless access to the data and records they need to get work done or complete tasks.

community_cloud_rszBuilt on the Salesforce Community Cloud, they offer real-time engagement and the ability to share any file, data, or record anytime and from anywhere.

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July 2017: What’s New with MobileCaddy and Your Salesforce Mobile Apps

The Latest from the MobileCaddy Product Team - July 2017

One of the most exciting things about our Application Delivery Framework (ADF) is that it’s constantly growing and evolving, to allow our partners and customers to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with mobile apps on the Salesforce platform. As such, it’s vital that we help our community stay abreast of all the new MobileCaddy features and updates as they’re released.

With that in mind,  I’ve decided to record and publish my regular discussions with Paul, our CTO, Todd, our Chief Mobile Technical Architect, and Frank, our Lead Product Engineer. In these sessions we’ll be covering what’s new with MobileCaddy, and will be sharing this with you to provide a first-hand look at everything we’ve been working hard on to improve.

So what’s new with MobileCaddy this month?

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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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Evaluating Technology Solutions for Successful Salesforce Mobile Apps

The success of a mobile application within a business will rest entirely on the choice of solution to develop and manage that app. This article will break down the most important stages of the decision making process when evaluating the wide variety of technologies capable of delivering Salesforce mobile apps, for businesses in this position.

 

App-EvaluationAn organisation has decided it wants to invest in a mobile app for its employees – so what next? This decision is becoming increasingly common in the modern business landscape, as mobility continues to drive productivity, efficiency, and cost savings.

With a growing global workforce of ‘deskless’ employees, apps are actually fast-becoming more of a necessity than something businesses can choose to have or not have. With up to 37% of office-based workers now spending an average of eight working days in a typical month away from their desks, that additional rising demand will also be pushing businesses to invest in mobile.

So, the next decision the business will typically look to make is how to deliver the app it wants. However, there are a number of crucial factors which must be carefully considered, and fully understood, before investing in a technology solution to build an enterprise mobile app. When it comes to Salesforce, these considerations are even more important, thanks to the vast number of partner technologies and platform capabilities within the ecosystem.

Unfortunately, many businesses launch into their efforts to mobilise internal systems without taking the necessary steps in determining the class of technology solution their apps will require – a mistake which inevitably results in the app failing in some capacity.

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A First-Hand Look at Data Recovery for an Offline-First Mobile App

Anyone with experience working with Salesforce mobile applications will know that, even at the best of times, data can occasionally struggle to find its way from the device to the platform. But when the mobile app in use is something an employee depends on as a critical tool to do their job, this sort of setback simply cannot be allowed to have a significant impact. Here we discuss a recent data synchronisation issue which arose with one of our customers, running an offline-first mobile app in a critical line-of-business function, and we offer some advice for recovery for anyone in similar situations.

Mobile apps: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

One of the primary benefits of a comprehensive solution such as MobileCaddy – which doesn’t just focus on the development of its apps up until the deployment, but also has an equal focus on post-deployment support – is that a built-in monitoring system is working around the clock to identify issues or problems which may affect anyone using our apps. The point of this? So we can either prevent these issues, or fix them as quickly as possible, of course!

We were recently alerted that one of our clients, with an app deployed throughout a large team of field sales workers, had two users experiencing a problem with the synchronisation of their records to the Salesforce platform. The users in question noticed that certain records were repeatedly getting stuck in their outboxes when all other data was being synced as expected. Within the MobileCaddy system, Mobile Logs and Connection Sessions are kept stored to allow the administrators to have visibility into these kind of issues, and to provide our technical team with the best chance of resolving them.

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MobileCaddy Apps for Desktop: Delivering Salesforce on Windows 10

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With approximately 80% of the global workforce performing deskless work daily, the demand for the right technology, in the right place and at the right time, has reached critical mass. For Salesforce users, this means seamless access to critical systems and data on any device, regardless of location or connection. To accommodate this, we’ve extended our MobileCaddy offering from iOS and Android applications to deliver Salesforce on Windows 10, making it easier for businesses to enable truly deskless work.

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.

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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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Hidden Salesforce Spring ’17 Security Update Could Prove Fatal for Android Apps

Android-AppsThe upcoming Salesforce Spring ‘17 release will include restrictions to its security policy for mobile applications that are submitted to the Google Play Store, something which will affect anyone running Salesforce mobile apps on Android. Read on to learn what has changed, how it may affect your apps, and how it can be fixed.

Pre-release testing uncovers unwelcome updates

An interesting discovery was made last week during a routine pre-release test for Salesforce’s Spring ‘17 update, made by our Salesforce Pre-Release QA Administrator when testing MobileCaddy in the pre-release testing box on an Android device.

This advanced testing, designed to preemptively rectify any potential challenges or unexpected errors well ahead of time, surfaced a problem where MobileCaddy apps within the Google Play Store were failing. From our position as a Salesforce Partner, we use 10 full enterprise pre-release orgs, in varying configurations, to ensure all of our apps continue to function (this includes the Apple App Store, the Google Play store, and the Salesforce App Exchange).

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