Salesforce Expands APIs, Rolls Out New Platform For Mobile Developers


Salesforce.com has been courting mobile developers for a while now, but it is about to launch its most determined effort yet to get more of them building apps on its platform.

On Tuesday at its Dreamforce conference, the San Francisco-based vendor will unveil Salesforce 1, a platform for mobile developers and ISVs to build apps that access and make use of data from Salesforce's CRM system.

With about half of the transactions on Salesforce.com now coming via APIs, Salesforce is trying to keep the ball rolling with making many more APIs available to ISVs and developers.

[Related: Why Salesforce.com Isn't Just For CRM Anymore]

With the expanded assortment of APIs, customers and partners can funnel in more data from Salesforce than they were previously able to do, Scott Holden, vice president of platform marketing at Salesforce, said in an interview.

"Anything we build in Salesforce.com can now be pulled into any mobile experience. Because our APIs are public and open, customers can pull that into their next generation of apps," Holden said.

Dropbox, Evernote and LinkedIn are among the ISVs building apps on Salesforce 1, and they're selling these apps on its AppExchange marketplace, according to Holden.

Adam Honig, senior vice president of U.S. consulting for Cloud Sherpas, an Atlanta-based Salesforce.com partner, said Salesforce 1 will create opportunities to work with clients that are currently developing with .NET or on Amazon Web Services.

"We've been doing a lot of mobile development on Force.com and Heroku. This lets us take it much deeper for clients," Honig said in an interview.

With many more Salesforce APIs now available, it's possible to do more development outside the Force.com platform, Honig said.

"You can more easily access content and calls within the Salesforce system," he said. "Now we can do more linking into the Salesforce data model, using API calls instead of building everything on Force.com."

There's also a new app for administrators that lets them transform their existing Salesforce apps into mobile apps, as well as a mobile app for end users.

The upshot is that Salesforce.com is much more mobile oriented, Honig said.

"Customers can now access contacts right from an iPhone, which is different than what you could do nine months ago," he said. "We can now deliver solutions in a faster time frame for customer, and that means more business."

PUBLISHED NOV. 18, 2013