Salesforce Preaches Mobile Apps' Power With AppExchange Mobile

AppExchange cloud computing business application marketplace

The SaaS giant is expected to showcase AppExchange Mobile later today at its Cloudforce event in New York City.

According to Mike Rosenbaum, Salesforce senior vice president of AppExchange and platform operations, AppExchange Mobile is a new version of its widely popular AppExchange app store tailored for mobile devices. The new mobile AppExchange, which will offer apps made for tablets and smartphones that run Apple iOS and Google Android, has built-in intelligence that recognizes what type of device and what mobile OS a user has and presents the apps designed for that specific device.

AppExchange Mobile also gives Salesforce's stable of developers and ISVs the ability to take advantage of the mobility explosion by creating mobile-specific apps.

Rosenbaum said AppExchange Mobile fulfills a portion of the "tremendous demand for mobile applications" that Salesforce and its partners have experienced in recent months.

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"We're also seeing great innovation from partners building mobile applications," Rosenbaum said, adding that AppExchange Mobile gives ISVs and app developers the ability to tackle the growing mobile opportunity with a platform on which to build mobile apps.

"It can usher in an explosion in application development from ISVs and developers targeted at Salesforce end users," he said. While developers and ISVs may have to create different flavors of their apps to accommodate different device and mobile OS types, Rosenbaum said Salesforce's support from HTML5 eases that process.

Rosenbaum added that apps for AppExchange Mobile will undergo the same rigorous security review processes as the non-mobile version of AppExchange, to ensure that data Salesforce data and other application data is secure.

At its launch, some apps available in AppExchange Mobile include Chatter Mobile, the mobile version of Salesforce's business social network; an iPad application that's a dashboard viewer; a mobile Concurforce application for mobile expense reporting and FinancialForce mobile. Others include a mobile Dragon app from Nuance for voice to text conversion that integrates with Chatter.

AppExchange Mobile is a piece of the overall mobile push from San Francisco-based Salesforce, which cites mobility as a cornerstone of its social enterprise vision. The social enterprise, which Salesforce detailed at Dreamforce 2011, is a confluence of mobile, social and open cloud plays within business.

Salesforce's mobile strategy also stood out at Dreamforce, when Salesforce pulled the curtain off, a new version of Salesforce specifically designed for touch-screen devices like the Apple iPad, iPhone and Google Android devices. uses HTML5 technology, which lets developers build native apps for mobile devices. The new service lets users access Salesforce from smartphones and tablets. Customizations and recently accessed items are synced from among all mobile devices, be them laptops, smartphones or tablets. The first release is slated for general availability in early 2012.

The first release will focus on Sales Cloud objects and related customizations, Salesforce said. will also enhance the by letting developers mobilize existing apps and build new, secure mobile apps quickly and easily.

"Mobile is a key component to our philosophy and our direction as a company," Rosenbaum said, adding that mobile device sales have recently eclipsed desktop sales as mobile devices become the main access point for many business users. "It's our job, it's our mission to make the platforms and distribution models possible."