Sunday 21 April 2013

Mobile Application Development On Force.com Touch Platform-Part 2

This blog post is in continuation with Earlier blog post where we explored  some limitations of standard apps provided by salesforce .But every release salesforce keeps improving Salesforce Touch App ,Salesforce Mobile etc and hence its advisable to go through latest release to find out whether the customers requirement can be met from using those standard app and figure out actual need to go for development of completely customized app.

Force.com Touch Platform offers Salesforce SDK for Android and IOS .Using SDK its possible to develop native ,hybrid or an HTML web application.

http://salesforce.stackexchange.com/questions/8075/html-vs-hybrid-vs-native-app

There are lot of discussions around which type of application is best. (Hybrid or native or html).The conclusion it really depends on the requirement,developer resource and performance expected .

Native Apps are faster and provides great offline support but we may need to code in different languages depending on platform .Eg:Objective C for IOS and Java for Android .

 Hybrid Apps are developed using Javascript libraries and a web developer with Javascript skills along with knowledge of Jquery mobile and Html5 and CSS3 can handle .The Hybrid applications will provide cross platform support and there is a support for offline as well using Smartstore.js that comes bundled with salesforce mobile SDK.

http://www2.developerforce.com/mobile/getting-started/html5

The above link will take you developerforce where you will see the Javascript libraries that can be used to develop Hybrid Application.To mention few these are i)Angular.js ii)Backbone.js iii)Forcetk

JqueryMobile  is an excellent utility and using this the UI of the mobile application can be developed very quickly.This is also one of the components that comes bundled with mobile SDK .

Lets quickly summarize what are the things that comes bundled with the Salesforce SDK and whats there use (Salesforce SDK for Android ,Salesforce SDK for IOS).

a)bootconfig.js-This boots the app as name suggests .This configures the app .

Settings needed in  bootconfig.js for local Hybrid app 

i)remoteAccessConsumerKey -From your remote access settings  or connected apps place your consumer key in this variable 

eg:
var remoteAccessConsumerKey = "3MVG9A2kN3Bn17hvZpJm8_imuGQjzehEPJ94DYLTwjIp811dyZUSv3EEU1L0z5TAZHanF4clFyNF_2jygDscB";

ii)oauthRedirectURI-This variable must be populated with the Callback URL from your remote access settings or connected apps 

eg;

// The redirect URI value specified for your remote access object that defines
// your application in Salesforce.
var oauthRedirectURI = "testdemo:///mobilesdk/detect/oauth/done";

iii)startData-This is crucial part of configuration.This decides whether you want to land the app on local html (In case you have developed local hybrid application )or On server side visualforce as the first page as soon as app boots up(In case you have developed server side  hybrid application)

For local app use the following:


var startData = new SFHybridApp.LocalAppStartData();  // Used for local REST-based "index.html" PhoneGap apps.


For Visualforce based Server side application use the following

var startData = new SFHybridApp.RemoteAppStartData("/apex/Visualforcepage?context=container"); 

Where VisualforcePage is the name of Visualforce where you want to land the user when the app boots up

NOTE:I will be expanding in my next blog post whats the difference between local side hybrid app and server side hybrid application

b)Cordova-2.3.0.js-This is open source phonegap plugin.To read more about Phonegap refer the following link 
http://docs.phonegap.com/en/2.6.0/index.html

We wonder how can i access the device features(Camera,audio,video,geo location,file storage  etc)from Javascript .It is this open source Javascript library that has Javscript functions to invoke the device features.

c)SalesforceOauthPlugin.Js-This handles the authentication of the application using oauth 2.0 of force.com.Please Note oauth 2.0 is necessary only for local hybrid application

d)SFHybridApp.Js-This provides some utility functions necessary for offline caching of data and functions  to detect whether the device is online or offline etc 

e)Jquerymobile -This library eases the creation of UI for the application and makes it platform independent and also device independent .

There are lot to speak about mobile application development on touch platform and surely i fancy blogging more on this .Happy Learning!!!





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