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What Mobile Salesforce Solution is Right for You?

Take a quick trip down memory lane with me…the year is 2007 and you’re at your desk. You’re using your desktop computer to surf websites that were built with HTML tables and Flash, the user experience clunky and the styles an abomination in today’s standards. Your cell phone beside you; you don’t think twice about using it for anything other than calls and texts, certainly not for buying anything, opening a support case, or searching a public knowledge base.

Flash forward to today, where 4 of the top 5 platforms used to access web content are mobile (Android or iOS), and your desktop computer’s role is relegated to those tasks which require a higher screen resolution (like playing Minecraft, right?). This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone at this point – we are a mobile culture now, accessing content on-the-go, demanding that it be presented beautifully and device-agnostic.

With the fast and ever-changing practices of surfacing content in the most seamless way possible, comes a myriad of methods to surface that content. Do you use a mobile-responsive website? Do you build an app? How do you go about determining what option is best?

Salesforce offers any of these options, and I’m here to help you cut through the weeds to determine which path will help you get your customers the information they want and need, no matter their device or screen-size. Below are some of the latest Salesforce solutions defined in terms to allow you to understand the benefits of each:

Lightning Component Framework

Technology Used: Javascript, Lightning Components

Optimized for: Mobile & Desktop

The Lightning Component Framework is the base upon which components are built for use in the Salesforce1 app, template-based communities and stand-alone apps.

Lightning Design System

Technology Used: CSS, HTML

Optimized for: Mobile & Desktop

Think of this as the “pretty part” of the Salesforce Lightning Experience. It’s the style framework that applies the colors, fonts, structure, icons, etc. to your app or community. It allows for any app or component built with it to be mobile responsive.

Salesforce Communities

Technology Used: Lightning Experience, Lightning Design System

Optimized for: Browsers (desktop & mobile)

In the context of viewing Communities on mobile devices, Salesforce has done a wondrous job of ensuring their templates are mobile-responsive by utilizing the Lightning Design System.

Salesforce1 App

Technology Used: Lightning Component Framework

Optimized for: Mobile devices

The Salesforce1 App is a downloadable app for mobile devices, allowing users to access their Salesforce org on their device of choice. It utilizes the Lightning Experience to surface relevant information, including any Lightning Apps – standard or custom. It’s worth noting that template-based communities do not appear correctly in the Salesforce1 app, and it’s recommended that you access the community on a mobile browser via URL.

Service Cloud Snap-Ins

Technology Used: Mobile SDK (Software Development Kit)

Optimized for: Native Mobile Apps

Snap-Ins allow you to take your existing mobile app (iOS & Android) and apply the Service Cloud SDK to it, allowing your users to surface Service Cloud features from within their existing app. It includes Knowledge, Cases, Live Agent, and SOS, and requires only hours of effort.

Hybrid Apps

Technology Used: HTML, Javascript, Apache Cordova mobile container

Optimized for: Mobile devices

While not necessarily a new concept, Hybrid development allows for the creation of stand-alone apps that your users can download independently of Salesforce1, while maintaining the connection to data in Salesforce.

Perficient’s Salesforce UI/UX team has experience in the latest web design practices, especially the above tools offered by Salesforce, and can assist you in ensuring your end product matches.

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Laurel Jones, Senior Business Consultant, UI/UX Design

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