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Salesforce Lumin, the new mobile framework from Salesforce

Last night I was at the Salesforce London user group, it was one of the most organised LUGs I’ve been to!

Firstly there was a keynote from Jim Steele (Chief Customer Officer at Salesforce) with two other customer talks, one from Grant Williams, Sales Director of Blackboard and fascinating talk from Ashly Jones from RSA about their Customer Adoption Story. We then broke into a number of breakout sessions and I went to the mobile breakout session.

A year or so ago Salesforce announced a new product called Salesforce Touch. A brand new way of viewing Salesforce on mobile devices (and snazzy it is too). In the Summer 12 release it went into public beta (If you want access too it just submit a support case to Salesforce). So I wanted to know a bit more so I headed off to the mobile breakout session. The usual safe harbour statement was at the beginning of the talk, but un-usually it was stressed as being very important.

We were told that Salesforce Touch is built on an entirely new proprietary mobile framework by Salesforce using HTML5 and JavaScript called Lumin (I think that’s how they spell it). They were very tight-lipped and any questions were answered with “You’ll have to wait and find out at Dreamforce” BUT this is what we found out:

Unlike the current Blackberry and iOS native apps Lumin is a Hybrid framework. It consists of a very lightweight native shell in which the Lumin HTML/JavaScript runs in and can talk to native device functionality. This means Salesforce doesn’t have to support multiple different native applications in different languages (iOS for apple devices and java for Android and Blackberry etc). The additional benefit is you will be able to harness a lot of the devices functionality via the Lumin shell using HTML (eg making a phone call, using the camera etc). Other nuggets include:

  • Salesforce Touch will never support VisualForce. But they said never (but this is very unlikely due to the complexities involved).
  • Touch will be available when your mobile device is offline using this new sf hybrid framework. Salesforce isn’t using the HTML5 storage engine as they believe this is insecure.
  • Touch will be read only and there is currently no plans to make it read/write. If customers shout they will take a look at it but customers need to make some noise.
  • The current Salesforce CRM native apps (Blackberry, iOS etc) with continue to have bug fixes applied to it but no new features. This will mean that the blackberry app will now never support single sign. But they will continue to develop the chatter and dashboards applications. They said they were including chatter in the dashboard app.
  • Touch is going to support iOS first and android is next on the list but Touch “won’t hate” Android. This seems to suggest that Touch does not need the native framework to work, so it will work on any compatible browser.
  • Touch won’t work in IE6 (which is fair enough).
  • Salesforce chat is using the same technology that Salesforce gained when they acquired of DimDim.
  • Salesforce chat will support video conferencing but it is quite a way off at the moment (1year+)

So we will have to wait until Dreamforce in September to find out more…

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  • [email protected]

    “to” not “too”
    Last night I was at the Salesforce London user group, it was one of the most organised LUGs I’ve been too!

  • Paul Fury

    If it will not support read/write then there needs to be a way of switching between the regular web version vs. Touch. Right now you have to select in setup which version you want and that is what displays in your tablet’s web browser. Perhaps a different URL (like touch.salesforce.com vs. salesforce.com) or app launcher would take care of this.

  • Touch does allow you to jump to the normal Salesforce interface for editing etc. Once you select the record on touch you select a menu in the top right and there is an option to go to normal Salesforce.

  • Thanks 🙂 language isn’t my strong suit, that’s one reason why I started up this blog.

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