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When to Use the Salesforce1 Platform vs. Creating Custom Apps

Knowledge Article Number 000192840
Description Want to know when its appropriate to use Salesforce1 vs Creating a new Custom Apps for users.  

When to Use the Salesforce1 Platform vs. Creating Custom Apps

When it comes to developing functionality for your Salesforce mobile users, you have options. Here are some differences between extending the Salesforce1 app and creating custom apps using the Mobile SDK or other tools.

Salesforce1 Platform

  • Has a defined user interface.
  • Has full access to Salesforce data.
  • Can be used to create an integrated experience in the Salesforce1 app.
  • Gives you a way to include your own apps/functionality with publisher actions.
  • Lets you customize Salesforce1 with point-and-click or programmatic customizations.
  • Lets you add functionality programmatically through Visualforce pages or Canvas apps.
  • Has defined navigation points. Salesforce1 customizations or apps adhere to the Salesforce1 navigation. So, for example, aVisualforce page can be called from the navigation menu or from the publisher.
  • Enables you to leverage existing Salesforce development experience, both point-and-click and programmatic.
  • Is included in all Salesforce editions and supported by

Custom Apps

Custom apps can be either free-standing apps you create with Salesforce Mobile SDK or browser apps using plain HTML5 and JQueryMobile/Ajax. With custom apps, you can:
  • Define a custom user experience.
  • Access Salesforce data using REST APIs in native and hybrid local apps, or with Visualforce in hybrid apps using JavaScript Remoting. In HTML5 apps, do the same using JQueryMobile and Ajax.
  • Brand your user interface for customer-facing exposure.
  • Create standalone mobile apps, either with native APIs using Java for Android or Objective-C for iOS, or through a hybrid container using JavaScript and HTML5 (Mobile SDK only).
  • Distribute apps through mobile industry channels, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play (Mobile SDK only).
  • Configure and control complex offline behavior (Mobile SDK only).
  • Use push notifications (available for Mobile SDK native apps only).
  • Design a custom security container using your own OAuth module (Mobile SDK only).
Other important Mobile SDK considerations:
  • Open-source SDK, downloadable for free through npm installers as well as from GitHub. No licensing required.
  • Requires you to develop and compile your apps in an external development environment (Xcode for iOS, Eclipse or similar for Android).
  • Development costs range from $0 to $1M or more, plus maintenance costs.


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