Dreamforce ’12 technical take-aways


Nic TassiniWhat an amazing week at Dreamforce X – with an awesome vibe and feature announcements. The Tquila team attended a lot of interesting sessions, but the developer keynote was the most mind-blowing for techies!

Here are my technical take-aways:

Touch
It’s now incredibly quick and easy to create hybrid and native mobile apps using Touch. A set of templates is already available – you just need to clone one and develop your idea. Everything’s set up for you already – even integration and authentication.

In addition, a completely new set of mobile VisualForce components is now available, enabling you to build mobile apps only using Force.com as the main platform. It’s easy to then reference these new pages into a native app cloned from a template.

Here’s everything you need to get started: http://developer.force.com/mobile

Don’t forget to download the free mobile development guide!

Canvas
Definitely a game changer! At first glance it may seem that it’s just embedding an external application using the well-known iframe. But it’s not! You can embed your existing app and leverage an inbuilt integration layer, which enables you to understand who the logged-in user is, and to query Salesforce to fetch and update data. Everything is designed to be simple: just include a javascript library and go for it!

There are 2 key use cases for Canvas: retooling your old apps, and building next-generation social apps.

Inside the Canvas creation page you also have the option to create a new app hosted on Heroku, and choose between Java and Ruby templates. This example app will be the baseline for your development and it already includes the code for the integration with the logged-in user and Salesforce.

Identity
Another big shift! With this new feature you can log in to several different external services and platforms directly from a Salesforce tab through a SingleSignOn process.

Even better, while you’re working on your favourite SFDC app, you can be notified if another service has an update for you.

Identity can also be used as a SingleSignOn provider. The consumer world already has the Facebook ID – and with Identity, we can now think about using our Salesforce login as the sign-in source for social networks, custom applications, services and existing platforms.

Heroku Enterprise for Java
Absolutely one of my favourite announcements: you can finally leverage an enterprise offer on Heroku, where you can select your preferred stack, with OpenJDK 6, 7 or 8, Tomcat 7 as servlet container and Memcache to support distributed caching.

It’s now also possible to better manage the deployment process, adopting Atlassian Bamboo as a continuous integration server.

Last but not least, a brand new Eclipse IDE plugin has been launched, making app management easier. Import them, change the main information, browse logs and scale up and down… all directly from your IDE.

The enterprise package isn’t free, but it does give you premium support.

More info here: http://blog.heroku.com/archives/2012/9/19/announcing_heroku_enterprise_for_java/

There were lots more exciting announcements – like ChatterBox, which lets you store files in a trusted, secure, enterprise-grade storage system; Chatter Communities, which enhances customer communication though external community functionality; Work.com Cloud, which brings gamification to the office; and the Marketing Cloud, where the baseline is a mix of Radian6 and BuddyMedia.

Check out all the highlights on the Dreamforce YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/dreamforce

See you next year!

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One thought on “Dreamforce ’12 technical take-aways

  1. […] We look forward to sharing our Dreamforce takeaways with you over the next few weeks. If you’d like to get a technical perspective, Technical Consultant Nik Tassini has already blogged his opinions on the Tquila Team blog. […]

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