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Salesforce Makes Play For JavaScript Community In Major Mobile Push, Passes 1 Million Developer Mark

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Salesforce.com has attracted one million developers to its platform and is now making a push into the mobile market with a new hybrid environment that allows developers to use JavaScript to update native iOS or Android apps.

The new hybrid model is meant to welcome JavaScript developers through the support of frameworks in its Developer Mobile Pack that include JQuery Mobile, Angular.JS and Backbone.js. The mobile SDK has new frameworks for HTML 5, iOS and Android apps.

The bridge is in the database that pulls customer data from the JavaScript frameworks that sits on top of the application. It allows developers to then use the SDK to take advantage of the camera, swipe and the other features that come native to iOS and Android devices. Customer data gets integrated and made available immediately in the app as the updated happen in the JavaScript environment.

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To build the community, Salesforce will conduct a 37-city hacking event the week of April 22 that will also be conducted online. Salesforce is also partnering with systems integrators and partners such as Deloitte and Appirio.

RedMonk Analyst Stephen O’Grady posts quarterly data about programming language popularity. JavaScript is currently ranked first showing why Salesforce is making this push. They want to attract this rich developer community for its push into the mobile market.

The new mobile services opens the Salesforce platform to JavaScript developers but O’Grady points to the complexity that come in the increasingly fragmentation of the programming community:

Much as PaaS providers are currently grappling with the challenge of maximizing their addressable market via support for multiple runtimes, so too must vendors and projects in other categories work to service as many programming languages as possible. Given the opportunity to choose, developers are making choices: lots of them.

Updating a mobile app today requires the same patience that you needed in 1997 with that first web site. As in those nascent years of the web, the complexity today is in the expertise and manual processes needed to get the app updated. It requires lots of code and lots of patience. By using JavaScript, developers can make the app update process far simpler and as well make for better integration with customer data.

Still, Salesforce has its work cut out for it as competitors are building out engagement platforms without the legacy environment that Salesforce has to manage as it makes its mobile push.