Where should you build your mobile apps?

where should I build my apps image

It’s never been a more exciting time to get into mobile. With enterprise vendors jumping up and down to make you successful, it’s hard to know what to do. Here’s my account of ManyWho and Salesforce1 Lightning.

My goal is to be objective given my deep domain knowledge of both products (having worked for Salesforce). However, I’m going to talk more positively about ManyWho — it’s only natural :0)

Salesforce1 Lightning and ManyWho are both platforms to help you deliver business applications (including, but not exclusively to mobile). The marketing sounds great…

  • Build apps once, run them on any device and OS
  • Build apps that are connected to your enterprise databases
  • Use point and click tooling so your business users can get creative
  • Use developer tooling so your IT guys can go deep
  • All of the apps you build are in the cloud, elastic and scalable
  • All of the apps you build are social, mobile, open and real-time
  • All of the apps you build are connected and can drive “The Internet of Things/Customers” (though “thing” is clearly a terrible way to refer to a customer!)

So where’s the difference then? Well, it’s actually pretty big. However, there is one thing common to both:

Both ManyWho and Salesforce1 Lightning use Salesforce as the “backend”

Let’s dig in a little deeper…

You get truly native, offline apps with ManyWho

Unlike Salesforce1 Lightning, when you build apps on ManyWho, your apps can run as HTML5 in the browser on the device, but will also run as fully native apps on iOS and Android. This means you can have your apps online, but also fully offline without needing to write a mountain of code. That’s the power of the ManyWho architecture – we built our platform from the ground up to serve the multi-device generation of apps. With Salesforce1 Lightning, you’re locked into HTML5 only apps and offline needs to be coded from scratch.

ManyWho takes APIs very seriously

If your developers want to get stuck into some custom UI coding to give you exactly the experience you need, you can use JQuery, Angular, Twitter Bootstrap, Sencha, Xamarin, whatever you like. That’s because our platform is API first, but more than that, your apps become APIs. This is because we recognize that mobile is not a revolution in UI, it’s an architectural shift in how you build and deliver apps. Need your app to work on Glass? No problem. FitBit? All good. With Salesforce1, it’s all about server-side generated HTML5 components as part of their Salesforce-only Aura UI framework. The result is that you’re still building websites and UI rather than shifting to a cross-device architecture. If you’re taking mobile seriously, you need to consider the architectural shift, not just the UI. We’ve done the hard work for you.

ManyWho licensing is super flexible

ManyWho offers usage, user and/or app based pricing models so you can find the best option to meet your needs. This allows you to build apps for customers, partners and employees without breaking the bank. Salesforce1 licensing options are limited to user and app based pricing and all of your users must be Salesforce1 users – so it’s not appropriate for customer or partner facing apps. With ManyWho, we plug into your existing identity management systems and support providers such as Google, Box, ActiveDirectory and Salesforce of course as needed. But in addition, you don’t need to choose a completely different technology just because you need an app for customers. In addition, we know from speaking with Salesforce customers that a single app can cost in the region of $150-200k. That’s a lot for one app, and it’s completely impossible if you have a portfolio of apps.

ManyWho is a truly elastic, scalable platform

With the ManyWho platform, we give you the capacity you need to support your apps. If your app is more processing intensive, that’s OK, we’ll make sure you have the infrastructure you need to keep it running and scaling. Salesforce1 has “governor limits” that cannot be changed. For those unfamiliar with governor limits, they’re limits set on the platform, and in turn your apps, that cannot be exceeded. If you hit the ceiling, you can’t get more capacity. Have a look at their 50 page Quick Reference Guide of limits. Not a lot of fun if your project hits one of these roadblocks. It also means you may hit unmovable limits as you scale usage.

ManyWho is built on ManyWho

Though this may seem like an odd statement, most modern platforms are built on themselves. It validates that their technology “works”, but more than that, it’s a statement of confidence that the platform provider relies on their own platform as much as they’re expecting you to. ManyWho is built on ManyWho. We figured if it was good enough for our customers, then it was good enough for us. All of our workflows, tooling and runtimes are built on our own technology. Hey, it keeps us honest and we’re as motivated as you to provide the best experience as possible to our users.

ManyWho loves Salesforce1

You made the right decision choosing Salesforce. So just like Salesforce1 Lightning, ManyWho ensures your identity, your data, your files and your collaborations all get safely stored back in Salesforce.com. The goal with the ManyWho platform is to make sure you’re super successful delivering your mobile projects with Salesforce.

At ManyWho, we’re a customer and partner of Salesforce in addition to being part owned by Salesforce. If you’re building mobile apps for Salesforce, make sure to check us out.

Steve is the CEO of the cloud workflow company, ManyWho. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and three children. When not working to better the world of enterprise application development he can be found amusing his kids with his guitar playing.

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