Salesforce1 Platform gives Salesforce developers at all skill levels good options for building mobile apps.

Salesforce.com started as a cloud service for sales force automation. The company added a cloud-based development platform, Force.com, with a Java-like language (APEX), and went on to acquire the Heroku PaaS and a number of other services.

Today, Salesforce.com is the acknowledged 800-pound gorilla of SaaS for a number of business application areas: not only sales force automation, but also marketing, customer service, community building, business intelligence, B2B prospecting, and collaboration. Over the last few years, Salesforce has been building out its mobile strategy.

As we’ll see, the Salesforce1 toolkit includes a Web-based drag-and-drop designer that even a Neanderthal – make that a business analyst – can use. (I’m now in trouble with both Neanderthals and business analysts.) At the next level of complexity, a Web developer who knows some HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript can build pages for Salesforce1 in Visual Force with Mobile Packs or using Lightning components. At the highest level of complexity, a mobile developer can build native or hybrid applications against Salesforce data for iOS and Android with the Salesforce Mobile SDKs. Meanwhile, any of these can utilize the MBaaSes provided by the Salesforce1 Platform.

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