I've seen a lot of mentions of Salesforce1 coming out of Dreamforce this year.

As a developer, what is it and why(or when) would I want to use it?

I get the impression it is a refinement of the chatter-mobile app with additional APIs and the primary idea is to provide mobile access to chatter, CRM and custom apps. It appears to natively target iOS and Android devices. Did I miss anything important? (I've picked this up from various twitter accounts so I could be off the mark here)

A couple of interesting URLs to come out of twitter to directly access Salesforce1 and the SalesforceA admin app in any browser.




  • 4
    Not adding this as an answer, because I'm not 100% sure either, but it appears you're basically spot on. New apps for administrators to manage salesforce.com using mobile (e.g. security settings), a unification of APIs to reach salesforce.com, bringing together all the existing infrastructure and adding new features to bring CRM to "the future." Being that it's being unveiled at Dreamforce, and I'm not there, anyone who is probably gets it better than I do right now.
    – sfdcfox
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 19:11
  • 1
    @sfdcfox The SalesforceA Mobile Admin is a welcome edition. As a Windows Phone user I'm hoping there will be HTML5 support as a native app doesn't seem likely. Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 19:49
  • Given Salesforce's track record for making apps specifically for Microsoft products, I think it's unlikely that we'll see a Windows Phone version of Salesforce1 or SalesforceA, at least for a long time.
    – Matt K
    Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 15:02
  • What does Salesforce1 mean for Developers? by @jeff-douglas Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 18:27
  • 1
    If you develop in Chrome and are using the /one/one.app URL, I've found the following useful. You can open the developer console, click settings (gear icon in lower right corner), click Overrides and then select a User Agent string and Device metrics to emulate various devices. Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 0:52

5 Answers 5


Salesforce1 is a new platform, complete with a host of new APIs and mobile UI tools.

To oversimplify it, it's taking the Chatter mobile app, which up until this point has just been an app running on closed source code and building it into a platform, while really blowing out its capabilities. It's built on the premise that our business lives are increasingly happening in the feed. Every action from a like to a comment, now has a public API and method call behind it. More than just Chatter however, it's allows you to embed your business applications either through Visualforce or custom publisher actions (with you app hosted wherever). Salesforce1 will offer custom branding, administrator configuration, and allow for installable apps. 3rd party sales tools, service tools, marketing apps will be able to plug right into this framework.

More than just mobile, while it is the focus, Salesforce1 represents a new API-first mentality at Salesforce.com. Every action, interface, and new feature is built on top of a public API that developers can also wield and consume. Think about a list view in Salesforce, it's not something you can build without some pretty deep customization and code of your own. This UI component is not built on a public API. This is the old paradigm of Salesforce.com and Salesforce1 is the new one.

Worth referencing here is the Salesforce1 App Developer Guide and a full listing of Salesforce1 APIs

  • 4
    Can you be explicit about what the new APIs are? At first sight your linked document looks like a list of largely existing APIs.
    – Keith C
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 22:45
  • @KeithC great question! The short answer is that all APIs apply to Salesforce1 because Salesforce1 is just a new mobile interface for Salesforce. However, it looks like Salesforce added a few new APIs at the same time Salesforce1 was released.
    – Matt K
    Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 22:15

Salesforce1 is a new mobile application provided by Salesforce.

There were previously a few different ways to connect to Salesforce using a mobile (iOS or Android - iPhone, iPad, Android tablet, etc.) device: Salesforce Classic, Salesforce Touch, and Chatter Mobile. This mobile application replaces the most recent application, Chatter Mobile, which has been renamed to Salesforce1 and updated with a ton of incredible new features.

Summary: What is it?!

The Salesforce1 announcement page describes it as:

Say hello to the Salesforce1 Customer Platform.
Connect all your apps. Connect all your devices. Connect all your customer data. All with one Customer Platform designed for the new hyper-connected world of customers. With new APIs, mobile tools, and more, it’s everything you need to sell, service, and market like never before.

And, here's a summary from the announcement video:

"Introducing Salesforce1 - an all new platform engineered to connect customers to the next generation of apps and devices, so you can sell, service, and market like never before. A customer platform designed entirely to accelerate development and deployment in a mobile first world. With social collaboration at it's core and 100% Salesforce cloud. So not only are you ready for what's next, you're way out in front ahead of next. Here you'll find APIs for anything; so you can connect to everything. A world class mobile AppExchange, so you're instantly ready to build and sell next generation apps for the enterprise app revolution. Plus a new Admin app, so you can quickly change things on the fly. This is where one button instantly connects everything: your customers, your employees, your partners, your products, everything you've ever created on Salesforce, and everything yet to come."

Why would I use Salesforce1 and what can I do with it?

It's probably easiest to think of Salesforce1 as a new mobile interface for everything in Salesforce (except development, for now...). So, it's used to access Salesforce on mobile devices. It's possible to access all Standard and Custom objects, and it even makes it easy to publish a Visualforce Page to mobile devices. To do so, follow these quick instructions:

  1. Navigate to Setup > Administer > Mobile Administration > Salesforce1
  2. Make sure Salesforce1 is enabled and click Save
  3. Navigate to Setup > Build > Develop > Pages and select a Visualforce Page
  4. Click "Edit", check the "Available for Salesforce mobile apps" checkbox; then, click Save
  5. Navigate to Setup > Build > Create > Tabs
  6. Create a new Visualforce Tab for your Page
  7. Check the "Mobile Ready" checkbox and click Save
  8. Navigate to Setup > Administer > Mobile Administration > Mobile Navigation
  9. Add your new Visualforce Tab to the Salesforce1 Navigation Menu
  10. Go to [your-salesforce-instance-domain].salesforce.com/one/one.app to test (I'd recommend using Chrome, because I couldn't get it to work properly in Internet Explorer or Firefox)

New APIs??

The documentation has more information on how to develop mobile ready Pages and integrate other services. This is where the APIs come in. Most, if not all of the APIs listed, were released before Salesforce1. However, any API that could be used in Salesforce previously can now be used with Salesforce1 as well.

From the comments, it appears that the only relatively new API is the Analytics API which was made generally available in Winter '14.

  • Analytics API Developer Guide - Analytics REST API gives programmatic access to integrate reporting into a wide variety of applications. You can get report metadata, run reports synchronously or asynchronously to get summary data with or without details, filter...

All previous API documentation can be found on developer.force.com.

As a side note, I'd highly recommend taking a look at the Mobile Design Templates to implement a mobile look and feel for your Salesforce apps.

What about ____? (Or, where can I get more information?)

Check out the official announcement page or the Salesforce1 Platform API Services Guide for more information. Also, keep checking Dreamforce's YouTube page for videos of the Keynotes and Sessions where Salesforce1 was announced.

  • 3
    The only reasonably new API listed there is the Analytics API (Winter '14 GA). The others are at least a year old.
    – beamso
    Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 1:50
  • Thanks! I hadn't used any of the APIs I listed, and while they seemed new to me, you're right, they were released before Salesforce1. I updated the answer to reflect this.
    – Matt K
    Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 14:55
  • +1 for clarifying that there is only one relatively-new API, unlike the hype.
    – RichVel
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 8:39
  • I heard that there are more API calls within the areas, and that policy is now that any new UI features can't be added without first adding an API.
    – RichVel
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 21:58

My biggest take away from the Salesforce1 mobile application is the ability to navigate back into the application from a custom VF Page (made available in the app through a chatter publisher action).

This feature is documented here

This allows you to build custom VF to aggregate and display custom views, then navigate back to the prebuilt Salesforce1 app's interface for mundane work like record editing or chatter feed updating.

Edit: This is also our first chance to see Aura in action. For more information about Aura see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYPTlCoKvmo


One of the more interesting items in the Salesforce 1 platform is its series of application programming interfaces (APIs). With these APIs, Salesforce is hoping Salesforce 1 becomes a play on the Internet of things. With 50 billion connected things projected by 2020, sensors will track everything.

Salesforce's argument is behind every sensor-laden thing is a customer. The use cases for this customer-Internet of things connection will vary. For instance a Philips MRI machine could use sensor data to flag machinery problems. These problems could automatically be routed to a Salesforce service cloud.

  • 1
    It will be interesting to see if "things" get connected to the marketing cloud. I don't want my toothbrush trying to sell me the more expensive toothpaste. ;) Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 0:55
  • It can happen with Salesforce :) Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 6:40

One key developer feature is that any Visualforce page, including one containing a Force.com Canvas iframe, can be embedded in the Salesforce1 mobile app without extra coding - just do this:

  1. make the Visualforce page 'available for mobile' (checkbox in the VF page editing screen in Salesforce admin UI, not Salesforce1)

  2. create a new Visualforce page with same code as existing one and drag it to under the Mobile Cards section in the Page Layout for the record detail page.

  3. clear cached layouts etc (see the Settings option on Salesforce1 app) - and maybe reload the app

  4. the Visualforce page (or Canvas frame) appears when you swipe-left to get the right-hand page (includes Opportunity Owner, Products, etc)

I just did this for an existing Canvas app and it works well - it seems that you do have to tap on the VF page to interact with it.

Of course, you may want to make the Canvas based web app responsive, increase size of touch targets, etc, but that's no different to any other mobile web app.

One other tip: if you have existing iPad/tablet users using the desktop web app, you may find that Salesforce1 web app is auto-enabled in new orgs, even those created in mid-Nov before it was announced.

  • This means that all such tablet users will get the Salesforce1 mobile web app, even if you intended them to use the desktop web app.
  • Check the Mobile Administration section - you can disable the SF1 mobile web app independently of the Salesforce1 mobile app (iOS and Android only for now.) No org setup is required to use the downloadable mobile app.

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