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Does Salesforce support the development of progressive web applications via VisualForce, Lightning or any other means? Progressive web applications are web applications that utilize service workers, caching, background sync, web push, application manifests, responsive design and APIs for things like media and geolocation to create web applications that look, feel and behave like just like mobile applications.

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Just running down the checklist I think at least most of that should be possible in visualforce/lightning. It just depends on the needs of the company and the developers skill level. There are some items on the check list that don't seem to apply to websites but that could just be me being a bad web developer.

For instance:

Load various pages in the PWA with an airplane mode enabled. Ensure the app presents some content even when offline. Use Lighthouse to verify the start URL responds with a 200 when offline.

I'm not really sure that's feasible when the entirety of Salesforce exists in the cloud. Even when I try to think of ways to accomplish it, I can't help but feel like they result in a security risk (such as downloading meta-data or data to a local system which you probably don't want to do).

For the most part though, I don't see why you can't develop a Progressive Web Application in Salesforce. Lightning is probably better suited as SLDS is already set up for an enhanced mobile experience.

Update

See comments - The answer is generally yes, you can build a PWA on Salesforce.

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    Your example is accomplished via Offline Caching Using the HTML5 manifest Attribute. Many of the other features are also available.
    – sfdcfox
    May 15, 2018 at 21:42
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    And I'll come back and give you a +1 when the clock resets. I ran out of votes. 😅
    – sfdcfox
    May 15, 2018 at 21:43
  • I see what you mean about the manifest. It'll definitely ensure that "some" content displays (which I guess is what the checklist item is looking for) but it would produce a relatively nonfunctional experience as they would still not have access to records or live data. And My point remains that you would not want to locally cache data for security reasons.
    – gNerb
    May 15, 2018 at 21:50
  • @gNerb data caching are actually few of the requirements as I have seen whenever discussing offline capabilities. Consider an example, where you want to mention a contact from the same company who's seated just besides you on a plane, but you can't just because you are in airplane mode. Or a field service agent who wants to view a part installation manual while fulfilling a service request in a basement of building where there's no network.
    – Jayant Das
    May 15, 2018 at 21:58
  • I completely understand the benefits, but that exposes data into a machine that has potential to be less secure. I'm not saying you can't do it, I just wouldn't want to.
    – gNerb
    May 15, 2018 at 22:12

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