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How to Use Hybrid Apps in Salesforce

Salesforce is a platform where hybrid apps can be developed and run. This post will explain what hybrid apps are, basic prerequisites to creating them, and a quick rundown on how to create one.

The Hybrid App

The hybrid app is a cross between native mobile apps and mobile web apps. Hybrid apps are written in the same language as that of mobile web apps, primarily HTML5 web language. However, they can access device functions like a native mobile app, thanks to a mobile development framework. Hybrid apps are packaged like native apps and are distributed through app stores.

Using Hybrid Apps in Salesforce

Salesforce Hybrid apps have two categories:

  • Hybrid local – These are apps created through the js library. They store pertinent app files in the device.
  • Hybrid remote – These apps are made via Visualforce and store their files either on the device or on the Salesforce server.

Requirements for Building Hybrid Apps

  • Developer Edition organization
  • HTML5 and JavaScript code background
  • Visualforce start page (for hybrid remote apps only)

Platform Specific Requirements

For iOS:

  • iOS 9 or higher
  • Latest Xcode version/ Xcode version 8
  • Node Package Manager 3.10
  • Cocoapods 1.1 or later
  • Forceios version 5.0
  • Cordova 4.3.0

For Android:

  • Java JDK8 or later
  • Android 2.2 studio or higher
  • Node Package Manager 3.10
  • Android Virtual Device
  • Android SDK and Android SDK Tools
  • Forcedroid
  • Cordova 6.1.0

Overview of Hybrid App Building

Building hybrid apps may differ, depending on the platform used. The user first installs the Cordova command line via the command prompt window. Then, he installs either the forcedroid or forceios npm package. Enter the preferred application type (hybrid_local, hybrid_remote, or react_native). Proceed to coding and importing HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or bootconfig.json files. Cordova plug-ins may also be added. Once done, run the app either in the Android Studio or in Xcode/iOS simulator.

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