RhoSync Brings Salesforce.com Social Apps To iPhone, Android - InformationWeek

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Cloud // Software as a Service

RhoSync Brings Salesforce.com Social Apps To iPhone, Android

Version 2.1 delivers integration with Salesforce's Chatter and REST APIs, allowing mobile workers ready access to a company's collaboration applications.

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Rhomobile has released version 2.1 of its RhoSync application integration program, featuring out-of-the-box integration with Salesforce.com's REST and Chatter APIs.

The result is that social business applications from Salesforce can quickly become accessible by iPhone and Android users, said CEO Adam Blum. "We also have new analytics that let you summarize performance and usage of your app," through the RhoSync Management Console, he said.

"This could be used to bring social servers into the company," Blum said, then fully leverage the capability of the mobile device. "We see many applications that include mapping, integration with contact managers, native push, not just social networking." Systems like RhoSync will let corporate social apps catch up with what's available on a consumer level, he predicted.

RhoSync offers what Blum calls "logarithmic" pricing. "It's $10,000 for 100 devices, and the typical sale is doubling with every order of magnitude," so you'll pay $20,000 to connect 1,000 devices, which is an average order. Rhomobile also has a hosted version of the product, priced at $99 to support 100 devices and $499 to support 1,000.

The aim of RhoSync is to enable the creation of mobile applications that are fully integrated with enterprise apps. By doing this through mobile sync, the company believes it can reduce the developer's integration costs.

For instance, Blum said, a typical Objective C app may expend the majority of its code doing connection, data retrieval, data parsing, and populating and managing updates to the local database. RhoSync eliminates all that code except for a small source adapter, which can usually be handled with less than a page of Ruby code. (There is still support for iPhone development in Objective C, however.)

By integrating enterprise social applications through the mobile sync server, enterprise data is also kept current and available on smartphones, even when users are offline and disconnected. Blum said RhoSync is the first synchronization server to use native smartphone push. RhoSync is available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux, with one-button installation on the first.

Enabling mobile sync is a common problem for all types of mobile users. While mobile vendors have been heavily advertising their ability to do mobile sync, this is often done through a vendor, without the security features CIOs expect.

Rhomobile allows this control, and Blum promised future versions will integrate with other CRM and social business platforms. Much of that work is already being done through the company's own development ecosystem, which Blum said he's careful to nurture. "We don't do apps for hire. We feed all that business to our ecosystem, and charge people for the software. We just charge for the server."

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