Describe the architecture of a Mobile App with offline storage
Describe each of the fields and their purpose
Dreamforce 13 Optimizing Data Sync for Mobile Apps
Optimizing Offline Data
Synchronization for Mobile Apps
Teodoro Alonso (Ted), salesforce.com, Technical Solutions Architect
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Teodoro Alonso (Ted)
Technical Solutions Architect
•By a show of hands, for those of you have implemented a mobile
application that uses Salesforce data offline?
•How many of you think that you accomplished your initial goals for
the mobile app?
•What prevented you from achieving the goals that you set for your
• Present a set of Good Practices and Design Patterns that
help Optimize Mobile Data Synchronization.
• Describe common pitfalls to avoid when dealing with sync
Why is Mobile Data Synchronization so difficult to
Too much Data to synchronize in a reasonable amount of time.
Users dread using the App
Unreliable or slow connectivity can cause:
Synchronization that “never ends”
Complex Salesforce Data Model results in:
Slow or impossible queries.
Failed queries due to governor limits
McGraw-Hill Education Artemis Video
McGraw-Hill Education Artemis Application Goals
Eliminate the need to carry around a laptop on campus to access multiple
apps via browser
Make the sales rep more efficient while on campus and also reduce postcampus work
Improve data quality and completeness in Salesforce, resulting in
Implement common processes to bring new reps up to speed faster
McGraw-Hill Education Artemis Application
Business Use Case 1: Provide Sales Reps with a Mobile Application to
help them sell products to Campus Professors by enabling them to identify
the most important opportunities tied to different professors and allow them
to plan these meetings using a daily plan while online or offline
Business Use Case 2: Provide Sales Reps with a way to update the
opportunities, keep notes, create sample orders and update contact data
online and offline.
Business Use Case 3: Provide Sales Reps with a way to update to show
the targeted product based on the courses that the Professor teaches
opportunities online and offline.
Design Pattern 1: “They don’t need all the data”
The users don’t need “all the data” and you should identify the precious little
data items that are truly required.
Characterize the user’s need for Salesforce data
Do ride alongs to identify the data that the user’s need in a sales call
Identify the tasks that the users do and define what tasks have the need for offline data.
Talk to their managers about what are the goals of the users and what data needs to be collected offline.
Orders, Proposals, Contact, Account, Opportunities account creation/update
For the updated records, do you need more than the owned records?
Design Pattern 1: “They don’t need all the data” -cont
MHHE Mobile Sync
Flag = True
Do a test “Data Pull” using the Data Loader to estimate the data payload size.
Design Pattern 2: Reduce the number of objects by
flattening the data model
Move one or two fields from a parent to a child in a lookup relationship using
formula fields to avoid having to synchronize the parent object.
Reduces the number of different objects and fields to transfer.
Reduces reference resolution post sync
Account Owner : Lookup (User)
AccountOwner Name: Formula (Owner.FirstName + ' ' +
Design Pattern 3: Let Salesforce help Sync Objects
• Add the Mobile_Sync_Flag to the objects to be synchronized. Can be a
Formula field or Set by batch Apex processes (Preferred).
Sync those records WHERE Mobile_Sync_Flag = true
Much more simple query
• This technique can also be used to do Pseudo-OR id queries:
For example, if we can to pull all the Addresses for all the Contacts OR Accounts already
downloaded to the Mobile App. We can specify the following WHERE clause:
((MHHE_Contact_Flag__c = true AND Contact__r.MHHE_Mobile_Sync_Flag__c = true) OR
(MHHE_Account_Flag__c = true AND Account__r.MHHE_Mobile_Sync_Flag__c = true))
Design Anti-Pattern 1: The User Knows How to
• Pop a modal dialog and ask the user to resolve Synchronization Conflicts.
• Stops the sync completion
• Potentially error prone user interface.
• Does the user have the knowledge to make the correct choices?
• This Anti-Pattern results in a complex user interface with the potential for
Design Pattern 4: Take the Last Version Unless
Salesforce Says Otherwise
• Identify all the objects that will have bidirectional synchronization
• Determines the potential conflict objects
• Will a Last Modified Record Strategy work for all cases?
If so, implement this strategy.
Assumes that the field value verification can be done locally (Mobile or Salesforce)
• Do you need Salesforce to verify the fields in the mobile originated record?
Implement a “Before Insert” “Before Update” trigger in Salesforce that identifies the
incoming Mobile records and verifies and cleanses the fields as necessary
Have the Mobile re-Read the Upserted records to insure that it has the cleansed fields
Don’t just push data to a mobile just because they might need it someday.
Carefully select the objects and records that the user absolutely requires
Determine the sync direction for the objects and decide on what to do for
bidirectional sync conflicts.
Simplify the data you send to a mobile to speed up processing post download
Only pull the fields that you need from an object or their parent object
Don’t allocate all the synchronization work on the client
Leverage Salesforce formula fields and batch processes to preselect the
data to be synchronized.
Technical Solutions Architect,
Senior Technical Consultant