Configuring the Salesforce Mobile App

This guide will show you how to configure the Salesforce Mobile App using declarative customization and actions in the Salesforce Lightning platform. You will learn about the features available to customize the Salesforce mobile application user interface, and you will learn how to configure actions and action layouts and optimize the Salesforce Mobile App user experience for users accessing the Lightning Platform on the go.

We will cover the following topics:

  • Exam objectives — Mobile apps
  • Installing the Salesforce Mobile App
  • Configuring the Salesforce mobile application user interface
  • Building global and object-specific actions and action layouts

Exam objectives — Mobile apps

  • Describe the declarative customization options available for the Salesforce mobile application user interface.
  • Given a set of requirements, determine the appropriate global and object-specific actions and action layouts to optimize the Salesforce mobile application UX (user experience).

Reference - Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder Exam Guide

This guide is published by Salesforce and can be referenced at https://trailhead.salesforce.com/help?article=Salesforce-Certified-Platform-App-Builder-Exam-Guide.

In the Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder Exam Guide, the total number of questions is given, along with a percentage breakdown for each of the objectives, and an indication of the number of features/functions that can be expected in each of the objectives.

By analyzing these objectives, percentages, and question counts, we can determine the likely number of questions that will appear in the exam. For the Mobile objective, there are likely to be three questions in total (5% of 60 total exam questions).

To help reinforce the skills and knowledge required to create reports and build dashboards, there is some practical work for you to do in Salesforce, so if you do not have a Salesforce environment in which to carry this out, first create a free developer org.

The options and capabilities of the mobile features will be covered in this guide, and you will learn how mobile features enable you to design an appropriate user interface on the mobile platform and optimize the user experience.

Let’s now look at the Salesforce Mobile App and learn how to set up the app on mobile devices.

Installing the Salesforce Mobile App

Mobile application development, however, is not always cost-effective, as the final product can be expensive to build or fails to meet user requirements. Not all mobile apps developed pass the test for usability, with apps built for mobile devices often lacking functionality and providing a poor user experience. New mobile apps or migrations of desktop apps to mobile sometimes fail as they are simply mobile screen overlays that are not fit for purpose. This can result in poor user adoption.

The Salesforce Mobile App differs in its approach as it is built within the Lightning Platform and configurations carried in the desktop are fully integrated and reflected in the mobile app. The mobile offering provided with the Lightning Platform provides a common security model and a common set of configuration features that provide an innovative, responsive, and easy-to-use mobile experience for users.

The Salesforce mobile web browser is no longer available

Prior to the Summer 2020 release, there were two options for accessing Salesforce mobile features using a mobile device. The first was the downloadable Salesforce Mobile App and then there was a second option, the Salesforce mobile web browser app, which did not require any software installation and used the web browser on mobile devices.

Starting from the Summer 2020 release, the Salesforce mobile web browser app is no longer available. Users must use the downloadable Salesforce Mobile App to access the mobile features on mobile devices, as detailed in the following article: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=000349471&language=en_US&type=1&mode=1

The Salesforce Mobile App includes many of the customizations that have been configured within the desktop version of your organization and are therefore already partly tailored out of the box to deliver your mobile application requirements.

Let’s now look at which mobile devices are supported for use with the Salesforce Mobile App.

Supported mobile devices for the Salesforce Mobile App

Salesforce conducts ongoing tests using various mobile phones and tablets to verify that the Salesforce Mobile App operates correctly with the stated platform.

At the time of writing, Salesforce has identified the following mobile phones as supported for use with the Apple iOS platform:

  • iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6

Salesforce has identified the following tablets as being supported for use with the Apple iOS platform:

  • iPad Pro 10.5 inch
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Mini 4

At the time of writing, Salesforce has identified the following mobile phones as being supported for use with the Android platform:

  • Google Pixel 4 XL
  • Google Pixel 3
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Salesforce Mobile App-supported devices and minimum platform requirements

Salesforce may, at any time, change the list of supported devices and minimum platform requirements for the Salesforce Mobile App. The latest set of supported devices and minimum platform requirements can be accessed from the following article:

https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=salesforce_app_requirements.htm&type=5

We will now look at how to set up the Salesforce Mobile App on a supported mobile device.

Setting up the Salesforce Mobile App

We will step through the process of setting up the Salesforce Mobile App on an iOS device. The set-up process is similar for an Android device, although there may be some minor variations.

To access the installation links for the Salesforce Mobile App on an iOS device, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the Getting started with the Salesforce Mobile App page by browsing to the web URL located at https://www.salesforce.com/solutions/mobile/getting-started/, as shown in the following screenshot:
Figure 1 - Getting Started

In this setup, we will install the Salesforce Mobile App on an Apple iPhone that runs under the iOS platform, so here we’ll select the App Store option.

2. Click on Download on the App Store within the Getting Started screen to navigate to the Salesforce App Store menu, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 2 - Salesforce on the App Store

3. Click on Install in the App Store.

4. Wait for a few moments for the installation to complete and the screen will then change to present an option to open the Salesforce Mobile App, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 3 - Salesforce Mobile App open

5. Click on Open in the Salesforce Mobile App and this action will (upon navigation to the Salesforce Mobile App for the first time) present the Allow Access screen, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 4 - Salesforce Mobile App access permissions

6. Click on Allow to permit the Salesforce Mobile App to gain access to your Salesforce organization, whereby the screen will then change to the Welcome to the Salesforce Mobile App screen, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 5 - The Salesforce Mobile App welcome screen

7. Finally, click on Get Started to navigate to the Salesforce Mobile App menu, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 6 - The Salesforce Mobile App menu

More information about setting up the Salesforce Mobile App

To find out more information about setting up the Salesforce Mobile App, refer to the following article:

https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=salesforce_app_set_up.htm&type=5

This will set up the mobile app. Now let’s look at the mobile app UI (user interface) options in the Lightning Platform.

Configuring the Salesforce mobile application user interface

Salesforce has built mobile-friendly alternatives to the way information is captured, and navigation takes place accordingly to cater for the much smaller screen real estate and the reduced capability of a mobile device to display functions and features to a user.

Differences between the full Lightning Experience app and the Salesforce Mobile App

For more detailed information about the features that are not available in the Salesforce Mobile App when compared to the full Lightning Experience app, refer to the following article:

https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=limits_mobile_sf1_parent.htm&type=5

The features and capabilities that are available for configuring the Salesforce Mobile App user interface are as follows:

  • Lightning App Navigation Menu: The Lightning app navigation menu can be changed by users who have permission to personalize the desktop navigation bar. This also allows a user who has permission to edit the desktop navigation bar, for a given app, to reorder items in the navigation menu within the Salesforce Mobile App, for that particular app.
  • Mobile Only Default Navigation Menu: The Mobile Only app allows you to create navigation items that become the default set of items within the Salesforce Mobile App.
  • Mobile App Branding: This provides the facilities to configure the way in which the app appears.
  • Global Quick Actions: These actions in the Lightning Platform can be thought of as shortcuts that appear within the user interface. A given global quick action is available in both the desktop and mobile apps and can be used to create records, log calls, and so on.
  • Object-specific Quick Actions: In the same way as global quick actions, object-specific quick actions can be thought of as shortcuts that appear within the user interface. They are also available in both the desktop and mobile apps, but are associated with a specific Lightning Platform object type and can be used to update as well as create records, log calls, and so on.

Customization options in the Salesforce Mobile App

For more information about customizing the Salesforce Mobile App, refer to the following article:

https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=salesforce_app_customize.htm&type=5

Having looked at options for configuring the user interface, let’s now look at how the changes are reflected when personalizing the Lightning app menu in the Salesforce Mobile App.

Customizing a Lightning app navigation menu in the Salesforce mobile app

The modifications to the navigation bar are also applied to the navigation menu and navigation bar for the specific Lightning app within the Salesforce Mobile App, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 7 - The Lightning app navigation menu

The preceding screenshot demonstrates reordering by placing the Leads tab to appear as the first item that is reflected in the Salesforce mobile app, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 8 - The Lightning app navigation menu in mobile

Having identified how the Lightning app navigation menu can be personalized, let’s now look at the Mobile Only default navigation menu in the Salesforce mobile app.

Customizing the Mobile Only default navigation menu in the Salesforce Mobile App

By configuring the items that are presented to users, you can include Lightning pages, Visualforce pages, Lightning components, and so on in the default navigation menu and navigation bar of the Salesforce mobile app.

Modification of the navigation bar for the Mobile Only default navigation menu can be carried out by performing the following steps:

  1. Navigate to SETUP and then search for Salesforce Navigation in the Quick Find search box located at the top of the Setup menu on the left sidebar.
  2. Click on Salesforce Navigation in the SETUP menu.
  3. In the Salesforce Navigation setup screen, choose the items from the Available list and move them to the Selected list, as shown in the following screenshot:
Figure 9 - The Mobile Only default navigation menu

4. Finally, click on Save.

The Mobile Only default option shows the selected items in the Salesforce mobile app, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 10 - The Mobile Only default navigation menu in mobile

Customization options in the Mobile Only default navigation menu

For more information about customizing the Mobile Only default navigation menu, refer to the following article:

https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=salesforce_app_customize.htm&type=5

We will now look at the mechanism for setting branding for the Salesforce mobile app.

Mobile app branding

Mobile app branding modifications can be carried out by performing the following steps:

  1. Navigate to SETUP and then search for Branding in the Quick Find search box located at the top of the SETUP menu on the left sidebar.
  2. Click on Salesforce Branding in the SETUP menu.
  3. In the Salesforce Branding setup screen, click on Edit.
  4. In the Salesforce Branding edit page, choose the colors for Brand Color and Loading Page Color, and then choose a Loading Page Logo, as shown in the following screenshot:
Figure 11 - Mobile app branding

The loading page color and loading page logo appear within the Salesforce mobile app, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 12 - Mobile app branding on a mobile device

The brand color appears within the Salesforce mobile app, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 13 - Mobile app branding in a mobile device

Next, we’ll look at the mechanism for building global and object-specific actions and action layouts in the Lightning Platform.

Building global and object-specific actions and action layouts

In the Salesforce mobile app, global and object-specific quick actions offer a quick way to access functions that launch a specific action or custom process automation that exists in the Lightning Platform.

In addition to the custom actions that are tailored to your business processes, the Salesforce Mobile App comes with standard pre-built actions. The quick actions are located within the action bar and the action menu that appears at the top of the screen of the mobile device.

Quick actions that are used to capture data input have their own type of page layout called an action layout and allow you to reduce the number of fields to ensure that only those that are absolutely essential are presented to the mobile user.

In addition to presenting a limited set of fields for data capture, you can also set fields with given values, which are shown on the page layout, to save the user time when there are records that have common values that are to be entered. This feature is called prepopulate fields and is available in both the desktop and the Salesforce Mobile Apps.

As an app builder, you will need to understand how to build global and object-specific actions and action layouts in the Lightning Platform and understand the following key differences.

Global quick actions can be used to create records that are not associated with any other record (that is, there is no option to set an object relationship field). They are called global quick actions because they can be placed anywhere within the Lightning Platform where actions are supported such as the Home page, the Chatter tab, object pages, and custom Lightning app pages.

Global quick actions

For more information about the actions that can be carried out using global quick actions, refer to the following article:

https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=actions_overview_global.htm&type=5

Object-specific actions, on the other hand, can be used to create and also update records as they operate in the context of a given Lightning Platform object type. Within the Salesforce mobile app, object-specific quick actions can be placed on record detail pages. So, for example, an action associated with the lead object is only available when viewing a lead record.

Object-specific actions

For more information about the actions that can be carried out using object-specific actions, refer to the following article:

https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=actions_overview_object_specific.htm&type=5

Let’s look at how to create global quick actions in the Lightning Platform.

Creating global quick actions

  1. Navigate to SETUP and then search for Actions in the Quick Find search box located at the top of the SETUP menu on the left sidebar.
  2. Click on Global Actions in the SETUP menu.
  3. Click on New Action on the Global Actions setup page.
  4. In the Enter Action Information dialog screen, enter the following:
  • Action Type: Create a Record
  • Target Object: Lead
  • Standard Label Type: — None —
  • Label: New Lead (Global Action)
  • Name: New_Lead_Global_Action
  • Description: Platform App Builder Certification Guide, Custom Lead Assignment Scenario, Global Action New Lead
  • Create Feed Item: Enabled (when enabled, a feed item is created along with the action. The compact layout for the target object sets the fields for the feed item.)
  • Success Message: Lead Created
  • Icon: Accept the default lead icon for the Lead (icons change according to the target object.)

5. Finally, click on the Save button to save the global action, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 14 - Global actions

The options for the action types are as follows:

  • Create a Record
  • Send Email
  • Log a Call
  • Custom Visualforce
  • Custom Canvas
  • Lightning Component

Upon saving the global action, the layout setup screen appears as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 15 - Global actions layout

The following fields are added as default: Name, Email, Phone, Company, Title, and Lead Status. The Name, Company and Lead Status fields marked with a red asterisk are mandatory fields and cannot be removed from the page layout.

6. Remove the following fields, Phone, and Title, by clicking on the Remove icon, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 16 - Global actions - removing layout

7. Add the following fields by dragging and dropping the field section, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 17 - Global actions - adding layout

8. Finally, click on the Save button to save the global action layout.

Limiting the number of fields on an action layout

Salesforce recommends including fewer than five and observing a maximum number of eight fields on an action layout, as referenced in the following article:

https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/content/learn/modules/salesforce1_mobile_app/salesforce1_mobile_app_actions_global

To present the New Lead global action as an option in the user interface, we now need to add the global action to a publisher layout. We can create custom publisher layouts. However, there is a standard layout that we will use called the Global Publisher layout. You may need to check that this layout is included within the profiles within the Publisher Layout Assignment if you have already made any changes to the Global Publisher layout.

Let’s now go ahead and add the global action to the global publisher layout by performing the following steps:

  1. Navigate to SETUP and then search for Publisher in the Quick Find search box located at the top of the SETUP menu on the left sidebar.
  2. Click on Publisher Layouts in the SETUP menu.
  3. Click on Edit for the standard Global Publisher layout.
  4. If you are editing Global Publisher for mobile actions for the first time, you will need to click the override the predefined actions link, as shown in the following screenshot:
Figure 18 - Global Publisher override

5. Optionally, click on override the predefined actions in the Global Publisher layout.

6. Ensure that New Lead (Global Action) is included within Salesforce Mobile and Lightning Experience Actions, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 19 - Global Publisher layout

7. Finally, click on the Save button to save the publisher layout.

Let’s now see how this looks in the Salesforce Mobile App by navigating to the Chatter item (this can be found in the Mobile Only app). The New Lead (Global Action) option will be presented, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 20 - Global Publisher layout mobile

Next, we’ll turn to the practicalities of building reports that satisfy a specific business requirement by implementing a report with the use of the Lightning report builder.

Configuring object-specific actions

Let’s go ahead and configure an object-specific quick action by performing the following steps:

  1. Navigate to SETUP and then search for Object Manager in the Quick Find search box located at the top of the SETUP menu on the left sidebar.
  2. Click on Object Manager in the SETUP menu.
  3. In the Object Manager setup screen, search for the Location object.
  4. Click on Location in Object Manager in the SETUP menu.
  5. In the Location object manager setup screen, click on Buttons, Links, and Actions from within the Location object setup menu on the left sidebar.
  6. In the Buttons, Links, and Actions section, click on New Action.
  7. In the Enter Action Information dialog screen, enter the following information:
  • Action Type: Update a Record
  • Standard Label Type: — None —
  • Label: Deactivate Location
  • Name: Deactivate_Location
  • Description: Platform App Builder Certification Guide, Custom Lead Assignment Scenario, Object-specific Action Deactivate Location
  • Success Message: Location Deactivated
  • Icon: Accept the default icon

8. Finally, click on the Save button to save the global action, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 21 - Object-specific actions

The options for Action Types are as follows:

  • Create a Record
  • Send Email
  • Log a Call
  • Custom Visualforce
  • Update a Record
  • Lightning Component
  • Flow

Upon saving the global action, the layout setup screen appears as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 22 - Object-specific actions layout

The following field, Location Name, is added by default and is marked with a red asterisk to show it is a mandatory field and cannot be removed from the page layout.

  1. Add the Active field to the action layout.
  2. Click on the Save button to save the action layout.
  3. Upon saving the action layout, click on New in the Predefined Field Values section, as shown in the following screenshot:
Figure 23 - Object-specific action predefined

4. In the Enter Action Information dialog screen, enter the following information:

  • Field Name: Active
  • Specify New Field Value: Formula Value (Checkbox): FALSE

5. Click on the Save button to save the Predefined Field Value, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 24 - Object-specific predefined action saved

Let’s now add the object-specific action to the Location page layout by performing the following steps:

6. In the Location object manager setup screen, click on Page Layout from within the Location object setup menu on the left sidebar.

7. Click on the Location Layout page layout.

8. Drag the Deactivate Location action to the Salesforce Mobile and Lightning Experience Actions section of the page layout, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 25 - Object-specific action page layout

9. Finally, click on the Save button to save the page layout.

Let’s now see how this looks in the Salesforce Mobile App by navigating to the Chatter item (this can be found in the Mobile Only app). The New Lead (Global Action) option will be presented, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 26 - Object-specific action - mobile

Summary

You have learned about the setup and installation of the Salesforce Mobile App and about options for customizing the Salesforce Mobile App user interface.

You have learned how to configure quick actions within the Salesforce Mobile App that can be used to implement global quick actions, object-specific actions, and action layouts to optimize the Salesforce mobile application user experience.

With this knowledge, you are now well-equipped to tackle the Mobile section of the Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder exam.

This article is part of the Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification Guide by Paul Goodey. To learn how to build apps on the Salesforce Platform and pass the Salesforce Platform App Builder certification exam, check out the complete book here.

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