When the Salesforce team graciously invited Mobify to co-present at their annual developer conference, TrailheaDX, we were very excited to get the invite. As part of our ongoing partnership with the Salesforce Commerce Cloud team, we put together content to explore how to build Progressive Web Apps on Commerce Cloud.
Overall, we had a great first-time experience at the conference, and I wanted to share some key takeaways on where the Salesforce ecosystem is heading next.
First off, I’d give a big kudos to the marketing and developer relations teams at Salesforce for pulling off a different style of developer conference. Not only did it have a comfortable, casual vibe that made learning easy, but they really put important topics at the forefront – like sustainability with carbon offset for travel, all vegetarian lunches to reduce environmental impact, refillable water bottles with app tracking, gamified donations to local educational groups, and a tremendous amount of sessions focused on educating and enabling youth with tech.
Demandware Converges into the Ecosystem
The big change for me was starting to see the convergence of Demandware (now B2C Commerce) into the larger Salesforce ecosystem. While this is far from complete, this was a clear first step in combining the different approaches to technology and developer experience. For example, there was a deep focus on showing the cross-cloud integrability across Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud, centered around a central customer profile. All of this is enabled via a strong API focus, which crossed over to where Mobify was promoting headless commerce architectures driven by the Commerce Cloud APIs. Of note was a strong showing of Einstein APIs, where you could easily put together machine learning training data sets and start leveraging recommendations via APIs in the time span of a single workshop.
UX Unified on Lightning Web Components
It was also refreshing to see a drive towards unifying the user experience across all the Salesforce clouds based on Lightning Web Components. If you’re unfamiliar with Web Components, this emerging web standard is meant to promote lean, reusable elements across user interfaces. You could imagine a future where Salesforce Commerce Cloud Business Manager looks and feels like the rest of your Salesforce applications via the Lighting Web Components. For ISV partners, you could choose to use Lightning Web Components to achieve the same level of UI consistency. Overall, seeing Salesforce go all in on supporting what will be a fundamental building block of the modern web is validation of the reach and efficiency of using the web platform.
APIs Intrinsic to Salesforce Future
Finally, for the B2C Commerce ecosystem, the Salesforce team was open with the future direction of the Commerce Cloud, where APIs are intrinsic to provide broad support for a variety of touchpoints, such as IoT, voice, and PWAs. Conceptually, this opens up the ecosystem beyond the traditional starter storefronts to a wider variety of options that are all supported at the same level. This is good for the health of the ecosystem, as the openness will drive a lot of innovation that would have otherwise been trapped without a strong API strategy. At Mobify, we’re fully bought into this future vision, as it’s already helped us deliver some amazing customer experiences with our Front-end as a Service.