Introducing Heroku CX Patterns: Building Customer Experiences on Heroku with Salesforce Services

A quick glance at most any phone shows the importance and urgency – for businesses of all kinds – of creating mobile customer apps. Our everyday activities – finding a ride, ordering a meal or turning on a light are increasingly mobile experiences.

But delivering a great omnichannel experience to customers requires more than just the work of the application developer. The larger organization is involved in following up with prospects, fielding service inquiries, and sending relevant marketing messages. Orchestrating this tapestry of touchpoints often requires developers to integrate with systems used by non-developers, including sales, service, marketing and community management systems.

At Heroku, our core belief around making the developer experience as simple as possible extends to the ecosystem of Salesforce products and services with which developers integrate their applications. Today we are releasing Heroku CX Patterns, a set of reference architectures and technical resources for creating a comprehensive customer experience with Heroku and Salesforce. With Heroku CX Patterns, developers can get starter apps, sample code, and documentation that will help them build out apps that utilize a wide range of Salesforce services.

Nibs: Sample App for Mobile Customer Experiences

The fictional setup for the primary starter app, “Nibs,” is that of a high end chocolatier looking to engage customers via a loyalty mechanic triggered by in-app activities. The base loyalty application is deployable via Heroku Button. Additional documentation and sample code inside the Nibs Github project can be used as a guide for developers that want to enhance the baseline customer experience through integrations with other Salesforce products. Optional modules include live video chat for customer service, in-app push notifications through Marketing Cloud, a Salesforce Communities integration, and a Journey Builder custom activity app.

Much of the power of Nibs comes from the content and customer data synchronization between Heroku Postgres and Salesforce via Heroku Connect. Heroku Connect is a bi-directional data synchronization service between Salesforce and Heroku Postgres that enables developers that know SQL to work with Salesforce data inside a Heroku Postgres database. This makes its easy for developers to deliver mobile apps to customers that seamlessly integrate with Salesforce data.

Developers looking for a more basic starting point for building and deploying hybrid mobile apps on Heroku can begin with recently released Heroku mobile app template, which provides an open source full-stack starting point for creating new hybrid mobile apps and deploying them to Heroku. Built as a hybrid AngularJS app composed of HTML, CSS and Javascript, and using Ionic, an open source framework for creating hybrid mobile apps with HTML5, the server side is implemented as Node.js application running on top of a Postgres database. This is the foundation upon which Nibs is built.

New Salesforce Features for Customer Engagement

In addition to the core Salesforce apps – Sales Cloud and Service Cloud – which can be integrated with Nibs via Heroku Connect, Nibs includes support for other members of the Salesforce product family via direct API sample code and documentation. These include:

  • SOS: Live video chat embedded in mobile apps
  • Marketing Cloud: In app push notifications
  • Journey Builder: 1:1 customer journeys triggered by in-app activities and powered by custom Journey Builder apps running on Heroku

Heroku CX Patterns at Dreamforce

The intent of Heroku CX Patterns is to provide a example for developers to layer Salesforce services into their Heroku customer engagement apps. Developers can start simply and build out the app experience over time, as various products and services become relevant to their particular use case. Join us at Dreamforce this week learn more about Heroku CX Patterns and Nibs. There are several Nibs/ Heroku Connect breakout sessions listed in the DF14 Agenda, with demos in the Dev Zone, the Campground, and at Lightning Theater throughout the event.

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