The other set of challenge is to demo the beta version of CRM in an iPad. In some cases, the beta server may not be in the same network that the iPad is connected to, so the iPad device cannot reach the CRM server. A similar example within Microsoft is that our CRM beta demo environment requires connectivity to our corporate network (corpnet) whereas iPad has no VPN capabilities to connect to our corpnet.
Let’s welcome iPad Simulator, the magic answer to solve all of the above issues to develop, test and demo CRM Web UI on iPad. Electric Plum provides a ‘Safari on the iPad/iPhone’ simulator which you can use to test any web application including CRM as shown in the screenshot below. You can download a free lite version of the simulator here: http://www.electricplum.com/simulator.aspx#lite
While the simulator is not 100% perfect, it is a giant leap in building, testing and demoing CRM solutions on an iPad without having to constantly use a physical iPad device which is a time consuming process. You can also checkout how other websites (like dailyshow.com illustrated below) to see how they adapt the user interface to different browsers. Also the upcoming release of Microsoft WebMatrix 2 & Visual Studio 2012 includes tools (Windows Phone Emulator, ElectricPlum, etc ) to easily test your websites with a variety of device simulators. So there is no reason not to build mobile-ready solutions!
Another best practice to follow would be using Responsive Web Design which is a hot topic among web developers and Microsoft offers first class support for adaptive/responsive design within the upcoming ASP.NET MVC release but we’ll save that for a later post.
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