Chatter is the enterprise social network for the Salesforce platform, which provides a global activity stream as well as social style discussion group capabilities, often used side-by-side with Salesforce CRM and other business applications. Previous versions of the Chatter mobile client let users view and participate in the stream of social posts, which can be used as a way of sharing file attachments. The latest version adds a files tab to the mobile user interface, making it easier to browse and search files independently of the stream.
"You can find any file in Salesforce and share it. You can also easily connect files to any sales opportunity or marketing campaign," Michael Peachey, senior director of product marketing, said in an interview. By default, the files tab shows the most recent files accessed, shared or shared with the user. The search capability finds files according to file name, file content and metadata.
Users still have the option of searching the stream as an alternate way of finding files; keywords might occur in the comments about the file rather than the file itself, Peachey said. However, in general the mobile file search should be a faster way to find needed content in the "micro-moments" workers spend on their phones, trying to accomplish a task while in the coffee line or at the airport, he said.
The Chatter mobile files capability is separate from ChatterBox, a file sharing and cross-platform file synchronization product announced at Dreamforce last September and expected to be roughly competitive with products like Box and Dropbox.
On a tablet such as the iPad, files can be listed on the left hand side of the screen with a file preview shown on the right. On a phone, the file listing is more compressed.
ChatterBox is supposed to be generally available in the
second first half of 2013. The upgraded version of Chatter with mobile file access is available now in the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad, and will be available soon on the Google Play store for Android. Peachey said Salesforce's strategy for making Chatter files and ChatterBox work together will be revealed later.