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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. (World Economic Forum Photo)

Salesforce its strengthening its ties to Apple with a series of initiatives announced Monday, from exclusive iPhone and iPad features for the Salesforce mobile app to encouraging Salesforce developers to build native iOS apps.

The new strategic partnership initially will focus on three areas, all tied to Apple’s iOS.

First, Salesforce said it would redesign the Salesforce Mobile App to integrate Apple-specific functions such as Siri Shortcuts, Face ID and Business Chat. A first-ever Trailhead Mobile App for Salesforce’s free learning platform will also debut on iOS. Both are expected in 2019, with the the redone Salesforce Mobile App coming early in the year, before the Trailhead app.

A second area of focus is a jointly developed Salesforce Mobile SDK. The native SDK, said to be optimized for Apple’s programming language Swift, will let others develop and deploy apps on the Salesforce Lightning Platform for the iPhone and iPad. The new SDK is anticipated to be available by the end of this year.

Finally, Apple is launching a “Get Started with iOS App Development” Trail to teach developers to build native iOS apps in Xcode with Swift. It’s available today.

“With this partnership, we’re bringing together the world’s #1 CRM platform with iPhone and iPad, the world’s best devices for business,” said Marc Benioff, Salesforce chairman and co-CEO, in a statement. “Together, Salesforce and Apple are defining a new era of mobile innovation with native apps on iOS, and empowering millions of people with access to Trailhead and the skills they need for the jobs of the future.”

The announcements come one day before Salesforce begins its annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. The companies say a preview of what’s coming will be on display in the Salesforce Campground and the Trailhead Area, both in the Moscone Convention Center.

In a separate announcement today, Microsoft, Adobe and SAP committed to a new Open Data Initiative, designed in part to counter the growing power of Salesforce and other enterprise technology companies.

[Editor’s Note: Salesforce is a GeekWire annual sponsor.]

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