Salesforce1 is currently the supported version of Salesforce instance, however Salesforce Classic remains available. The main difference between these to instances is that Salesforce Classic supports offline features, where as Salesforce1 requires online connectivity.
A short visual comparison is displayed in a following table, however if you require more thorough comparison, continue reading.
|Features||Salesforce1||Salesforce Classic||Other solutions including offline|
|Description||Client that acts as a local database||Initial SFDC mobile application; support stopped||Client that acts as a local database|
|Connectivity||Offline briefcase on mobile||Online / Offline||Offline Briefcase on PC|
|Sync||Only recent records||Only recent records||Only recent records|
|Visualforce||NA||Blackberry and IOS||NA|
|Limitations||No buttons||No links; S-controls and Apex will execute when connected only||No buttons|
Salesforce Classic is a paid option for Professional and Enterprise, but remains free for Unlimited (available through Syngenta). Classic supports standard and custom objects along with Visualforce pages. The main advantage of Salesforce Classic is the offline capability. It is done by storing Salesforce records in a local database on a mobile device. These records could be accessed even when a data connection is not available. The records and data is automatically synchronized whenever data connection is available.
- With Salesforce Classic, you can mobilize accounts, assets, contacts, content, opportunities, leads, tasks, events, price books, products, cases, solutions, notes, and custom objects. You cannot mobilize s-controls, mashups, merge fields, image fields, or custom links. The following do not execute in the mobile client application but will run server-side after a record is saved and submitted to Salesforce: workflow rules, validation rules, formula fields, and Apex triggers.
- Default field values for field types such as checkboxes and numeric fields, do not appear in Salesforce Classic.
- Reports are sent to the device in Excel format and display in a basic table. The report viewer in the mobile application does not support sorting, summaries, subtotals, or grouping.
- Visualforce Tabs and Web Tabs: iPhone and BlackBerry users can access Visualforce tabs and web tabs in the mobile client application if the tabs have been mobilized by a Salesforce administrator.
- Hard-coded text in the mobile application, like menu options and system messages, cannot be localized; however, the following items are translated:
- However the main downside is that Salesforce Classic is no longer supported by Salesforce.
Salesforce is a huge improvement from Chatter mobile app that was running on closed source code. It has now become a fully capable platform. More than just a Chatter, it allows embedding business applications either through Visualforce or custom publisher actions.
However, offline is not available in Salesforce1. It does support standard, custom objects and Visualforce pages. The mobile application remains available with improved design over Salesforce Classic and it is constantly updated.
Connect Offline on force.com
Connect Offline is a client application with a same web interface which allows access to Salesforce records without internet connection. With this application it is possible to view, edit, create, and delete accounts, activities, contacts, opportunities, leads, and custom object records (including relationship groups). You can also add and update products and schedules on opportunities.
The subset of Salesforce records accessible in Connect Offline is referred to as a briefcase.Administrators can create briefcase configurations, which are sets of parameters that determine the records available in the briefcases of users with a specific profile. Organizations can have multiple briefcase configurations and associate each with a different set of profiles to simultaneously suit the needs of various types of offline users. When online, users can synchronize their Connect Offline briefcases with Salesforce. During synchronization, the changes to records in the briefcase are implemented in Salesforce, and vice-versa.
Force.com active supported was stopped since 2013
There are other applications on the AppxEchange such as RocketSales and Pulsar. However these are custom apps built by third party companies and they will have managed what can be seen on their app. If any new features are required on the app it will likely require customization and rollout from the third party company. Whether Java or buttons can be enabled on these apps is the proprietary information from these companies.