Salesforce Touch is a mobile development platform that provides enterprise developers the same app engine Salesforce uses for its own enterprise mobile apps. Touch can generate native Objective C or Java, pure Web, and containerized hybrid apps. The platform interfaces with Force.com, which delivers network services via REST APIs to access Salesforce-resident business data, provide social networking, and implement geolocation functions such as real-time maps. Touch's Identity feature provides a single sign-on service to authenticate mobile devices to enterprise servers.
CoralTree Systems' Renaissance is an example of a development platform aimed at a specific enterprise IT environment, the IBM i. An open source product, Renaissance provides specific hooks for IBM security APIs and the RPG programming language. Server-specific mobile platforms such as Renaissance let enterprises add mobile support to legacy applications, saving the cost of re-creating complex business logic in a more modern language such as PHP or Ruby.
The selection of mobile development tools has never been richer, or more affordable, than today. You can go native but pay big bucks for a slick app that eventually ships, or use a streamlined Web- or hybrid-development approach. Take the time to enumerate your application requirements and match them to an appropriate toolkit. You don't want to end up like Facebook, changing horses midstream.