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Salesforce.com Chatter API

Announced only a couple days ago, Salesforce.com has plans to release Chatter.  Chatter is a new enterprise social engine.  I like to think of it as a combination of IM and RSS feeds into a single platform that's security controlled and handled inside the Salesforce.com Cloud.  So, it's more secure and allows the organization to communicate freely internally without risking exposure of confidential information. Developers are going to like the new Chatter API.  On the surface ...

Batch APEX

What is Batch APEX?

Batch APEX is a way to run code in a batch in Salesforce.com.  It can be scheduled or called to run asynchronously.  Batch APEX has three primary asynchronous methods: Start(), Execute(), and Finish() that handle all of the processing in the batch. 

Batch APEX also provides a way to query the status of a Batch using both Visual Force an in the UI in Setup.  It's a great way to handle mass data updates of up to 50 million records at a time. 

Updates from DreamForce 2009 - The Bulk API

Have you ever had to move a lot data into Salesforce really fast? Well, unfortunately, I think a lot of us have been in that situation and the store in the past wasn't all that great. When I first started working with Salesforce, I wrote an API tool that would replicate the entire Salesforce object structure on SQL Server with picklists.  It was a pretty cool application.  I later extended it to bring down all the data as well, but was really disappointed when I realized ...

Salesforce.com - a new UI????

Announced at Dreamforce is a new UI for Salesforce! This new UI will of course be optional, but addresses a number of issues with the current UI.  What I've seen so far is impressive.  It definately looks cleaner and does a better job of presenting data to the user.  One of my favorite features was an enhancement to add a few indicators at the top of the opportunity (I'm hoping it will be available for all objects) to show the most important data about that record.& ...

Dream Force - Sales Cloud 2

So, what's new in the Service Cloud 2? Well, a lot of things are new, but I thought the big ones  are the Real Time Quoting, Salesforce for Outlook, and especially the new Report Builder.  Let's not forget Chatter which I'll touch on later. Salesforce released in Winter '09 the Real Time Quoting functionality that allows organizations to build a quote from an opportunity, print as a PDF and send along with other packaged content to the customer via email.  Very nice feature a ...

Dream Force 2009 - The Service Cloud 2

So what's new in the Salesforce Service Cloud 2? Well, for starters I was really surprised by the statistic quoted by Salesforce that 55% of the market is held by thier very own Service Cloud!  That's huge, but then who would doubt that was the case with a solid platform such as Salesforce? There are a number of great features that have been in the Service Cloud for some time such as the CTI screen pops, integrations with Google Maps, etc., but this year, they really blew the wheels of ...

DreamForce 2009

Wow!  That word hardly describes the DreamForce event this year.  SalesForce really did it up nice, although the food could have had a few more selections.  SalesForce has finally passed the $1B mark in sales and it was clear by the attendance (19,000!!!!) that they've garnered a lot of support by businesses both large and small.  I thought for sure the economy would have had a bigger impact on the event, and maybe it did, but attendance was exceptional regardless.  One ...

Debugging APEX

Let's face it. Salesforce.com and Force.com are new kids on the block.  They're growing up fast, and establishing their territory, but they've still got some maturing.  Most languages these days have an interactive debugger.  However, APEX is the exception.  If you're new to APEX coding, I recommend you take a look at three things to help you overcome this hurdle: 1) Debug Logs, 2) Running tests in Eclipse, 3) Running tests in Salesforce.com. Since there i ...

Locking records down to editing in Salesforce

One common thing we run into in Salesforce.com is having to lock a record down to editing to certain groups once a certain stage or status is reached.  There are two different schools of thought on the best approach to doing this. The first is to use record typing.  For instance, let's say you're working on an opportunity and want to lock down the record so that changes can't happen after it reaches a Closed Won stage.  The easy way to do this is to create a new record type "Read ...

Amazon S3 Integration with Salesforce.com

We recently had an opportunity to do some work to integrate S3 Amazon Web Services into Salesforce.com.  Salesforce.com provides some sample code that was very useful in getting the S3 services to work.  However, along the way I ran into a number of challenging issues that I'm sure many other developers have tackled. The first big issue was that we would be dealing with very large files, greater than 2GB in some cases.  Unfortunately, the Salesforce.com web services can't handle l ...

Customer Portal Access

Every day I'm amazed by the new features in Salesforce.com.  Over the past week, I've been working with a customer to get their Customer Portal setup and functioning.  We're building some very cool functionality using the Force.com platform to expose some custom objects to their customers. However, we ran into a situation where sharing rules needed to be setup and the UI is just a bit more than we really like our users to have to take in.  Sharing is a great feature, but the last ...

Integration and Outbound Messaging

Outbound Messaging in Salesforce.com is an incredibly powerful feature for doing integration, but it does have a few drawbacks.  Before I get into the negative points, I want to point out some of the good. The outbout messaging feature has two capabilities which are extremely important for integrating Salesforce.com with other systems.  First, it insure messages get sent immediately after the workflow fires, and second, it insures delivery of your message. However, during ...

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