The Silver Lining

Lessons & Learnings from a salesforce certified technical architect.

Archive for 2010

Formatting – PageBlockSectionItem, InputField & OutPutField

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There are a collection of forum posts asking why VisualForce formatting isn’t being applied correctly to PageBlockSectionItems and/or InputFields, and the answer isn’t immediately obvious so let’s see what we can throw together. Read the rest of this entry »

Salesforce API Integration Using SOAP-based Web Services

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Too Much Documentation (TMD) - The leading cause of baldness amongst men.

There are several tomes & tools to help you integrate with the platform; this article will concentrate on WSDL defined web services. Some help texts are specific to certain languages, others favour certain approaches but I’ve found there’s no short-and-sweet guide. As someone who’s nearly drowned in the documentation (including forums, tweets and blogs) I thought I’d try to save – at least some of you – the white-squall that is ‘Learning the basics of SFDC WSDL-based integration’.

I’ll be the first to admit that summarising such a broad topic can be difficult, so if I do miss anything out, y’all out there in the community just let me know. Read the rest of this entry »

Salesforce Form Validation Enhanced

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I have a dream, and in this dream form-validation is not a chore. All the nasty work is done client-side, and we – the developers – control what an error message says and where it says it! Server-side validation?! Pah, I spit in it’s general direction (but only if no ladies are present). I don’t need or want client-server round-trips.. I want speed, I want beauty, I want control; and I think you do too.

Our end goal: A neat, realtime, client-side validation technique for VisualForce.

Using either inputFields, Apex exception handling and/or the ‘required’ attribute in VisualForce, we have a number of mechanisms to deal with form-validation, but if we’re honest with ourselves, they’re the ten-thousands-spoons when all we need is a knife. I know you’ve heard me singing it’s praise from the rooftops, but yet again, jQuery is here to save the day. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wes

March 2, 2010 at 11:44 am

VisualForce Element Ids in jQuery selectors

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I have retired this approach in favour of a much neater solution that can be found here.

This tricky topic had me puzzled for some time and in earlier posts I went the way of using CSS classes to identify DOM elements; but was always a touch dissatisfied with the solution. Not only is it less efficient – valid XHTML pages should only have one element with any Id, although CSS classes can be shared by many elements – but it also feels all hacky ‘n stuff. I’m a bit older now, a bit more experienced and I RTFM. Without further ado, here is why it’s tricky, and how to fix it. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wes

February 17, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Salesforce Unit Tests & Code Coverage

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Unit testing *sigh*. Oh how they vex me. If they weren’t so important (and required) I’d just skip the lot, but they are and so we – champions of software development – must press on in the face of dreary complexity; we will not back down, we will not surrender, we will look that CRT/LCD screen in the pixels and say, “Untested units, you will not defeat me!”.

Diving into the thick of things, the most common question seems to be, “Why can’t I get code coverage for my entire class?!”. The trick here is to think like a runtime engine, and consider how you might journey through all possible testing paths. Now I never said it’s easy, but with a bit of practice (and 8 truck loads of patience) you’ll get there. Let’s look at some common cases. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wes

February 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Masking Input on VisualForce Pages

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I am a developer and (at least as often) a (l)user. UI and UX design are important from both perspectives, and it’s important to bear this in mind whilst creating any application. What is this waffle all about? There are some platforms, based in yonder cloud that could tweak the tiniest of features, and make the lives of their users (and administrators) 1 x shed-load better. Until they do that, we’re gonna have to do it ourselves.

Let’s get specific. Typically, validation error messages provided by Apex and VisualForce are only apparent after form is submitted ( or when we’re on the last page of a 39-page wizard ). Of course some cases require that it be this way, but for other cases it’s like my (very) old professor used to say, “Jus’ don’t let em make the mistake in the first place boy *tongue-click*”. Heeding Prof. Swart’s advice, let’s see how we can easily do this. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wes

January 8, 2010 at 2:31 pm

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