The Silver Lining

Lessons & Learnings from a salesforce certified technical architect.

Archive for the ‘Apex’ Category

Salesforce: Stop email being sent on user creation or password reset or …

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I’ve had to do this a few times but infrequently enough for me to forget how to do it each time. Forgetting things isn’t usually an issue because of our Google Overlords and their mighty The Google but it’s quite a journey down the rabbit hole to find this specific information.

The reasons it’s tricky to find is because the setting that controls whether an email is sent to the user on creation is not directly associated with users but with DML. Long story short you need to set a particular Database.DMLOption e.g.


User u = new User();
// Add some details here ...

// Set the DML options
Database.DMLOptions dlo = new Database.DMLOptions();
dlo.EmailHeader.triggerUserEmail = false;

Database.insert(u,dlo);

Hopefully this information will now be easier to find next time I forget 🙂

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Written by Wes

October 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Apex, SalesForce

Tagged with , , , , ,

Salesforce & LinkedIn Developer API: 401 – Unauthorized

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Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

I’m not going to get into the boilerplate code you’ll need in order to get OAuth up and running as it’s pretty straight forward, but I did run into a peculiar issue which took me some time to narrow down. To reproduce these steps you’ll need to:

  1. Correctly setup OAuth between the Force.com Platform and LinkedIn
  2. Authorise access to your LinkedIn account
  3. Attempt to fetch a resource using an API endpoint such as: http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people/~/network/updates?scope=self

When attempting to make the call out in step 3 you’ll get a “401 – Unauthorized” error. So to be clear OAuth is working perfectly but a call like this one will still result in the error.

After some troubleshooting I noticed that some API endpoints didn’t result in the error e.g. http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people/id=abcdefg/network/updates?scope=self. At this point I realised the issue was probably the tilde (‘~’) character in the URI.

Grasping at straws I manually replaced the tilde with it’s URL friendly equivalent ‘%7E’ and the callout worked perfectly. Now this is strange because I am, in the course of making the callout, URL encoding all parts of the endpoint URL. It seems that for some reason the LinkedIn OAuth services needs to have the tilde encoded twice when signing the request :/

Salesforce: Programmatically Populating Sample Data Post-Deployment

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I’m not sure if this concept is obvious when reading my previous post, so I thought I’d run through it with a specific example.

Rule one of packaging - Finish your bolognese first!

Let’s say that you’ve created what can only be described as an exemplary application in the form of a Managed Package. Although your user interface is beyond compare, you’d also like to populate some of your core objects with example data. Some options that immediately spring to mind are:

  1. Get the person that installs the package to call you, and you can do it post-installation.
  2. Get the person that installs the package to create sample data manually post-installation.
  3. Give the user a “Start Here” page with a call-to-action – such as a commandButton – that fetches the data from some API and parses into object data.

Option 3 is pretty excellent, especially now that you can package Remote Site Settings but I think we can do one better. And when I say better I mean simpler and with fewer potential points of failure. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wes

January 28, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Salesforce: Instantiating an SObject Dynamically at Run-time

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I’m sure a lot of you have this documented somewhere but I’ve recently discovered that it’s quite difficult to find an obvious reference to this knowledge on the interwobbles. So how would you create a Generic SObject at run-time? It’s rather easy thankfully:

String sObjectName = 'MyObject__c';
Schema.SObjectType t = Schema.getGlobalDescribe().get(sObjectName);
SObject s = t.newSObject();

If you require this type of functionality quite often I’d suggest putting it in a utility class.

Written by Wes

January 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Salesforce: Enhanced Custom Settings

with 14 comments

Okay book’s done, now where were we? Oh yes software development, right? Programming software engineering application development h4x0R-ing. Oh how I’ve missed getting my mitts dirty so without further ado…

Now this one goes right about... here!

Some time back Custom Settings were introduced on the Force.com Platform and we all star-jumped in the air, w00ting to anyone who would listen. Up till this point – if you’re anything like me – you were using custom objects to hold configuration data, whether this be lists of language-codes, or operational settings such at outbound web service endpoints, usernames, passwords etc. With Custom Settings you finally had a place to put this information – a home if you will – for your lonely, orphaned Control Data.

Quite quickly however I realised there was still a gaping hole that could be filled with Custom Settings but just didn’t feel right. Lists of data (such as currency codes and descriptions) fit really well into this structure but more serious Control Data that you only need to be listed once-off (such as important URLs, flags to active/deactive modules in your application, usernames and passwords) just don’t seem like they really belong with this other crowd. A quick list of reasons highlights this:

  • Control Data is typically entered once off and creating an entire Custom Setting for a single line of data feels like a waste.
  • Custom Settings are data so they can’t be deployed with code, they must be created after the fact. Control Data should be a little more important than regular data, it needs a smarter vehicle than plain-old data entry.
  • If you’re creating packages you want as much autonomy for your clients as possible. If you use custom settings there will have to be that “Create data in Custom Setting X__c” step in each and every deployment. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wes

December 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Salesforce: System.Assert vs System.AssertEquals

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For a time I’d wondered what the difference between the System.Assert and System.AssertEquals methods might be (System.AssertNotEquals to a lesser degree). To be honest this tip isn’t going to help much with World Peace or Curing Internetlessness, but it’s certainly gonna save you some time.

Looking at the documentation there are some obvious differences.

  • System.Assert accepts two parameters, one (mandatory) which is the condition to test for and the other a message (optional) to display should that condition be false.
  • System.AssertEquals and System.AssertNotEquals both accepts three parameters; the first two (mandatory) are the variables that will be tested for in/equality and the third (optional) is the message to display if the assert results in false.

Pretty standard stuff, and can all be learnt simply by Reading The Manual.

Now testing best practices state that you should assert some condition but also output a “console” message that shows the values of each of the operands. This certainly helps you debug unit tests when asserts are failing, but man I hate typing extra code just to check out some variable values! So the time saving trick that isn’t obvious is that when omitting the optional third parameter for System.AssertEquals and System.AssertNotEquals the compiler automagically outputs the values of the operands to the console log. That’s right, instead of typing:

System.assert(var1 == var2, "The value of var1 is: " +var1 + " and the value of... oh hell I don't care I mean it's just a variable");

You could type:

System.assertEquals(var1, var2);

If the second assertion fails the console will output the values of var1 and var2 with the labels “expected” and “actual”. Knowing this now I can see no exceptional reason to use System.assert any longer (sorry little guy).

As I said this trick’s not gonna start any Mexican Waves but it should help delay the onset of RSI.

(thanks to l-dawg for opening my eyes)

Written by Wes

September 7, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Announcing the Salesforce Handbook

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Recently, Jeff Douglas and I saw the potential for a beginner’s book – aimed at business owners, analysts and developers, that comprehensively documents Salesforce and Force.com. There is a tonne of documentation out there and we thought “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a handbook that lightly summarised the most important areas of the platforms as well as offering some best practise advice”. We mulled it over for a time, and today we’d like to announce that we’re currently writing:

The Salesforce Handbook

A newcomer’s guide to building applications on Salesforce.com and the Force.com Platform.

Hand-in-hand with the book we’ll be publishing content from the book on a WordPress site. Here you can expect to find excerpts from the book, but also content that supplements the book e.g. areas that’ll serve as best-practice hubs with links to official documentation, blog posts that rock the party, and even superb discussion forum threads.

We’d love to get your feedback on the book as it progresses, but for now you can checkout the announcement and let us know what you think of the idea.

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