The Silver Lining

Lessons & Learnings from a salesforce certified technical architect.

Archive for the ‘SalesForce’ Category

Salesforce User License Feature Matrix

with 4 comments

Understanding Salesforce licensing is incredibly important for all areas of a business buying salesforce and implementation projects. Common questions are:

  • What licenses are available?
  • How much do they cost?
  • Which license types support my intended solution?
  • What are the limitations?
  • How are they “consumed”?

As part of my Salesforce TA Certification I created a matrix that compares all current license types making it easy to learn about licenses and make the licensing decision a bit easier. The matrix isn’t comprehensive but instead tries to balance ease-of-use whilst providing the most important decision points.

Let me know if I missed anything important!

References

Written by Wes

August 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Posted in SalesForce

Tagged with ,

Salesforce Certified Technical Architect

with 13 comments

Fall seven times, stand up eight.

– Japanese proverb

Finally, I have this certification. This has been a journey for me, and taken much longer than I anticipated. I did fail the first attempt, but was given a retry (make-up exam) in the sections that I’d failed. I subsequently failed that too. My second, full attempt saw me pass, and in fact I found it quite easy so let me help you learn from my mistakes.

Attempt 1

Late last year I booked in my board review exam. I’m not going to go into the detail of what the board exam entails it’s because this has been discussed in detail here, here and here. I spent a lot of time preparing, and had some ad hoc coaching from the UK SFDC certification team but in the end the hypothetical exam destroyed me. Here’s why:

  • I’d been developing apps for nearly a year and was rusty with regards to various features of the platform used heavily in projects e.g. sharing, roles, content, knowledge
  • I missed the “formal coaching” that SFDC offers for those that pass the board exam, and thought I wouldn’t need it

Together these two things meant that my approach to the hypothetical, and my real-world experience were weak. I knew I’d failed 2 hours into the 4 hour board. Luckily (I suppose) I did very well in the other areas, and my case study was rock-solid so I was given a “make up” exam (2 months later) in my weakest areas.

Attempt 1.1

At this point I’d been back into consulting and oiled my rusty hinges. I also brushed up on any areas of weakness and felt quite prepared. However, the destruction this time around was even worse, I knew I’d failed in the first hour! The reasons here were:

  • I felt the hypothetical here was much more difficult
  • I focussed too much on creating the presentation, and too little on understanding the question
  • I panicked and solved problems that didn’t exist

Attempt 2

Six months after my original attempt I was back in the swing of consulting, working in every role imaginable from sales through to QA and release management. I’d also gone through the “Seed the Partner” official coaching. I honed my approach to the hypothetical and brushed up on Summer 13. And I passed. And it wasn’t that difficult, here’s why:

  • I’d gone through the official coaching with SFDC
  • I’d known the theory all along, but also had the opportunity to flex the old consulting muscles
  • I convinced myself not to panic
  • I read every word of the hypothetical at least twice, focussing on understanding instead of focussing on creating the presentation
  • I drew. I’m not very comfortable with Powerpoint as an architecting tool but for some reason felt compelled to use it in my hypothetical previously. This time around I did what I was comfortable with, telling a story backed by several diagrams drawn in front of the judges as I presented.

I’ve also developed several assets that helped me to study and will be sharing them in a series of posts in the coming weeks.

– Wes Nolte, Force.com MVP, Certified SFDC TA, BBQ Master

Written by Wes

July 24, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Salesforce: Sharing Cheat Sheet

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Sharing is caring.

Sharing is complex, but necessarily so. It gives you incredibly fine-grained control over data access through it’s flexibility but requires quite a deep understanding to do it properly.

There are great articles out there that describe sharing in detail e.g.

Force.com object and record level security

An Overview of Force.com Security

I don’t want to recreate what’s in those articles, instead I’m providing a short, sharp cheat sheet of the major topics you need to understand. So without further ado…

Sharing Cheat Sheet

Sharing Metadata Records

  • “Object[Share]” for standard objects
  • “Object[__Share]” for custom objects
  • Fields: access level, record ID, user or group ID
  • Share records are not created for for OWDs, role hierchies or the “View All” or “Modify All” permissions

Implicit Sharing

  • For Accounts, Contacts, Cases and Opportunities only.
  • A platform feature, cannot be disabled.
  • Access to a parent account—If you have access to a child contact, case or opportunity record of an account, you have implicit Read Only access on that account.
  • Access to child entities—If you have access to a parent account, you may have access to the associated contact, case or opportunity child entities. Access is configure per child object when creating a new role.

Organisation-Wide Defaults (OWD)

  • All standard objects use sharing access through hierarchies and this cannot be disabled
  • Public (Read or R/W) can be seen by all users (including portal)
  • Can’t be changed for contacts if person accounts are enabled

No Relationship

  • All options are available

Master Detail

  • Child objects have their sharing access level and ownership dictated by their parent. This also stands for any grandchildren. The parents value for “Grant access through hierarchies” is also inherited.
  • Child objects don’t have a share-record of their own and will be shared along with the master record.
  • In fact you cannot even define sharing rules from the object detail-page.

Lookup

  • Child objects can have their own sharing access level and ownership. Sharing access through hierarchies can also be disabled.

Manual Sharing

  • Removed when owner changes
  • Removed when access via OWD becomes at least as permissive as the share
  • Private Contacts (those without an Account) cannot be shared manually

Apex Managed Sharing

  • Can be used for Manual Sharing although it isn’t called Apex Managed Sharing in this context
  • Using Apex to share Standard Objects is always considered Manual Sharing i.e. Apex Managed Sharing is only really a feature for Custom Objects
  • Maintained across ownership changes
  • Requires “Modify All” permission

Recalculation

  • Need to create a class that implements the Database.Batchable interface
  • The recalcuation is run when the OWD for the object changes
  • The OWD for the object in question must not be the most premissive access level

Choosing the Right Share Type

“Traditional” / Ownership-based Sharing Rules

  • You want to share the records that a user, group, queue or role own with another user, group or role (includes portal users with roles).

Criteria-based Sharing Rules

  • You want to share records based on values of a specific field or fields with another user, group or role (includes portal users with roles).

Apex Managed Sharing Rules

  • Your sharing requirements are batshit cray-cray. Examples include:
    • Sharing multiple records at once
    • Sharing records on object A based on criteria being met on object B
    • Criteria-based sharing using a field not supported by “Criteria-based Sharing”

Manual Sharing Rules

  • The record owner, or someone with modify all permission, wants to share an individual record with another user, group or role (includes portal users with roles)

Share Groups

  • You want to share records owned by HVP users with internal users, groups or roles (includes portals users with roles)

Sharing Sets

  • You want to “share” records with HVP users. These records need to fulfill the following criteria:
    • Objects has an organization-wide sharing setting different from Public Read/Write
    • Objects is available for Customer Portal
    • Custom object has a lookup field to account or contact

Portals

High Volume Portals (Service Cloud Portals)

  • Include High Volume Customer Portal and Authenticated Website profiles
  • They have no roles and can’t participate in “regular” sharing rules
  • You can share their data with internal users through Share Groups
  • You can share object records where the object is a child record of the HVP user’s contact or account. This is done with Sharing Sets.
  • They can also access records that are:
    • Available for portal, and
    • (Public R/RW OWD, or
    • (Private OWD, and
    • They own the record))
  • They can access a record if they have access to that record’s parent and the OWD is set to “Controlled by parent”
  • Cases cannot be transferred from non-HVP to HVP users

other portals

  • Have a role hierarchy at most 3 levels deep and can participate in regular sharing
    • Person accounts only have a single role
    • Business accounts can have 1 – 3 roles.

Large Data Volumes

  • Defer sharing settings (enabled by logging a case) and group calculation on large data loads and modifications

If you’ve got any other items you think should be in this list, let me know in the comments. Peas oat.

Written by Wes

February 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Salesforce: Insufficient privileges when trying to access Activity Settings

with one comment

This strange issue blocked access to certain areas of the setup menu in my production Org, and I couldn’t find a comprehensive solution so here we are.

The problem is documented most comprehensively here with problem statement as:

If you choose to show a custom logo in meeting requests, if the admin who specifies the logo specifies a document that other admins cannot access, then other admins will be locked out of the entire activity settings page.

If the file was created in the last six months you can find out which fart-face did this and have a quick chat with them. However, if the change was made more than 6 months ago you’re in a bit of a sticky situation.

The advice of the aforementioned document is to contact salesforce.com support and ask them to let you know who owns the file. However, you can do this yourself using Workbench.

First log in and then click Workbench > Settings and make sure that “Allows SOQL Parent Relationship Queries” is selected. Then click on Queries > SOQL Query.

SELECT Name, ContentType,Description,folder.name,author.name FROM Document WHERE folderId IN ('USER_ID1', 'USER_ID2', 'etc.')

This query will fetch all the Document records in the relevant users’ private folders. You’re looking for a ContentType that is an image, and hopefully the document name or description will help you further narrow the culprits down. The last step is to email all those people (or get log in access) and get them to check their Documents!

Good luck.

Written by Wes

February 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Salesforce JavaScript Remoting: Using Apex and JavaScript objects to pass data from client- to server-side and vice versa

with 13 comments

I’ve spoken about how to do this at a high-level during Cloudstock London and there are hints at how it can be done but no formal documentation that I’ve found, so here we are 🙂

Quite simply JavaScript Remoting will transform Apex objects and classes (or collections of these types) into JavaScript objects for you. The opposite is true too but there are some rules you need to observe.

Apex Types to JavaScript Equivalents

This is the easier of the type conversions in that you don’t have to really do anything to make it happen. The code below uses a custom class that I’ve defined but you can do the same with any sObject too. Let’s have a look at the code.

The Controller

public with sharing class RemotingObjectsController {

    /* The remoting method simply instantiates a two custom types, puts
       them into a list and then returns them. */
    @RemoteAction
    public static List<CustomClass> getClassInstances(){
        List<CustomClass> classes = new List<CustomClass>();

        CustomClass me = new CustomClass('Wes');
        CustomClass you = new CustomClass('Champ');

        classes.add(me);
        classes.add(you);

        return classes;
    }

    /* My custom type */
    public class CustomClass{
        public String firstName{get;set;}

        CustomClass(String firstName){
            this.firstName = firstName;
        }
    }
}

The Visualforce

<apex:page controller="RemotingObjectsController">
  <script>
      // Will hold our converted Apex data structures
      var classInstances;

      Visualforce.remoting.Manager.invokeAction(
        '{!$RemoteAction.RemotingObjectsController.getClassInstances}',
        function(result, event) {
          // Put the results into a var for pedantries sake
          classInstances = result;

          console.log(classInstances);

          // Assign the first element of the array to a local var
          var me = classInstances[0];

          // And now we can use the var in the "normal" JS way
          var myName = me.firstName;
          console.log(myName);
        });
  </script>
</apex:page>

The Output

Console output from the JS code.

JavaScript Types to Apex Equivalents

This is a little tricker, especially when it comes to sObjects. Note that the approach below works for classes and sObjects too.

The Visualforce Page

<apex:page controller="RemotingObjectsController">
  <script>
      /* Define a JavaScript Object that looks like an Account */
      /* If you were using custom objects the name must include the "__c" */
      function Account(){
          /* Note the field names are case-sensitive! */
          this.Id = null; /* set a value here if you need to update or delete */
          this.Name = null;
          this.Active__c = null; /* the field names must match the API names */
      }

      var acc1 = new Account();
      acc1.Name = 'Tquila';
      acc1.Active__c = 'Yes';

      var acc2 = new Account();
      acc2.Name = 'Apple';
      acc2.Active__c = 'Yes';

      var accounts = new Array(acc1, acc2);

      Visualforce.remoting.Manager.invokeAction(
        '{!$RemoteAction.RemotingObjectsController.insertAccounts}',
        accounts,
        function(result, event) {
          console.log(result);
        });
  </script>
</apex:page>

The Controller

There not much to the controller in this case.

public with sharing class RemotingObjectsController {

    @RemoteAction
    public static void insertAccounts(List<Account> accounts){
        insert accounts;
    }

}

Why is this cool?

Good question. If the Force.com Platform didn’t do this for you then we – the developer – would need to convert ours types explicitly on both the server-side and the client-side, and man-oh-man is that boring, error-prone work. Yet again the guys at salesforce.com have built in a convenience that saves us time and let’s us get on with the work of building cool apps.

Written by Wes

June 22, 2012 at 11:06 am

Salesforce: JavaScript Remoting and Managed Packages

with 16 comments

I love the crap out of JavaScript Remoting, but came across a small bug when wrapping up the code in a managed package. As many of you know when you create a managed package it prepends your code with a unique name to prevent code conflicting e.g. a page controller called “MyController” becomes “MyPackage.MyController” where “MyPackage” is the prefix you’ve chosen for your managed package.

The bug I’ve found is caused by the fact that the prefix isn’t applied to the JavaScript that calls your Apex Remoting methods i.e you might have an Apex method called “myMethod” which is called like so outside of a managed package environment:

MyController.myMethod(parameters, function(result, event) {
  callback(result);
}, {escape: false});

Once you package up your code however this call will no longer work, and if you look in the debugging console of your browser you’ll find an error something like: “MyController is not defined”

This is because in the managed package environment “MyController” actually doesn’t exist but is now called “MyPackage.MyController”! @greenstork and others have come up with a solution for this and it looks something like:

[Edit] One of the Salesforce guys has given me a very neat workaround:

// Check if "MyPackage" exists
if(typeof MyPackage === 'undefined'){
  // It doesn't, so create an object with that name
  window["MyPackage"] = {};

  MyPackage.MyController = MyController;
}

// All code only refers to MyPackage.Controller
MyPackage.MyController.myMethod(parameters, function(result, event) {
  callback(result);
}, {escape: false});

I’ve posted a message on the forums about this issue and Salesforce is aware and is working on it. Now that’s great customer service!

As an aside I’d love to know how they’re going to solve this issue! It’s quite complex because their compiler needs to run through all of your JavaScript code (including any libraries you might have included) and try to figure out what code is actually making remoting calls, and prefix that exclusively! This is a new problem for managed packaging because for the first time they need to work on code that isn’t necessarily 100% part of their platform. This is further complicated because you can Zip your resources. An interesting challenge indeed...

Written by Wes

February 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Posted in SalesForce

Salesforce: JavaScript Remoting – a different way of thinking

with 6 comments

 

Remoting is awesome.

JavaScript Remoting for Apex operates in a very different paradigm from what you might be used to i.e. Visualforce pages have controllers and the two interact through action methods – where this might be a full form submission or some neat AJAX functionality. Remoting also calls controller methods but there is a gaping maw in terms of how the two work under the hood.

I’ve seen a few great articles on the syntax and example usage of JavaScript Remoting for Apex but when I started using it I came across a number domain differences that weren’t documented anywhere. Hopefully my list here will help you in the learning process. The best way to describe the new way of thinking is to examine the features set in contrast to “normal” Apex and Visualforce.

How JavaScript Remoting Differs

  • Pass parameters naturally i.e. the call matches the method signature syntactically instead of requiring <apex:param/>.
  • Action methods when called in “normal” Visualforce can only return NULL or a PageReference. Remoting allows you to return a wider range of data types, even objects and collections.
  • Remoting methods have no access to the view state e.g. if a static variable is initialised to some value (outside the remoting method) a remoting method will see this as NULL unless it is re-initialised in that method! Conversely if a remoting method sets a state variable value the scope of that value is only within that method.
  • It’s much faster. I’m building an application at the moment that is 95% backed by JS Remoting and when I show it to other developers they are struck dumb for at least 3 hours because of the speed.
  • Neater debugging info in the browser console. Salesforce has done a great job of providing feedback directly to the browser’s console log.
  • Each method call gets its own executional/transactional context i.e. fresh governor limits per call!

If I’ve missed anything please let me know and I’ll add it. Viva la knowledge crowdsourcing!

Written by Wes

February 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Salesforce: Dynamically determining the field type of a dynamically determined sObject

with 2 comments

This solution is quite difficult to find.

Call me crazy but I need to do this from time to time, and every time I do I can’t remember how I did it before! So I then trudge through the API and the Apex docs until I find the answer and that’s no mean feat in this specific case. Well, no more my friends because I’m putting it right here on this very blog!

In short the code below will return (as a String) the type of field that we’re working with. Neither the name of the object or the name of the field need to be known in advance.

    public static String getFieldType(String fieldName){
    	// Assume that "sObjectName" is populated elsewhere
	Schema.SObjectType t = Schema.getGlobalDescribe().get(sObjectName);

	Schema.DescribeSObjectResult r = t.getDescribe();
	Schema.DescribeFieldResult f = r.fields.getMap().get(fieldName).getDescribe();

	if (f.getType() == Schema.DisplayType.String){
		return 'String';
	} // .... else if

	return null;
    }

Written by Wes

February 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Salesforce: Different percentage unit test code coverage in different environments

with 3 comments

Spot the difference.

Many people are finding that their tests are reporting different degrees of test-coverage in different environments. There are a few things to check if you are getting inconsistent results but there’s a new bug in the wild. Before you assume you have the bug make sure that you’ve:

  1. ‘Run All Tests’ in each environment. This will tell you a few things viz.
    • Perhaps there are tests failing that are bringing coverage in that environment down.
    • There are some tests that only fail when run in the browser e.g. MIXED_DML_EXCEPTION will not rear it’s head through the IDE.
  2. Click the ‘Compile all classes’ link above the Setup > Develop > Apex Classes view. I’m not sure when this lil’ bugger first appeared but it’s darn useful. Essentially it makes sure that all the dependencies in your code are fulfilled e.g. if page A uses controller B that in turn refers to utility class C it’ll make sure each of those pieces exist and work (as far as compilation goes at least).
  3. Double-check your test classes to make sure they’re not data dependent. If they are and you have different types/amounts of data in your respective environments it’s 100% feasible that the test coverage will be different.

Now if you’ve checked all of the above you might have been afflicted by a new bug which, for some reason, counts braces, whitespace (and more!) as being uncovered by your tests. This is preposterous of course and to fix it simply remove all test history from the deranged environment. Re-running the test and/or deploying them should now be back to normal!

Written by Wes

November 30, 2011 at 11:01 pm

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 🙂

Written by Wes

October 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Apex, SalesForce

Tagged with , , , , ,

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