The Silver Lining

Lessons & Learnings from a salesforce certified technical architect.

Posts Tagged ‘JavaScript

Salesforce: Force.com Sites and Google Analytics

with 3 comments

This is a cross-post from the Tquila blog.

My Favourite Chart Type

Not having analytics built into your public sites is much like having a Q&A site but not allowing people to answer. In this case some of the questions are:

  • Where did you come from?
  • How long did you stick around for?
  • Where did you hang out on your visit?

Now I’m not going to debate which set of analytics is best but I did come across a few quirks when setting Google Analytics (GA) up for wesnolte.com that I suspect are fairly universal.

Build a Site

This of course is quite a big step and I’m going to assume you’re just about done. To get analytics up and running though you’re going to have to do a few extra bits.

Don't hack me pls.

  1. Sign up for a GA account, create a Website Profile and you’ll receive an Analytics Code. My code has been blocked out in orange in the image alongside, your code should appear in it’s place.
  2. Insert the standard Google Analytics Visualforce component into your page.
  3. Enter the same Analytics Code as above on the Force.com Site Detail page – the field is called “Analytics Tracking Code”.

If you go back to your Analytics home page and refresh you’ll see a little warning sign that tells you something is amiss – and it is but it’s difficult to figure out just what that something is.

S.O.S

The problem in this case is that the default robots.txt file for Force.com Sites blocks all bots. This is not a bad idea but it’s not obvious when setting all this up.

Michaelforce and myself seemed to have had these pains at the same time and he posted his findings here. You’ll need to apply step 3 from his post to allow GA to peek at your site.

Now in my particular case I did all of this and GA was still not able to access my site so I threw in the towel and coded the GA JavaScript straight into my page. A few days later however I realised that the robots.txt was probably caching so I ripped out that funky ol’ JavaScript, plugged the Visualforce component back in and BHAM! It worked. Now I know that exactly 5 people visit my site per day, and that 4 of them of from the UK 😛

Some Advice

My analytics are working a charm but I’ve realised there’s a snag. Since salesforce.com doesn’t allow you access to their nameservers you have to point your root domain to your Force.com Site using URL forwarding at the domain registrar’s side i.e. I can use a CNAME to point www.wesnolte.com to my Force.com site but wesnolte.com has to bounce to my registrars forwarding server before it finally hits the real site. What this means is that – to GA – the traffic directly to wesnolte.com looks like it’s all coming from one source, that is the forwarding server. The only way that I know to work around this is to get people to only use the http://www.domain.com form of your URL – not ideal I know.

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Written by Wes

March 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Client-Side VisualForce Pagination with Pajinate

with 9 comments

Pajinated DataTable

Pagination is an essential, and not so easy to implement user interface device that allows the developer to break long lists of items, or one very long item into sub-pages. I love the challenge that pagination brings (who doesn’t really) when developing efficient and reusable server-side code, but this article isn’t about that. Sometimes I need things done quickly, easily, and preferably with as little compromise as possible, and that’s what client-side pagination is all about. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wes

April 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Pajinate – A jQuery Pagination Plugin

with 234 comments

Pajinate is a simple and flexible jQuery plugin that allows you to divide long lists or areas of content into multiple separate pages. Not only is it a simpler alternative to server-side implementations, the time between paginated-page loads is almost nil (up to a reasonable page-size of course).

Pajinate - A pagination plugin the whole family can enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wes

April 15, 2010 at 8:48 pm

VisualForce Element Ids in jQuery selectors

with 19 comments

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

Masking Input on VisualForce Pages

with 12 comments

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

Passing Apex values to Javascript Code.

with 6 comments

For the sake of completeness, and because I’ve received a large number of hits from the googled phrase ‘pass apex to javascript’, I thought it would be appropriate for me to write an article detailing the converse of an operation explain in a previous post. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wes

September 24, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Passing Javascript values to Apex code.

with 12 comments

It’s been a while crocodile. Truth be told I was working furiously on my Site’s Developer Challenge entry, and then I was just too pooped to post. I’m sure you were all waiting with bated breath for my next post.. nooooot.

Anyway, let’s get down to brass tacks. Quite often I’ve needed to manipulate variable values in-page(Visualforce) with JS, and then pass these modified values to Apex or a Standard Controller. Just as often I’ve simply dismissed the possibility and worked-around the issue. Recently I was speaking to a fellow who proposed the beginnings of a terribly smashing idea and thought I’d try my hand at a simple implementation. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Wes

September 14, 2009 at 5:03 pm

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