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26/07/2017

Static APEX code analysis with PMD

Category  

Coding standard are only as good as they are followed. One venerable tool to check source code is PMD. When you, like I did, wonder what acronym PMD represents, you will be disappointed. PMD supports the usual suspects like C, C++, C#, Fortran, Java, JavaScript, Go, Groovy, XML... as well as Apex and Visualforce.

The default ruleset for Apex contains 34 rules and are the ones also used by CodeClimate

PMD is a Java application and you have a number options to run it:

  • As a command line application
  • Using ANT or Maven
  • In your CI platform (using command line, ANT or Maven )
  • Linking your Github (or Gitlab, Bitbucket) repository to a service like CodeClimate

PMD supports a series of output formats like plain, csv, html (different flavours) and XML. When you understand XSLT, the XML format allows you to render whatever report you deem fit

16/07/2017

Ownership flow of customer community created cases

Category

In a previous entry I mapped out sharing abilities the Salesforce platform is capable of.

In this entry I will put these capabilities to practial use. The scenario starts with a customer logging into the customer community and raising a ticket. Client representative, the partner and support staff need/want access to the case. The case needs to flow along the same processing as cases created by other means (call, email, IoT). The following diagram explains the flow (click for a larger version):

Customer Portal Created Cases Ownership flow

The diagram has been rendered using Websequencediagrams based on a plain text file:

14/07/2017

Using FontAwesome in your VisualForce pages

Category

I'm a big fan of Font Awesome (including backing Version 5). It allows to add icons without the overhead of loading tons of small graphic files. In a recent internal project I had to integrate FontAwesome into a Salesforce VisualForce page

Installing FontAwesome

In theory you could load the font from a CDN. However based on security settings this might or might not work. So I decided to add FontAwesome as resource to my project:

  1. Download FontAwesome 4. Or support the team and use Version 5
  2. Add the zip file as static resource to your setup:
    Static Resource for FontAwesome
  3. Make sure you have set the cache control to public, so the font doesn't need download after first use.

Adding to the VisualForce Page

The font gets added using a stylesheet that is included in the zip file added as a resource in the previous step. the apex:stylesheet element takes care of that. The only catch: the zip file is internally "expanded" OS/X style with the file name (sans extension) as directory name. So the tag needs to look like this:

  <apex:stylesheet value="{!URLFOR($Resource.fontawesome,'/font-awesome-4.7.0/css/font-awesome.css')}"/>

Using Icons

This follows the standard approach: you create an empty &lt;i&gt; element and use the class property to specify icon and options. Like this:

  <i style="color: red" class="fa fa-user-circle fa-2x" aria-hidden="true"></i>

Make sure you have a look at the full selection of icons available.

As usual: YMMV

10/07/2017

Salesforce Community License Overview

Category

To facilitate collaboration across corporate boundaries, Salesforce offers Salesforce Communities. The licence for communities come in three flavours: customer community, customer community plus and partner community. There are similarities and differences between the entitlements.

The biggest difference can be seen between customer community and customer community plus. There's a simple rationale behind it: a customer community account uses simplified sharing access, so the computational load to determine access of potentially millions of users stays reasonable and easy to grasp for administrators:

Community License Overview

All licences, full Salesforce or one of the community licence types, access the same data, in the confines of the entitlements. So it's NOT different products, just different permissions on the Salesforce platform.

07/07/2017

Sharing is caring - Salesforce edition

Category

I like declarative security to give access exactly to the extend a user requires. When learning Salesforce, I discovered to my delight the portfolio of possibilities to tailor access. With great powers, as we know, come great responsibilities. Learning the Salesforce lingo can be quite daunting. So here is my little overview:

Salesforce Sharing Terminology, click for full size
  • Access to data in Salesforce is based on two principles: everything is owner based and a generally restricted access can be extended for given conditions, but not limited. This single vector of access makes systems cleaner that the ability to add and remove privileges based on conditions. It avoids the need to resolve conflicts where condition 1 gives access, while condition 2 would remove it. These conflict solution rules are a security flaw in waiting (prime vector for human error). Nevertheless access in Salesforce need to be well planned (How much does any role need to see: give to little and you invite data duplicates, give too much and you increase leakage risks) - How to plan is another story for another time
  • Access has 3 element: access to objects (that would be access to classes in OO), access to records (instances of a class) and fields (properties of a class instance)
  • Computation starts from the organization wide settings, which are the most restrictive settings for a given organisation and then gets extended with various means (see image above)
  • There's a general distinction between internal access and access via a community. This reflects the need to be able to interact with customers, suppliers and partners in a controlled fashion
  • Owner based: I've seen this quite often: data exists, gets used, but nobody wants to own it, the owner has left or data gets inaccessible when the owner gets deleted. All this issues don't happen in Salesforce since no object data can exist that doesn't have an owner and owner transfer capability is baked into the platform (even rule based, but that's another story for another time)
  • Hierarchical: access rules know the role and reporting hierarchy. So access can be granted to a user and her entire reporting hierarchy including subordinates etc. Quite extensive possibilities worth exploring

As usual YMMV

08/06/2017

Meeting a CxO

Category
Meeting a CxO
These are my notes on a role play we did in Salesforce to better cater to successful CxO meetings. Most of the topics do apply to any meeting, so no surprises here. We had actual CxO as participants. They shared that the most common item wanting is clear meeting agendas with outcomes, including them being time managed during the meeting. Second in line were unclear outcomes and not asking for a follow-up meeting.

01/04/2017

Goodbye IBM, hello Salesforce!

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The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore is running a campaign "A new career at 55". Intrigued by it, I decided to give it a shot.

I will be joining Salesforce in Singapore as Cloud Solution Architect this Monday.

My 11 year tenure in IBM thus came to its end. With the new co-location policy sweeping though IBM, I realised, that staying in Singapore will not get me any closer to Notes than the December delivery of Verse on premises. Moving with my offspring in JC wasn't an option.

Working with the "Yellow bubble" always was fun and I intend to continue to participate there. Over the years the community propelled me to one of the top XPages experts on Stackoverflow, adopted my word creation XAgents and always made me feel welcome.

I had the opportunity to contribute code back to the community via OpenNTF on github. Check them out:

  • DominoDAV
    A webDAV implementation for Domino attachments. It allows you to fully round-trip edit office documents in a browser. It is extensible, so you could make views look like spreadsheets etc.
  • Swiftfile Java for Notes
    We had to pick a different name (AFSfNC) to add to the confusion. The project is a Java plugin implementation of Swiftfile, the little tool that would predict what folder you would file a message to. In todays lingo one would call it: Cognitive tag prediction (in Notes Folders and Tags could be used interchangeable)
  • Out of Office
    a Rest API that allows to check the OOO status of a given user
  • DominoRED
    Linking Domino and NodeRED. Very much work in progress

So let the adventure "From sensei to n00b" begin. See you on the other side!

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This site is in no way affiliated, endorsed, sanctioned, supported, nor enlightened by Lotus Software nor IBM Corporation. I may be an employee, but the opinions, theories, facts, etc. presented here are my own and are in now way given in any official capacity. In short, these are my words and this is my site, not IBM's - and don't even begin to think otherwise. (Disclaimer shamelessly plugged from Rocky Oliver)
© 2003 - 2017 Stephan H. Wissel - some rights reserved as listed here: Creative Commons License
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