Andy in the Cloud

From BBC Basic to Force.com and beyond…


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Highlights from TrailheaDX 2017

IMG_2857.JPGThis was my first TrailheaDX and what an event it was! With my Field Guide in hand i set out into the wilderness! In this blog i’ll share some of my highlights, thoughts and links to the latest resources. Many of the newly announced things you can actually get your hands on now which is amazing!

Overall the event felt well organized, if a little frantic at times. With smaller sessions of 30 minutes each, often 20 mins after intros and questions, each was bite sized, but quite well tuned with demos and code samples being shown.

SalesforceDX, Salesforce announced the public beta of this new technology aimed at improving the developer experience on the platform. SalesforceDX consist of several modules that will be extended further over time. Salesforce has done a great job at providing a wealth of Trailhead resources to get you started.

Einstein, Since its announcement, myself and other developers have been waiting to get access to more custom tools and API’s, well now that wait is well and truly over. As per my previous blogs we’ve had the Einstein Vision API for a little while now. Announced at the event where no less than three other new Einstein related tools and API’s.

  • Einstein Discovery. Salesforce demonstrated a very slick looking tool that allows you to point and click your way through to analyzing various data sets, including those obtained from your custom objects! They have provided a Trailhead module on it here and i plan on digging in! Pricing and further info is here.
  • Einstein Sentiment API. Allows you to interpret text strings for terms that indicate if its a positive, neutral or negative statement / sentiment. This can be used to scan case comments, forum posts, feedback, twitter posts etc in an automated way and respond or be alerted accordingly to what is being said.
  • Einstein Intent API.  Allows you to interpret text strings for meanings, such as instructions or requests. Routing case comments or even implementing bots that can help automate or propose actions to be taken without human interpretation.
  • Einstein Object Detection API. Is an extension of the Einstein Vision API, that allows for individual items in a picture to be identified. For example a pile of items on a coffee table, such as a mug, magazine, laptop or pot plant! Each can then be recognized and classified to build up more intel on whats in the picture for further processing and analysis.
  • PredictionIO on Heroku. Finally, if you want to go below the declarative tools or intentional simplified Einstein API’s, you can build your own machine learning models using Heroku and the PredictionIO build pack!

Platform Events. These allow messages to be published and subscribed to using a new object known as an Event object, suffixed with __e. Once created you can use a new Apex API’s or REST API’s to send messages and use either Apex Triggers or Streaming API to receive them. There is also a new Process Builder action or Flow element to send messages. You can keep your messages within Force.com or use them to integrate between other cloud platforms or the browser. The possibilities are quite endless here, aysnc processing, inter app comms, logging, ui notifications…. i’m sure myself and other bloggers will be exploring them in the coming months!

External Services. If you find a cool API you want to consume in Force.com you currently have to write some code. No longer! If you have a schema that describes that API you use the External Services wizard to generate some Apex code that will call out to the API. Whats special about this, is the Apex code is accessible via Process Builder and Flow. Making clicks not code API integration possible. Its an excellent way to integrate with complementary services you or others might develop on platforms such as Heroku. I have just submitted a session to Dreamforce 2017 to explore this further, fingers crossed it gets selected! You can read more about it here in the meantime.

Sadly i did have to make a key decision to focus on the above topics and not so much on Lightning. I heard from other attendees these sessions where excellent and i did catch a brief sight of dynamic component rendering in Lightning App Builder, very cool!

Thanks Salesforce for filling my blog backlog for the next year or so! 😉

 

 


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Working with Apex Mocks Matchers and Unit Of Work

The Apex Mocks framework gained a new feature recently, namely Matchers. This new feature means that we can start verifying what records and their fields values are being passed to a mocked Unit Of Work more reliably and with a greater level of detail.

Since the Unit Of Work deals primarily with SObject types this does present some challenges to the default behaviour of Apex Mocks. Stephen Willcock‘s excellent blog points out the reasons behind this with some great examples. In addition prior to the matchers functionality, you could not verify your interest in a specific field value of a record, passed to registerDirty for example.

So first consider the following test code that does not use matchers.

	@IsTest
	private static void callingApplyDiscountShouldCalcDiscountAndRegisterDirty()
	{
		// Create mocks
		fflib_ApexMocks mocks = new fflib_ApexMocks();
		fflib_ISObjectUnitOfWork uowMock = new fflib_SObjectMocks.SObjectUnitOfWork(mocks);

		// Given
		Opportunity opp = new Opportunity(
			Id = fflib_IDGenerator.generate(Opportunity.SObjectType),
			Name = 'Test Opportunity',
			StageName = 'Open',
			Amount = 1000,
			CloseDate = System.today());
		Application.UnitOfWork.setMock(new List<Opportunity> { opp };);

		// When
		IOpportunities opps =
			Opportunities.newInstance(testOppsList);
		opps.applyDiscount(10, uowMock);

		// Then
		((fflib_ISObjectUnitOfWork)
			mocks.verify(uowMock, 1)).registerDirty(
				new Opportunity(
					Id = opp.Id,
					Name = 'Test Opportunity',
					StageName = 'Open',
					Amount = 900,
					CloseDate = System.today()));
	}

On the face of it, it looks like it should correctly verify that an updated Opportunity record with 10% removed from the Amount was passed to the Unit Of Work. But this fails with an assert claiming the method was not called. The main reason for this is its a new instance and this is not what the mock recorded. Changing it to verify with the test record instance works, but this only verifies the test record was passed, the Amount could be anything.

		// Then
		((fflib_ISObjectUnitOfWork)
			mocks.verify(uowMock, 1)).registerDirty(opp);

The solution is to use the new Matchers functionality for SObject’s. This time we can verify that a record was passed to the registerDirty method, that it was the one we expected by its Id and critically the correct Amount was set.

		// Then
		((fflib_ISObjectUnitOfWork)
			mocks.verify(uowMock, 1)).registerDirty(
				fflib_Match.sObjectWith(
					new Map<SObjectField, Object>{
						Opportunity.Id => opp.Id,
						Opportunity.Amount => 900} ));

There is also methods fflib_Match.sObjectWithName and fflib_Match.sObjectWithId as kind of short hands if you just want to check these specific fields. The Matcher framework is hugely powerful, with many more useful matchers. So i encourage you to take a deeper look David Frudd‘s excellent blog post here to learn more.

If you want to know more about how Apex Mocks integrates with the Apex Enterprise Patterns as shown in the example above, refer to this two part series here.


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Lightning Out: Components on Any Platform

This blog is my first video blog! Since Salesforce does not record the Developer Theatre sessions at the Salesforce World Tour events i thought i would do a re-run at home of my session last week and publish it here. As you know i have a love for all things API’s, and while I typically focus in this blog on backend API’s, there is one i’ve been keen to explore for a while…

The Lightning Out API, as any good API should, brings great promise and reality i’m pleased to say, to further integrating and extending the power of the platform and generally simplifying our users lives. In this case boldly going where no Lightning Component has gone before….

You can access the slides and thus the links within via this Slideshare upload.


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Disabling Trigger Events in Apex Enterprise Patterns

Iautobat.jpeg‘m proud to host my first guest bloggerChris Mail or Autobat as he is known on GitHub. Take it away Chris….

How to put the safety on…

Being an architect in a professional services organisation is a funny game. Each project is either a shiny new Salesforce instance without a fingerprint on it or an unknown vault of code and configuration that we must navigate through.

I have been using the fflib pattern now for some time, and more of our teams are adopting it for our programs of work. My latest addition is something that an architect might wonder why we need; the ability to turn off triggers via a simple interface on all domains.

In an ever growing complex environment, perhaps multiple projects over time delivering iterative enhancements I was noticing a common piece of code being developed within the Domain layer. It looked something along the lines of this:

public override void onAfterInsert()
{
    // if this is set we are already in a loop and want to exit!
    if(bProhibitAfterInsertTrigger)
    {
        return;
    }
    // down here we do something, maybe insert an Account!
}

While small and inconspicuous it allowed our code base to become inconsistent as there was no control over the exposure of these controlling flags and worse, we were repeating ourselves in every domain!

The solution was simple, a fluent style API within fflib_SObjectDomain. Any code can now simply set the control flags for any domain class:

fflib_SObjectDomain.getTriggerEvent(YourDomain.class).disableAll(); // dont fire anything
fflib_SObjectDomain.getTriggerEvent(YourDomain.class).disableAllBefore();
fflib_SObjectDomain.getTriggerEvent(YourDomain.class).disableAllAfter();

fflib_SObjectDomain.getTriggerEvent(YourDomain.class).disableBeforeInsert();
fflib_SObjectDomain.getTriggerEvent(YourDomain.class).disableBeforeUpdate();
fflib_SObjectDomain.getTriggerEvent(YourDomain.class).disableBeforeDelete();

fflib_SObjectDomain.getTriggerEvent(YourDomain.class).disableAfterInsert();
fflib_SObjectDomain.getTriggerEvent(YourDomain.class).disableAfterUpdate();
fflib_SObjectDomain.getTriggerEvent(YourDomain.class).disableAfterDelete();
fflib_SObjectDomain.getTriggerEvent(YourDomain.class).disableAfterUndelete();

To enable, just call the inverse e.g. .enableAfterInsert(); etc.

While not every code base will need to use these flags, they allow you to control quickly and easily your trigger execution with a single line of code that all your development team can reuse and follow.