Andy in the Cloud

From BBC Basic to Force.com and beyond…


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Preview: Apex UML Canvas with Tooling API

Regular readers of my blog will recall my last post charting my exploits with the Salesforce Tooling API for a session I’m running at Dreamforce 2013…

Dreamforce 2013 Session: Apex Code Analysis using the Tooling API and Canvas

The Tooling API provides powerful new ways to manage your code and get further insight into how its structured. This session will teach you how to use the Tooling API and its Symbol Table to analyse your code using an application integrated via Force.com Canvas directly into your Salesforce org — no command line or desktop install required! Join us and take your knowledge of how your Apex code is really structured to the next level!

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 22.16.58As I hinted at in the last blog I was not 100% happy with the Mind Map visualisation I initially used. It was fun to play with, but I wanted to illustrate the use of the Tooling API with something more functional. So I went searching for a new library. I wanted something that was HML5 based, that would dynamically render as the user selected Apex classes.

Inspired by the ObjectAid tool, as well as some feedback comments describing a very cool PlantUML based Apex tool, impressively written currently without the Tooling API called PlantUML4Force. While PlantUML is a great library, it was not dynamic enough and ultimately I wanted to be able to better illustrate the separation of concerns in the diagrams by having more granular control over the final diagram. I eventually found a bit of hidden gem called UMLCanvas

I’ll eventually share this as a package once I’ve had a chance to work on it a bit more (it’s currently showing only UML Dependency relationships). In the meantime please take a look at the new video below and join me in my Dreamforce Session to hear about how I built it!

Technologies involved so far…


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Preview: Demo of Apex Code Analysis using the Tooling API and Canvas

This weekend I’ve been fleshing out the code for my second Dreamforce 2013 session. I’ve been having a lot of fun with various technologies to create the following demo which I’ve shared a short work in progress video below. The JQuery plugin doing the rendering is js-mindmap, it’s got some quirks I’ve discovered so far, but I’m sticky with it for now!

The session highlights the Tooling API via this tool which can be installed directly into your Salesforce environment via the wonderful Salesforce Canvas technology! This is proposed session abstract …

Dreamforce 2013 Session: Apex Code Analysis using the Tooling API and Canvas

The Tooling API provides powerful new ways to manage your code and get further insight into how its structured. This session will teach you how to use the Tooling API and its Symbol Table to analyse your code using an application integrated via Force.com Canvas directly into your Salesforce org — no command line or desktop install required! Join us and take your knowledge of how your Apex code is really structured to the next level!

Technologies involved so far…

I’ve also found the excellent ObjectAid Eclipse plugin (which is sadly a Java source code only tool) to explore the Tooling API data structures in much more detail than the Salesforce documentation currently offers, especially in respect to the SymbolTable structure. I’ll be sharing full code and discussing the following diagram in more detail in my session! In the meantime I’d love to know your thoughts and other ideas around the Tooling API!

Tooling API


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Ideas for Apex Enterprise Patterns Dreamforce 2013 Session!

ideaguy

Update: Dreamforce is over for another year! Thanks to everyone who supported me and came along to the session. Salesforce have now uploaded a recording of the session here and can find the slides here.

As part of this years Dreamforce 2013 event I will be once again running a session on Apex Enterprise Patterns, following up on my recent series of developer.force.com articles. Here is the current abstract for the session, comments welcome!

Building Strong Foundations: Apex Enterprise Patterns “Any structure expected to stand the test of time and change, needs a strong foundation! Software is no exception, engineering your code to grow in a stable and effective way is critical to your ability to rapidly meet the growing demands of users, new features, technologies and platform features. You will take away architect level design patterns to use in your Apex code to keep it well factored, easier to maintain and obey platform best practices. Based on a Force.com interpreation of Martin Fowlers Enterprise Architecture Application patterns and the practice of Separation of Concerns.” (Draft)

I’ve recently started to populated a dedicated Github repository that contains only the working sample code (with the library code in separate repo). So that i can build out a real working sample application illustrating in practical way the patterns in action. It already covers a number of features and use cases such as…

  • Layering Apex logic by applying Separation of Concerns
  • Visualforce controllers and the Service Layer
  • Triggers, validation, defaulting and business logic encapsulation via Domain layer
  • Applying object orientated programming inheritance and interfaces via Domain layer
  • Managing DML and automatic relationship ‘stitching’ when inserting records via Unit Of Work pattern
  • Factoring, encapsulating and standardising SOQL query logic via Selector layer

The following are ideas I’ll be expanding on in the sample application in preparation for the session…

  • Batch Apex and Visualforce Remoting (aka JavaScript callers) and the Service Layer
  • Apex testing without SOQL and DML via the Domain Layer
  • Exposing a custom application API, such as REST API or Apex API via Service Layer
  • Reuse and testing SOQL query logic in Batch Apex context via Selector Layer
  • Rich client MVC frameworks such as AngularJS and Service Side SOC

What do you think and what else would you like to see and discuss in this session?

Feel free to comment on this blog below, tweet me, log it on Github or however else you can get in touch.


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Savings on Dreamforce 2013 Admission!

As a Force.com MVP I’ve been given a special discount code D13MVPREF for Dreamforce 2013 to pass on. Feel free to pass it around as well, there is no limit to how often it can be used to save  money on your entry to this amazing event!

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If your on the fence about Dreamforce 2013, I recommend it 110%, its a huge event and unlike smaller events, the educational cost benefit is very high. Since there are many many developer tracks, code review activities and training sessions.

There is so much content in fact, that an argument could be made that the more people you send the more benefit you get! Also there are many opportunities to discuss with fellow developers and Salesforce employees. In fact you’ll be hard pushed to attend the whole event without bumping shoulders with a Salesforce Product Manager!

If you need any more convincing head over to the official Dreamforce 2013 site!