Tips and Takeaways From Getting the Apex Specialist Superbadge

I’ve started the new certification path for the Platform Developer II as I already passed the multiple choice question a long time ago but it was ridiculously hard getting a slot on the programming assignment. With this new format, I would need to complete these four superbadges.

So, 1 out 4 completed. I got the Apex Specialist Superbadge nailed.

For the Apex Specialist superbadge. There are a total of 6 mini challenges you need to complete. Requirements are straightforward. If you been developing on the platform for some time, the challenge should be a breeze. It took me 6 hours though to coymplete the challenge.

Takeaways from the challenge

  1. There are many options for building the solution. Just stick with where you are most familiar with.
  2. Use maps for more efficient querying and to bulkify your triggers
  3. I thought I already know all my JSON stuffs until I tried to manually parse a JSON string. Get familiar with using the JSON class methods. Check my post on Demystifiyng JSON parsing in Apex.
  4. Given another chance since the requirements are not that complicated this would’ve been a good practice to have tried test-driven development.

If you need help completing the challenge hit the comments below and I’ll be glad to help. Good luck on getting that superbadge.

Demystifying JSON Parsing In Apex

You got back a JSON string either as a response from a REST service, passed through from your visual force page via remote action or passed from your lighting component to your apex controller, now how do you parse this information? For simple JSON structures Salesforce can automatically parse them for you. There are tools online that would generate apex classes from the JSON string that would assist in parsing the JSON input.

It is good to get back to the basics and understand a little bit how the JSON string is structured and how the parsing is done.

What is JSON? JSON is the acronym of Javascript Object Notation and is a lightweight format that is used for data exchange between servers and modern applicationsIt is based on a subset of JavaScript language (the way objects are built in JavaScript).

Read the rest of this entry »

Using the Batch Resource Salesforce REST API

While coming up with a solution design for  an API integration piece for work I found the REST API batch resource feature relevant to my use case. The feature has been around since Summer 2015 and I didn’t know much about it then. Basically the batch resource allows you to make multiple request in a single API call.

I needed to come up with a simple solution for creating a single record and has option to pass an array of records to be created. I initially had been looking at 3 options and listed the things to consider on the development side.

  • REST API via the sobject resource
    • use sobject resource for record creation
    • no Apex code
    • cannot do array
  • Apex Rest API
    • accepts an array of the records
    • use of JSON parser and deserializing the request body
    • create test classes
  • Bulk API
    • last option
    • overkill for the job and too many things to consider to get the integration setup

Read the rest of this entry »

Hidden Gems on the Spring 18 Salesforce Release For Developers

Salesforce Spring 18 comes with some pretty nifty updates for developers. Been playing around with some of the new stuffs and will come up with some videos for each as I get in depth with them more.

 

  • Flow Enhancements
    • Ability to add Lightning Components to Flow –  lightning:availableForFlowScreens
    • We can already make Lightning Component as a Quick Action, now you can do that with Flow too
  • New Base Lightning Components
    • This  new base components works together and allows you to build forms faster. It determines the field type, field level security and displays the field styled(LDS) accordingly. Similar to using force:inputInputField but with less controller and apex work.
      • lightning:recordEditForm
      • lightning:inputField
    • New base components – carousel, formattedAddress, formattedName, formattedTime, inputAddress, inputField, listView, pillContainer, treeGrid, and prechatAPI.
  • Salesforce DX
    • Two types of second generation packing
      • ISV type managed packaging
      • Developer controlled packaging – unmanaged packaging but upgradeable. Wuhoo!
  • Component Library
    • View documentation on the base and your custom built lightning components
      • simply add /componentReference/suite.app to the base URL
  • Einstein Vision
    • This soo cool, you can train deep-learning models to detect images and count distinct objects within an image with Einstein Object Detection.
  • UI API
    • Recreate the Salesforce page layout on any web app or mobile app. You can can pretty much do CRUD operations with the API.
  • Some other stuffs worth mentioning
    • Cloning sandbox now in beta
    • Debugging – public site users no longer need a browser cookie to activate debug logging. FTW.
    • Custom metadata in validation rules in pilot

What are your favourite features?

Stay tuned!

Tips and Takeaways from Taking the Lightning Experience Rollout Specialist Superbadge

Been procrastinating and holding off getting this Superbadge for some time as it seems to be too much material to cover. With some deadlines imposed by Salesforce for partners to get accredited for Lightning, I eventually got into it. So I sat this one and got my first superbadge.

There are a total of 8 challenges and 2 quizzes to check your knowledge. Took me around 8-10 hours to finish in a span of three days as I did them after work.

Takeaways from the challenge

  1. First is setting up and installing the managed package on a Trailhead playground requires some fiddling around. Login to trailhead on incognito and create a new playground, get the password for the user and it asks you for a security question just enter “Blank”. After this, you can install the package on that playground.
  2. The lightning migration tool does most of the analysis for you. Go over the readiness reports and relate them to the requirements to come up with a solution.
  3. Check challenge button shows tips on what’s wrong based on your progress on the challenge and sometimes shows more details of the requirement. I find myself checking challenge here and there but if you get stuck then google is your friend and check the developer forums.
  4. If you are not comfortable with a particular challenge, say styling the VF page, read up more or check the associated trailhead badge. I’m pretty sure most admins will get stuck on this one.
  5. You need to switch around classic and lightning to get some configuration or setup done. I got stuck on the Report challenge as the Add Chart button was not showing on Lightning, works well on Classic.

If you need help completing the challenge hit the comments below and I’ll be glad to help. Good luck on getting that superbadge.