Force.com Developer News  
February 2009 - Issue 35   
  Great Developer Challenge Submissions  
   

Outstanding Developer Challenge Submissions Back in December we challenged the Developer Force community to build exciting Force.com Sites applications in the Force.com Sites Developer Challenge. 348 people from all over the world registered, yielding 32 solid submissions. The challenge was open-ended, which resulted in a wide variety of submissions. Some chose to redo their company website on the Force.com platform, while others tried their hands at implementing travel reservation systems, e-commerce solutions, survey sites, and even a game—British bingo anyone?

Here are three of the outstanding submissions:
:: For a visual extravaganza, check out Craig Traxler's gaming e-commerce store. This site combines eye-catching Visualforce and CSS, together with effective Ajax updates. All of the the eye-candy sits on top of an e-commerce store.
:: Rajendra Ogra's wiki is an outstanding example of innovation. Check out the WYSIWIG editor, comments, ratings and more. It's a great start to a full wiki system.
:: Timo Fehling and Michael Kahle built a fantastic e-commerce site, which really shows off the breadth of the platform. It boasts product recommendations, a shopping cart (handled with cookies), and an authenticated session.
These outstanding contributions deserve the goodies that are in the mail, but they also serve as a great reminder: Force.com Sites really does open the doors to a host of new use-cases. How are you going to take the challenge and incorporate Sites into your applications?
Check out Force.com Sites to learn more.
   
  Spring is Here – Open the Tool Shed!  
   
Spring is Here – Open the Tool Shed! Any platform release is an exciting time for a developer. Without lifting a finger, the platform on which your applications are built, is enhanced. Sometimes these enhancements are dramatic. For example, go and check out the page layout editor, which has been extended with a drag and drop WYSIWIG interface, making page layout editing a cinch.

Sometimes the enhancements are subtle. For example, the platform now has broader compatibility with external Web services, something you won’t notice until you import WSDL files.

Other enhancements in Spring '09 include data grouping functions, summary report data snapshots, mobile web tabs for the iPhone and a host of updates to the Force.com IDE, including code completion, dynamic parse results and class outline views.

So, go and check out what’s new in Spring '09 – open that shed door and explore all of those shiny new tools at your disposal.

 

   
  New Force.com Resources
       
  :: Ten Common Mistakes Architects Make When Building a Force.com Application  
   

Ten Common Mistakes Architects Make When Building a Force.com ApplicationDo you leverage the automatically generated user interface for persistent objects in your Force.com applications, or do you roll your own using Visualforce? Do you write custom code, or do you make use of the declarative features of the platform? This article addresses questions such as these, and their implications on architecture and project scope.

 
  :: Integrating with the Force.com Platform  
   

Integrating with the Force.com PlatformThere are many ways to integrate with Force.com. You could invoke external SOAP-based web services, expose Apex methods as web service end-points, build REST interfaces using the HTTP functionailty, respond to incoming email, or with Force.com Sites, expose public pages and Atom feeds. This article provides an overview of these, and other, integration methods.

 
  :: An Introduction to Apex Code Test Methods  
   

An Introduction to Apex Code Test MethodsIn late 2006, salesforce.com made a fundamental change in the way it builds software, adopting the principles of a methodology known as agile development. This white paper shows how agile development is used within salesforce.com, and how this contributes to the delivery of the Force.com platform.

 
  :: Spring '09 Release is Now Generally Available  
   

Spring '09 Release is Now Generally AvailableSpring '09 has arrived, and all of your orgs are now running on the latest release of the Force.com platform. As described in the Spring '09 Release Page, this release includes a new page layout editor, enhancements to Sites, Summary Report Data Snapshots and more.

 
  :: An Introduction to Packaging  
   

An Introduction to PackagingThis article provides an introduction to packaging and distribution on Force.com. Packages can be created and distributed in the cloud, and this is demonstrated by a simple tutorial that shows how to create and distribute an unmanaged package. The article goes on to examine the foundational concepts found in packaging.

 
  :: An Introduction to Builder  
   

An Introduction to PackagingTo build, deploy, configure and administrate applications, you can use a powerful web-based interface called builder. You can use builder to create and modify all the declarative capabilities of the platform, such as workflow, as well as create and modify procedural assets such as Apex Code. This article introduces the user interface and its major features.

 
  Sharing your Code
       
  :: Cloud Converter  
    Cloud ConverterCloud Converter is an open-source Java application that analyzes the metadata of a chosen database via a JDBC driver. It then uses the Force.com Metadata API to create objects in your Force.com environment that correspond with the tables it discovered in the database. It also updates the default page layout, creates a tab for each object, and migrates the data from the database to the Force.com objects!

 
  :: Workbench 2.2.15 for Spring '09  
    WorkbenchThe Workbench is a web-based application that gives administrators and developers on-demand access to useful tools for managing Salesforce organizations. Starting with a combination of the features of the Apex Data Loader, Force.com Explorer, and System Log, the Workbench can insert, upsert, update, query, search, delete, undelete, and purge data, describe metadata, or execute Apex scripts all within your web browser in a simple interface. Version 2.2.15 adds support for parent relationship queries, robust auto-login features, and full support for Spring ’09 and the Force.com Web Services API 15.0.

Both of these projects are open source. If you have some Java, PHP or Force.com skills, please join in and help extend them!

 
       
  Welcome Our New Force.com Innovators
 
Discover the latest customers and ISV partners that have developed successful applications on the world's first platform as a service. You'll learn how these partners delivered cost-effective solutions quickly by building their apps on the Force.com platform—and how you can become the next success story. Welcome Our New Force.com Innovators
:: CNS Response: Builds Complete Production Platform on Force.com at a Fraction of the Cost  
:: Xactium: Opens New Markets with Cloud-Based GRC on Force.com  
:: E*Assist: Captures New Market Opportunity in the Cloud with Force.com  
 
     
  From the Boards
       
  :: Visualforce Development  
    kutts18 asks a question about transitioning from one Visualforce page to another. dchasman points out that you shouldn't hardcode links, but rather use symbolic referencing such as $Page.pageName.
 
  :: Apex Code Development  
    mobile wanted to deploy a trigger to production, and asked for help in writing a test case. shillyer points to a solution, which jrotenstein commends because it's bulk-safe.
 
  :: Force.com Sites  
    FadiShami asks how to make custom objects available in Portal. aalbert and Bulent point the way, noting that you should clone and activate a profile.  
  :: Force.com Builder & Native Apps  
    Stevemo wants to know how to deploy a custom application from a developer edition org to a production org. shillyer provides some excellent advice, showing how to deploy using the IDE and pointing to tutorials, packaging instructions and test coverage information!
 
  :: AppExchange  
    OCDGeek wanted to know how to have a managed package provide an email template that can then be modified by a Standard User. shillyer shows the way, and also points out how to modify the permissions appropriately.  
  :: Hot Force.com Job of the Month  
    How are your Visualforce skills? Job postings like Two Salesforce Developers (Visualforce) appear to be a growing trend!  
       
  From the Blogs
       
  :: Navigating Relationships.....  
    Nick provides several great examples of how to navigate relationships in SOQL, using the object model from the Developer Guide as an example.  
  :: Why People Settle for Bad Software  
    Peter makes some very interesting points in this post, noting that "near misses activate the same reward signals in the brain as a win," which may be why so many settle for bad software. To compete, you have to offer "superior delight plus a genuine opportunity for mastery and control."  
  :: How Much Better Could Your Applications Be?  
    Ryan asks a great question: how much better would your applications be if you spent time on the high-value stuff, such as the data model, logic and presentation, instead of the low level details such as database connections and log files. A great comment, left on the post, reads "As experienced Java and .NET developers who have converted to Force.com, the ability to rapidly implement the business solution (as opposed to having to build and manage infrastructure) is a revolution in the way that we develop software.". Awesome!
  :: Looking for Facebook Enterprise Applications?  
    Dave points to some great material on how Force.com and Facebook can be leveraged to build a solution that uses social networking, one that takes advantage of viral marketing. Also check out Force.com for Facebook, a toolkit that offers Facebook integration.
       
Force.com App of the Month: Pledge 5 by Starbucks
     
  Force.com App of the MonthIn less than 4 weeks, Starbucks was able to rollout Pledge 5, a volunteer activism site built by Appirio using Force.com Sites and the Force.com for Facebook toolkit announced last November. The Pledge 5 site received millions of hits per day and allowed users to also add a Pledge 5 app to their Facebook profile to further drive viral awareness of the Pledge 5 campaign.  
 
Learn about the The Magic Behind Multitenancy
An Overview of Force.com Security
Spring '09 General Availabilty

Calendar of Events
Live Webinar: "The Fastest Path to SaaS" - A Weekly Webinar Series
:: Online
Mondays 10am PDT
 
Conference: Cloudforce
:: Santa Clara, CA
March 18
:: New York City, NY
March 23
:: Boston, MA
March 26
:: Toronto, Canada
April 14
:: London, UK
April 7
 
Training: Force.com Essentials
:: Paris, France
February 27
:: San Mateo, CA
March 2
:: London, UK
March 9
:: Dallas, TX
March 16

Training: Visualforce, Apex, and DaaS
:: Chicago, IL
March 9
:: Dublin, Ireland
March 2
:: New York, NY
March 16
:: Utrecht, Holland
March 16
 
 
  News Highlights
  InfoWorld
  Starbucks taps Salesforce's Sites technology for campaign
   
  ebizQ
  How the Cloud Enables More Agile Development
   
  bMighty.com
  7 Reasons Cloud Computing Is Fed By The Bad Economy
   
  InformationWeek
  How The Cloud Enables A New Set Of Personal Applications
   
 
     
Copyright 2000-2008 salesforce.com - All rights reserved - Various trademarks held by their respective owners--salesforce.com, One Market Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94105