Force.com Developer News  
March 2009 - Issue 36   
  Integrate Facebook And Twitter—Your Users Are Already There!  
   
Cloudforce, Twitter Demonstrations and More Facebook and Twitter have hundreds of millions of users, and there's a very good probability that the users of the application you're building right now on Force.com are already on these platforms—how are you tapping into this vast sea? These users are conversing, exchanging information, complaints, recommendations—ultimately knowledge, and you can tap into this sea using Force.com libraries such as TwitterForce and Force.com for Facebook.

The Cloudforce Tour of events demonstrated the Service Cloud, a compelling illustration of how social media can be used on Force.com. "Fish where the fish are," goes the saying, and these tool libraries give you all the raw material you need to get started. What you need next is that idea, that spark to mesh your business idea, the Force.com platform, and social media. And what better place to get that idea than at the next Cloudforce event!

So, hop on over to Cloudforce London, check out the developer track, familiarize yourself with the Twitter and Facebook integrations, and start those ideas rolling!

   
  New Site Gallery, Force.com AppExchange and Board Search  
   
New Site Gallery, Force.com AppExchange, Calendar and Board SearchA number of exciting new features have just been added to the Developer Force site. Some of these features help in everyday developer activities (advanced discussion board search), others provide inspiration (Sites Gallery), while the updated Force.com AppExchange provides an enhanced marketplace experience.

The Sites Gallery and Force.com AppExchange are all built on Force.com Sites.
Here's a little more detail on each feature:
:: The Sites Gallery at developer.force.com/sitesgallery is a gallery of public web sites that are built on Force.com, ranging from Dell IdeaStorm to Developer Challenge winners such as GameCraze. If you're looking for inspiration, head on over.
:: A new version of the Force.com AppExchange has just launched. Built on Force.com Sites, this enhanced online marketplace boasts filters, app comparison, cross promotion functionality and more.
:: The discussion board now links to an Advanced Search, and will help you find relevant information more quickly. You can now filter results by a selected discussion board, tags, or on threads that have accepted solutions.

Check out the new features: we hope they inspire and help you to build great apps on the platform!

   
  Learning With The New Tech Talk Webinar Series  
   
Check out the new Force.com Tech Talk Series of webinars. They come in two flavors—the introductory webinars are great if you are new to Force.com, while the advanced webinars assume that you already have some experience. These two streams of webinars will hopefully allow you to learn about the platform at a level appropriate to your needs. Keep an eye out on the calendar for future announcements in this webinar series.
The first two webinars are:
:: Introduction to Apex Code (April 6)—This webinar introduces the Apex programming language used on the Force.com platform, covering its syntax, database and web service support, as well as testing and code coverage.
:: Visualforce Components Deep Dive (April 27)—This webinar demonstrates how to build custom Visualforce components, ones that incorporate presentation, data and logic, and which can be reused across multiple Visualforce pages and applications.
You can register here.
   
  New Force.com Resources
       
  :: A Practical Overview of Building Apps on Force.com  
   

A Practical Overview of Building Apps on Force.comThis archived webinar replay provides a practical overview of building applications on Force.com. It looks at building an application's data model, business logic, and user interface, and also touches on integration, development and deployment.

 
  :: Tutorial: Modal Dialogs in Visualforce using the Yahoo! User Interface Library  
   

Tutorial: Modal Dialogs in Visualforce using the Yahoo! User Interface LibraryThis tutorial shows how to add modal popups to your own Visualforce pages using the YUI library. It also boasts a nice online demo of the finished product, illustrating how the popup passes information back to the host page.

 
  :: Implementation Guides  
   

Implementation GuidesTwo revised implementation guides have just been published. The Security Implementation Guide provides a comprehensive guide to configuring the security of your data and applications on Force.com. The Quick Reference for Developing Packages for Distribution contains tables describing the components that can be included in packages and the component attributes that can be edited in managed packages. It also shows how some component behaviors change depending on how they are packaged

 
  :: Delivering Static Resources with Visualforce  
   

Delivering Static Resources with VisualforceSome resources on a web page, such as graphics and CSS files, don't change very often - these are called static resources. Visualforce provides a number of ways to upload and reference these resources, and Force.com Sites provides a caching mechanism for them as well. This article shows you how to use these resources in your Visualforce pages.

 
 
  Sharing your Code
       
  :: Apex-lang  
   

Sharing your codeApex-lang, inspired by the Apache Commons Lang project, consists of a set of Apex classes that for the most part mirrors the classes and methods found in the Apache project. It also comes with test methods, and an unmanaged package installation option. Really cool - thanks Richard Vanhook!

In common with all projects on Code Share, this project is open source. If you would like to participate, either by writing code, fixing or reporting bugs, writing documentation or helping out in any other way, please join a project by logging into Code Share and sending a message to the project owner.

 
       
  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
  :: Maxplore: Maxplore Builds Award-Winning Field Service Solution on Force.com  
  :: Bronx Lab School: Building an Inspiring Student Tracking Application on Force.com  
  :: Chicago Housing Authority: Building Custom Apps on Force.com to Meet Unique Public Agency Requirements  
 
     
  From the Boards
       
  :: Visualforce Development  
    bob17 wants to know how to swap out one image with another. With aeben's help, he figured out how to correctly reference images from JavaScript.
 
  :: Apex Code Development  
    m_roark wanted to copy a lead's address to a contact when a user converts it. Whyser responded with an trigger that m_roark says "worked beautifully".
 
  :: Force.com Sites  
    adreamer wonders how to consume JSON based APIs like Google Maps from Apex classes. Ron Hess points HTTP.send() and to the Google Maps CodeShare Project.  
  :: General Development  
    Isatony asked how to copy custom fields across objects. Mark Silber recommended the Force.com IDE, and explains how he got started.  
  :: Hot Force.com Job of the Month  
    How are you integration skills? m62Admin is looking for someone who can integrate with the Force.com Web Services API from their web server.  
       
  From the Blogs
       
  :: Cloud Computing in Pi Minutes  
    Sati points to a fantastic video that explains cloud computing and its benefits. It's also available on YouTube in case you feel the urge to embed it!  
  :: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Force.com Site  
    Nick writes about Tim Inman, who won honorable mention in the Force.com Sites Developer Challenge (see results here). Tim put together a nice write-up and video on why and how he developed a basic content management system with Force.com Sites technology.
 
  :: Got Innovation? Nominate Yourself for Some Fame and Fortune!  
    If you are a commercial developer or partner working on a great Force.com app, then Mark invites you to join the Force.com Forty showcase. This year-long program could result in your application being demoed on stage at Dreamforce, as well as a lot more exposure to analysts, PR, media and VCs.
  :: Lead Scoring & Design Patterns  
    Are you into design patterns? Quinton provides a mockup of some functionality he plans to write that implements the interpreter pattern - a small language that allows him to express rules for determining how to rank leads. You can imagine this functionality being applied in many other scenarios as well.
  :: Leveraging Force.com to Increase Productivity through Asset Reuse  
    Cory writes comprehensively about strategies that will make you and your project teams more productive, covering topics such as migrating configurations between environments, code repositories and more. It's well worth a read.
       
Force.com App of the Month: Toucan - The Twitter Client for Salesforce
     
  Force.com App of the Month With all the energy around Twitter, it didn't take long for someone from our community to build an app that integrates the Twitter API with Salesforce CRM. The team from Toucan has built a 100% native Force.com app that leverages multiple Apex classes and Visualforce pages to provide visibility into tweets from users, leads, and contacts. It also allows you to post updates and find Twitter users in your company directly from within Force.com.
 
 
Tech Talk Series
Cloudforce Tour
Force.com Sites Gallery

Calendar of Events
Live Webinar: "The Fastest Path to SaaS" - A Weekly Webinar Series
:: Online
Mondays 10am PDT
 
Live Webinar: Force.com Tech Talk Series - Introduction to Apex Code
:: Online
Monday, April 6, 10am PST
 
Live Webinar: Force.com Tech Talk Series - Visualforce Components Deep Dive
:: Online
Monday, April 27, 10am PST
 
Conference: Cloudforce
:: London, UK
April 7
:: Toronto, CA
April 14
 
Training: Force.com Essentials
:: San Mateo, CA
April 20
:: London, UK
April 20

Training: Visualforce, Apex, and DaaS
:: Dallas, TX
April 13
:: New York, NY
April 13
:: London, UK
May 11
 
 
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