September 2008 - Issue 30   
  Get Ready for the Many New Features of Winter '09  
   
Introducing Winter '09Are you ready for the slew of new features coming down the line in Winter '09? You can start preparing today, testing out the new features and coding with some of the new functionality, preparing for launch. Our Winter '09 page provides an overview of how the release can help you. For example, you'll be able to package Visualforce pages and components, make use of the new list controllers that support pagination, and use Visualforce email templates to produce better looking emails, faster. Advanced SOQL joins are in there too, along with cross-object formula enhancements, workflow recall actions, SAML 2.0 support and dynamic Apex.

You can start building and learning right now: our Winter '09 page lets you sign up for a free pre-release trial, access the release notes, and learn a little more about what's coming. Note that all of these Winter '09 technologies are scheduled to be available in your production environment before the next issue of this newsletter! We're also holding a live webinar on Winter '09 Developer Highlights, so be sure to sign up. Finally, if you want to get up to speed on all of the other new features, meet us at Dreamforce!
 
   
  Do not miss the Tour de Force at Dreamforce experience  
    Do not miss Tour de Force at DreamforceTour de Force at Dreamforce, our conference within a conference, is the ultimate Force.com experience. The conference will be bigger than ever, with thousands of developers, admins, IT managers, architects, ISVs and entrepreneurs attending the sessions, and of course mingling and making connections!  
 
Here are some of the attractions of the conference:
::  Force.com State of the Union - Get a complete overview of the latest Force.com technologies and the powerful ecosystem that goes with it
::  Sessions Galore - Attend over 40 sessions on Force.com technologies, complete with hands-on demos and practical guidance
::  Technology Preview - Be the first to get hands-on with the latest Force.com technology and go home with exclusive insider information
::  Immersion Lab - Get answers to your burning questions through tutorials or 1:1 guidance from our lab staff
::  Monday Night Hackathon - Join our collaborative coding marathon event and build apps based on the exclusive cutting-edge technologies announced that Monday
::  The Force.com Zone - Drop in any time to speak with our technical experts, to network with your peers, or simply just to say "hi" to the team behind developer.force.com
This is an exciting mixture of learning, immersion, coding and mingling--we can't wait for it to start. See you there!

 
  Developer Certification Exams and Dreamforce Perks  
  Developer Certification is going live on October 20 - are you ready to sit the exam? The two classes, Visualforce, Apex and DaaS and Force.com Essentials will get you up to speed quickly - and you could end up as one of the first certified developers to stroll into Dreamforce, ever!

As an added incentive, our Training and Certification team is offering a number of benefits to certified developers who come to Dreamforce, including VIP seating at select keynotes, gift packs, special recognition and identification during the conference, an invitation to an exclusive happy hour and more. Check out our abundant training available at Dreamforce, and the course options to learn more.
  
 
  New Force.com Resources  
::  Mashing up Force.com and ZillowMashing up Force.com and Zillow
Zillow is an innovative service that provides residential property valuations and other demographics for neighborhoods. Zillow also has a REST-based Web Services API that lets you access the information programatically. This article demonstrates how to build a Force.com mashup using the service. The techniques and code will be valuable to anyone who wants to create their own mashups with other REST-based services.

 
::  PHP Toolkit 13.0
PHP Toolkit 13.0The PHP toolkit provides an easy way to make Web service API method calls. The PHP Toolkit has been updated to version 13.0 of the Force.com Web Services API. It introduces or improves the following:
::  InvalidateSessions
::  Logout
::  Query (better support for API Relationships)
::  QueryMore (better support for API Relationships)
    
 
::  An Introduction to ApexAn Introduction to Apex
This new article provides a technical introduction to the Apex language, covering its syntax and features, and its use on the platform.

 
::  Webinar Archive: Building Smarter Apps Using Formulas and Workflow
Formulas can improve any application, providing sensible default values, calculating derived values and more. Workflow and Approvals can help you build powerful process-centric apps that support your agile business processes. This webinar introduces both of these technologies, providing plenty of example along the way. The webinar ends with a sneak peek of some of the new features coming in the Winter '09 release.

 
  Additional Resources  
::  Google Data APIs Schema DemoAdobe Flex - Free Online Training
Have you used the Force.com Toolkit for Adobe AIR and Flex? It provides a great alternative to building customer user interface components, and an opportunity to build desktop applications that provide offline access to your Force.com data. Adobe are now offering a free, self-paced online video training program. With over 40 videos and exercises, you will quickly learn how to build incredible Flex applications.

 
  Welcome Our New Force.com Innovators  
    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 they did it—and how you can become the next success story. Hear how these partners delivered cost-effective solutions quickly by building their apps on the Force.com platform.
::  Japan Post: Japan Post Network Builds Compliance and Customer Inquiry Apps on Force.com
::  JobScience: Jobscience Discovers New Business Opportunities in the Cloud with the Force.com Platform
::  Ashland: Ashland Increases Productivity and Streamlines Operations with Force.com
 
 
  From the Boards  
       
  ::  Visualforce Development  
    dchasman provides some advice to TehNrd in action:Support with SelectList has stopped working for me, noting that the order of invocation of getters is not, and never will, be guaranteed.  
  ::  Apex Code Development  
    JeriMorris asked how a trigger can determine whether a field has changed. MikeGoelzer and XactiumBen point the way, with a nice example using Trigger.oldMap.
 
  ::  Perl, PHP, Python & Ruby Development  
    hemm asks an interesting question about Setting a lookup field using an External ID in an upsert. SimonF points to a solution - with plenty of interesting code along the way.  
  ::  General Development  
    James_Dean asks a question I see a lot: How do I access the Apex Code Page Editor in a Visualforce page? devNut!, jwell and Brad Huffman point out that development mode needs to be enabled.  
  ::  Java Development  
    iceberg4u was having problems uploading files using the APIs. SimonF came to the rescue, and the resulting code can be useful to anyone using the Document object.  
  ::  Hot Force.com Job of the Month  
    There's a short and sweet job posting up on the boards this month: Looking for Visualforce expert. The title says it all!  
       
  From the Blogs  
       
  ::  More than a few reasons to check out the Winter '09 Release Preview  
    Nick writes that "This week we launched our Winter '09 Release Preview, and we created a Winter '09 wiki page just for developers. Be sure to check out the related Winter '09 Developer Highlights webinar as well."  
  ::  Deploy Applications to Production Faster  
    The Force.com IDE exposes a Metadata API that provides administrators and developers with some very powerful deployment capabilities. Prompted by a blog post by Steve Andersen, Jesse shows how deploy the smallest subset of configuration changes possible using the Force.com IDE.  
  ::  Set up Orgs 4 times faster with Force.com IDE and the Metadata API  
    Providing a lot of background to the Metadata API, Jesper Joergensen provides an overview of the API and a look at new features expected in Winter '09.
  ::  Condensing "Cloud" Confusion  
    Peter notes that the flag of "cloud computing" is getting wrapped around a great many services that do very different things, and provides an interesting alternative to describing the term.
       
  Force.com App of the Month: Ascent by Precisio Business Solutions  
  Precisio Business Solutions
The team at Precisio Business Solutions has created Ascent, the first inventory control application on the Force.com platform. Built using Apex and Visualforce technologies, Ascent can also be integrated with QuickBooks and other financial systems to manage backoffice inventories and order fulfillment. Users can also take advantage of wireless bar code scanners tied to processes automated by their app, all powered by Force.com.
 
   
       
 

Tour de Force @ Dreamforce
 
VF Webinar
 
Formulas and Workflow Live Webinar
 
 

Calendar of Events
Tour de Force
:: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
October 1
 
Webinar: Winter '09 Developer Highlights
:: Online
October 7
 
Conference: Future of Web Apps
:: London, UK
October 8-10
 
Training: Force.com Essentials
:: San Francisco, CA
October 6
:: London, UK
October 20
 
Training: Visualforce, Apex, and DaaS
:: San Mateo, CA
October 13
:: New York, NY
October 20
:: Boston, MA
October 27
 
 
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