Archives For Technology

Salesforce Apex & Flow

There’s a new tool (new to me at least) that I’ve discovered through a mention of it by one of our Technical Sales reps called Flow. I remember at Dreamforce 2010, it was called Visual Workflow and it was something brand new with the promise of bringing complex business logic to the Point and Click crowd. It looks like the product team has been working hard, because it has a new interface and a very bright future.

I was asked (volunteered actually) to create a way to allow certain associates the ability to vote on an award nomination. At first, I figured that one person would do the voting for a given nomination, but later was told that the entire 8-person panel needed to be able to vote on each nomination.

I thought about creating a section for each voter and then use a Trigger to accumulate the scores into an overall score, but that seemed cumbersome and not very user-friendly for those voters who were near the bottom of the page layout.

Then I had an epiphany when I realized that Flow could help me out. I envisioned a simple presentation of numeric picklists that could be launched via a custom button. I knew from my research that a Flow could read/update/delete any object in Salesforce, but I wasn’t sure how to get data into the Flow so I could update the voting results.

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Salesforce Hide Buttons

I wanted to share a little bit of knowledge I was able to scrape together on how to hide standard buttons in Salesforce. You don’t need any special developer skills, but you do need to be an admin in your org to do what is in this post.

In my particular scenario, I wanted to hide the Data.com CLEAN button from non-Data.com licensed users as this would produce an error indicating insufficient privileges for them, which is a “no-no” in my book.

I took the steps from THIS POST and made some tweaks. Below is a bit more information about each step for those not familiar with the terminology contained in the original post.

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Servants By Design
The long wait is over.

Way before I knew anything about building websites, I was introduced to something that has changed my life. An instrument used in the hands of the Almighty to teach me about who He made me and provide small glimpses into what I was put on this earth to do.

It’s called Servants by Design – a personality profiling system from Transpersonal Technologies, LLC that, like no other, predicts how we will behave under stress as well as normal conditions. This system is based on over 30 years of research and has been validated in all sectors of life.

It has been used to build NASA teams (it was the reason Chuck Yeager never got into space) as well as educational classrooms to help teachers profile their class to improve communication. It has applications in marriage, parenting and teamwork. And now, its online thanks to a great many contributors including yours truly.

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“What kind of computer should I get?” I get this question all the time and always answer the same way: “Well….what will you be doing with it?” Followed up quickly with, “What’s your budget?” Armed with those two pieces of information, I can typically find the right machine.

There’s just one problem: Not one person has been able to answer those two questions with enough clarity for me to make a recommendation. It usually takes a much longer process. So, I thought I’d pull back the curtains a bit and get you a little further down the road once the decision for a new machine has been made. The amount of information has forced me to split this article up into multiple parts. This is part one and covers why to buy a new machine and whether to focus on a desktop or laptop.

Let me also say one thing here. This article is focused on helping to make the very best purchase based on need. If you don’t much care or are made of money, just go get something that fancies you. If you’re on a budget and dropping $1,500 – $2,00 on a computer is a big deal, then the work described in these articles should prove valuable.

NOTE: If you see a term here that you don’t understand or just want to brush up for the SAT, visit the Computer Glossary I put together that defines the basic computer components. I included a handy UPGRADE SCORE for each component that is used in designing your next computer.

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GearsI am a PC guy – always have been and have no complaints. The one I built for home is the fastest machine I’ve ever had the pleasure of using and is so much fun to use.

I’m also a geek that loves nifty tools. From my iPhone to my Kreg Pocket Hole jig to my MX Revolution mouse and Surface 1030 mousepad – I look for things that are not only cool but help me get the job done more effectively and efficiently.

In addition, I’m an artist and as such, am quite attracted to Apple’s innovative products because they look so darn good and are so well thought out. Apple has mastered the User Experience (UX) game, which is incredibly difficult. In this arena, they have no peers. But fancy looking products and great UX only do it for me for a moment before the geek in me wants more.

You see, it’s not just about how well the tool works, but how well it works with other tools. My iPhone is great, but it is a stand-alone device (albeit a very versatile device) that serves to meet the need of portable connectedness.

When I saw the iPad, I had the same reaction – what a great looking device, but how would it help answer a problem for me better than what I have. The answer was resounding silence, which brings me to the point – integration.

I think the next technological evolutionary step will be to have a unified computing environment that allows you access to your files, apps and web-based content in an unrestricted and uninterrupted manner while moving from one device to another. We see this in the movies all the time. Tony Stark’s (Ironman) house had a very powerful computing system that ran the entire house and no matter where Tony went, he had access. The system became an extension of him in life.

That being Hollywood, I understand it is more science fiction than current day reality; however, it seems like Apple is poised to make that jump. They control the hardware and the sotware and have just enough moxy to try to pull it off, but will they? One thing will have to change – closed systems (think their hyper-critical stance against Flash) will have to be more open because as good as Apple is at the UX, they can’t possibly meet the needs of every aspect of our lives.

Here’s what I think that first step would be. Imagine an iMac in the office, MacBook Pro in the bedroom and an iPad on the living room coffee table. Say, I’m reading a blog post in the office and want to finish it on the couch. I hit a button on the screen to send the content to the iPad, walk into the living room where’s it more comfortable and pick up right where I left off.

Now that’s a simple example, but one that simply isn’t possible today. Once it is, I will be very compelled to take a hard look at partaking of the rotten fruit. For now, it’s just a pile of expensive gadgets – as cool as they are to look at, they simply don’t justify the price and pain to convert.