Thursday, January 22, 2015

[Salesforce] My favorite Spring '15 features

This is my top 10 list of the Spring '15 platform update's features.

Make Long-Running Callouts from a Visualforce Page

This is a really important feature. Imagine you have big VisualForce pages in which Apex methods, triggered by buttons / links / rerenders, do one or more callouts to external services.

Imagine hundreds of users use that page and the external services go down, thus causing timeouts on the callouts.

This could lead to heavy problems, because there can be no more than 10 long running Apex processes at the same time: this leads to unexpected and horrible output errors.

Using this new feature we can now "asynchronize" synchronous Apex callouts, using the new Connection Apex class, that is used like a callback when the callout has ended.
Basically you create a method split in 2 parts: the first (invoked by a button / link) has the starting callout code and the last receives the results from the callout.
Even if the callout/callouts (you can trigger up to 3 callout a time) fails / go timed out this call won't count towards the logn running processes.

I'm gonna write down a post to show how this works using HttpRequests and also SOAP requests.

Set Up Test Data for an Entire Test Class

This is an extremely useful feature for large ORGs with hundreds of test classes.

This allow us to write "test setup" methods (new annotation @testSetup) that are called once per test class: when a test method is executed the context has all the objects created in those setup methods (you can have more than one method of this kind, but the execution order is not guaranteed). Each test method execution rollbacks its data at the end, so that the following class's test method will see the values as if they were just been created.

Deploy Your Components in Less Time

Imagine you have the GO for a deploy in your production ORG but you have to do it at saturday midnight (and test methods requires more than an hour to run!!!!)...this is absolutely not cool!

This feature allow you to send a deploy to production before your deadline, test classes are run during this "freezed" deploy and it stays freezed for 4 days: when you are ready you simply click the "Quick Deploy" button and the components are deployed instantly! Whoooaa this is magic!

Create Named Credentials to Define Callout Endpoints and Their Authentication Settings

You can finally leave all the authentication mess to the platform and just sit on your screen and simply code you business requirement, magically storing sessions, tokens and whatever it is needed on Salesforce.

You can also use a named credential in a simplyfied way to store callout endpoints.

Business Continuity - Promote Business Continuity with Organization Sync

With Organization Sync you can setup a secondary ORG that you can use when your primary ORG needs some maintenance (e.g. a big release of your developments), giving a 24/7 service availability.

Orgs are synched automatically through a data replication mapping.

I haven't already tested this feature, but being available on developer Orgs I'll certainly try it soon.

Visually Automate Your Business Processes

This is the Lightning Process Builder, a cool visual tool that help you automates your business processes, from simple actions to complex combinations.

It seems really awesome but unfortunately it is not available on the pre-release program.
You better see in the next days tens of posts about this new feature!

Lightning Components (BETA)

Lightning components are still in beta and the builder in pilot.
But we have new additions:

  • New Components: brand new base components (such as select input, textarea, ...)
  • Namespace Requirement Removed: finally no need to setup a namespace, easing the creation of packages and the deploy across orgs
  • Support Added for Default Namespace: follows the previous point
  • Extend Lightning Components and Apps: like classes, you can extend components and apps
  • Referential Integrity Validation Added: integrity validation has been boosted

New increased limits

There are some new increased limits:

  • Deploy and Retrieve More Components: limit increased from 5000 to 10000 components
  • Chain More Jobs with Queueable Apex: from 2 chained jobs to infinity (except for Developer and Trial orgs where the limit is 5)
  • Make Apex Callouts with More Data: size per callout (HTTP or SOAP) increased from 3 MB to 6 MB for synchronous APEX and 12 MB for asynchronous

Create or Edit Records Owned by Inactive Users

All users can now edit objects owned by inactive Users, before Spring '15 only administrator could do it!
Believe me, this is really usefull.

Legitimize User Activity using Login Forensics (PILOT)

These are forensics metrics to identify suspicious behavior of users (such as logins from unusual IPs or excessive number of login among the average number).
This is a PILOT program, so you have to explicitly ask Salesforce to be enabled.

As usual, may the be with you guys!