It's been another week of training, training, training. I've watched a LOT of video and started the week studying for the AppBuilder certification only to find out that maybe Certified Advanced Admin was a better place to go after Certified Admin. So Wednesday or so I rebooted and refocused on that certification which really has set me a while back on making another cert by this week or early next week. We'll have to see how it goes. This week I made a new level on Trailhead and I'm now at the Expeditioner level meaning at least 50 badges and 35k points. Trailhead is not something I have to do per say but I think the modules there are engaging and much more fun than the traditional Help and Training courses.
I'm getting pretty tired of hearing of the business requirements of AW Computing which is the fictitious company used for all the cert training exercises...
Along the way I've dived into APEX and Visualforce. APEX is a Java-style programming language for the Salesforce platform and it allows you to write almost all the code in it. It's very similar to Java but with a nice integration to SOQL (Salesforce Object Query Language) and SOSL (Salesforce Object Search Language) built it. Very cool and easy to use. All APEX may be written in the browser based UI - pretty nice. Visualforce on the other hand is a markup based language (think XPages or JSP) for the force.com platform. Main difference here is that all pages inside Salesforce may be overridden and it seems like all the built in controls are available for me to reuse. This makes it very easy to make pages that span objects and provide context info while editing. Nice. Visualforce is hooked up with APEX allowing you to do use the standard controller (LOTS of functionality provided out of the box) or write custom controllers. It's incredibly easy and the APEX integration with SOQL makes it easy to do. With 10 lines of Visualforce and an APEX class of 5-6 lines can give you a fully fledged UI showing records from your org.
As I'm writing this I'm waiting for a sandbox for a practice org to be done provisioning. Sandboxing is another nice concept and allows you to build and test in a separate org from your production org while optionally bringing over data from your production org for testing. Sandboxes come at a price but the flexibility and power seems to be worth the money.
Well back to studying...
What did I learn
- APEX and that an int is integer and strings are single quoted. There are cheat sheets at developer.salesforce.com with the specific APEX one here
- Of the DML commands (insert, update, delete etc.) upsert and merge are particular cool when coming from traditional SQL
- Visualforce is nice and has lots of cool components for reuse
- Repeat after me: "clicks before code, clicks before code"
Status after this week
Trailhead points: 53450
Trailhead badges: 50
Certifications: 1 (Certified Salesforce Administrator)