Wednesday we had the first London Salesforce developer meet up for the new year. It was great to catch up with some old timers but also great to see so many newcomers! This was the second time Make Positive have hosted us, and thanks for all the beer and pizza!!
John Stevenson (@jr0cket) kicked off the evening, well after the pizza and beer anyway, giving an overview of developer user group and the Meetup.com group (slides here). But the key takeaways from him were:
- Salesforce is working on creating a developer day in March 2013 to allow up to 200 developers to spend a day learning and developing in the platform.
- John mentioned that eclipse will increase in speed in a release later in the year. [This I’m assuming is due to the work they have been doing on changing the way Salesforce compiles code, so looking forward to that!]
- Checkout Salesforce.StackExchange.com a great resource for getting answers to your Force.com questions.
- The user group is for London Salesforce developers. What do you want to get out of the event? Dojo’s or sessions on certifications?… anything else? let us know what you want.
The First speaker was Robert Ward from Cloud Objectives a cloud implementation parter, he gave an update on the Marketing Cloud and that he believes there is now a great opportunity to integrate marketing solutions.
Our second speaker was Rob Cowell, Senior Analyst from Ticketmaster. He showed us a demo of a cloud mashup he had worked on at Ticketmaster. The problem he was given was to create a system to allow contractors to upload health and safety documentation and answer a multi-part questionnaire. It needed to be externally available, easy to use, ability to track changes and versions and finally it needed to be implemented in a couple of weeks.
He solved the problem using a Heroku and Salesforce mash-up. He went with the Play! Framework with a bit of jQuery. Iris Couch a hosted CouchDB database provider which has version control and supports attachments and finally the Force.com platform.
So how did he stick it all together? Firstly he created a new play! Framework application. Its Java but with all the pain and hassle taken out. If you change your code and hit refresh on the browser, you see the changes immediately with no manual compiling! It also has a great library of components including the Ektorp library for CouchDB (a noSQL document based database), jQuery, jQueryUI and PLUpload (nice little plugin for multiple file uploads and drag and drop). This allowed him to implement the “save for later” functionality before the submission was finally submitted to Salesforce.
But the biggest win: It was totally free. CouchDB is really good value, $5 usage credit is credited for free each month which based on their estimates would be more than enough, and Heroku would only need one web Dyno which is also free. Very compelling. Nice job!!
Look forward to seeing everyone at the next meetup!
Salesforce London Dates for the diary:
30th January 2013: Heroku & Heroku Postgres Office Hours with Craig Kerstiens
30th January 2013: Spring ’13 Release Webinar
9th February 2013: Hack the Tower
26th February 2013: Salesforce.com London User Group
27th February 2013: Salesforce.com London Developer User Group