Simon Fell > Its just code >

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

There's a big update to zkSforce available, it now supports the entire v29 Partner API, all the new calls, soap headers etc. Also there are aysnc/blocks versions available of all the API calls, so you can safely make soap calls on a background thread and not block the UI.

The update is mostly driven from a new tool I wrote which generates code from the WSDL, so as new WSDLs get released keeping zkSforce unto date will be easier. (note you don't need to use this tool, just add zkSforce to your project as usual and off you go). This move to generated code means there are a number of minor changes from previous versions that you might need to address if you update to the latest version, check the read me for all the details.

If you try it out, let me know how you get on.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

SF3 was one of the first OSX/Salesforce tools I wrote, made possible by an API in OSX called Sync Services. With the release of OSX 10.8 (aka Mountain Lion) Apple officially deprecated the Sync Services API (and its future was in doubt for a quite a while prior to that). With this news the future for SF3 is that it doesn't have any future, there is no new API that replaces the functionality of Sync Services. There are APIs to talk to both Address Book and iCal, but without the sync engine piece an app that wanted to sync data between those apps and a 3rd party is going to have to build the entire sync/match/change log functionality itself, a big job. Its possible that exposing the salesforce data using CalDav and CardDav might make it usable from OSX, but I haven't had time to investigate that in any detail.

Friday, March 2, 2012

For quite a while now you've been able to make HTTP requests from Apex to other services, this was aimed at integrations for structured data, xml or json, and so would deal with strings. This made life easier if you were actually doing xml or json, but makes life difficult to impossible if you were trying to deal with binary data. In the recent Spring release this is fixed, and you can now work with binary data (blobs in apex) directly in the http request or response. Here's an example of making a HTTP GET request for an image PNG file, and saving it to the document object in salesforce

HttpRequest r = new HttpRequest();
Http http = new Http();
HttpResponse res = http.send(r);
blob image = res.getBodyAsBlob();

Document d = new Document(); = 'logo.png';
d.body = image;
d.folderId = UserInfo.getUserId();
insert d;

(Yes, this may well be my one blog post for this year)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hudson is a popular continuous integration build server, I've been working on a plugin for it that will post build notifications to chatter. The plugin is configurable, so that it can post updates to its own wall, to a specific group (perhaps the project team that owns the build), or to a specific data record (perhaps you have a custom object that represents a build).

You can grab the source and a prebuilt plugin binary from the projects home page on github.

Monday, June 7, 2010

ZKSforce is the Cocoa library i wrote to make it easier to access the API from Cocoa / Objective-C. I just posted a new version that uses the v19 API, and has switched out its use of NSXML & NSCalendarDate with libxml & NSDate and so is now compatible with both OSX and iPhone based projects. (iPhone OS 3.2 and up should be good).

The Applescript Connector for allows you to write applescript that can interact with the API, login, create, update & delete data, run queries, retrieve your scherma's metadata all from Applescript. Now you can more easily integrate with your OSX desktop and applications.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A friend recently turned me onto Instaviz, a great iPhone / iPad diagraming tool based on graphviz. Graphviz lets you define your diagram as a set of nodes and connections, and it will perform the layout for you. I have something of an interest in being able to visualize your schema, and some lines of python code later, i had something that would generate a graphviz description of your schema, starting from a primary object, and with the option to go 1 or more levels deep from there. Here's an example for Opportunity, just 1 level deep. (click for full size version)

And here's the generated oppty.gv file that produces that graph. If you have Instaviz or one of the desktop viewers for graphviz, you can open the .gv file directly in those apps. (and/or you can use the commandline tools to generate a png or other formats).

Here's the actual python code, it uses beatbox to call the describeSObject API to discover the schema for your login. You run it as

python mypassword Opportunity > oppty.gv

Here's an even larger model that's 5 levels deep from Account - png rendering (ouch its 6MB), gv (33k)

[Also available Belorussian translation provided by Patricia]

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The API allows you to create new entries for Salesforce content by creating new ContentVersion records, you'll at a minimum need to fill out the VersionData which is the actual binary data for the file, and the pathOnClient, which is used to derive the file type, and its title. This will automatically create a new content record and put it in your personal workspace. For a twist here's an example in VisualForce rather than a SOAP based client (the Web Services API & Apex both share the same data model, so everything transfers over).

Here's the controller, called contentController, this just has a Blob property and a go method to create the actual ContentVersion row

public class contentController {

    public blob file { get; set; }
    public PageReference go() {
        ContentVersion v = new ContentVersion();
        v.versionData = file;
        v.title = 'from VF';
        v.pathOnClient ='/foo.txt';
        insert v;
        return new PageReference('/' +;
And for the VisualForce page, i just used the apex:inputFile to bind to it, nothing pretty, but it'll get you going. You'll probably want to do something more interesting with the title and pathOnClient properties.

<apex:form controller="contentController">
<apex:inputFile value="{!file}" />

<apex:commandbutton action="{!go}" value="go"/>
One variation is to have your controller expose a ContentVersion object directly, e.g.
public class contentController {

    public contentController() {
        file = new ContentVersion();
    public ContentVersion file { get; set; }
    public PageReference go() {
        insert file;
        return new PageReference('/' +;
And have the page bind directly to its properties.
<apex:page controller="contentController">
<apex:form >
<apex:inputFile value="{!file.versionData}" fileName="{!file.pathOnClient}" />
<apex:commandbutton action="{!go}" value="go"/>

If you want to experiment with the Content APi, you'll need to have signed up for a developer edition org recently (or go sign up a new one), and turn on the content license for the admin user.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I updated the Quicksilver plugin for to support Chatter, you can easily post status updates, URLs & Files to Chatter now from Quicksilver.

There's a minor revision to Trapdoor that adds Google Chrome to the list of available browsers.

SoqlX was updated to support the v18 API, so that you can do aggregate queries etc, it also now tries much harder to preserve the field ordering in the table from the query.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I updated the OSX build of the data loader to v17, so now you can access v17 specific objects (like content) and use the new bulk api. And I also updated the TextMate Plugin for apex to v17 as well.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I built an up to date (api v16) OSX version of the data loader, and feel free to vote for the idea to make it official.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I released an updated SoqlX a couple of weeks back, it has a number of tweaks, exposing relationship names to make building SOQL-R queries easier, and the filtering object/field list I discussed earlier. And I just posted an updated version of SFFS, the file extension information is now bundled into the filenames for those files that don't have it in the name directly (depending on how your documents got into salesforce to start with, they might have the extension separate to the name). Follow me on twitter to find out these things as they happen.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Following on from the filtered object/field list discussion, seems like showing all the fields and highlighting the matching ones seems like the best bet (but filtering the list of objects based on the object name, or the object having a field matching the filter), expect to find this in the next release of SoqlX.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I've been thinking about adding a filter widget to the object/field list in SoqlX, right now i have so that the object list is filtered based on whether the object name or any of its fields match the filter criteria, but the actual list of fields for the object remains intact. (as shown on the left). Is that what you would find most useful? should it also filter the field list itself ? something else? (I also thought about leaving it with the full list of fields, but having it highlight the fields that match the filter). Ping me on twitter and let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Everything you wanted to know about SoqlX but were afraid to ask.


Remember that SoqlX uses the API to connect to Salesforce, and so depending on how your admin configured it, you may need to use your api security token in addition to your password to login (just add the token to your password, so if your password is beerisnice and your security token is abv123, enter beerisniceabv123 as the password). getting a LOGIN_MUST_USE_SECURITY_TOKEN error means you most likely forgot to include your security token (search for security token in the online help for more info)

Let SoqlX store your login credentials on the keychain, you'll be much happier, next time you run soqlX it'll remember your username & password (and if you have multiple logins, tryout trapdoor)


To execute a SOQL query, type the SOQL query into the box at the top, click Query (or Query All), the results will appear in the table, or for count queries, in the bottom left hand corner.

SOQL-R is supported, so you can do both queries that access foreign key relationships (like accessing account from a contact), and also aggregate child queries (like select accounts, and the contacts for each account). Double click the magnifying glass to expand the 2nd query table at the bottom, showing the child rows for that particular parent row.

If you queried the Id column, then you can edit data inline, just double click the cell and type in your new value, when the cell looses focus, the reecord in salesforce will be updated. You can also check the deleted checkbox and hit the delete button to delete row(s). click the Delete column header to quickly toggle the checkbox on all rows.

Using the Window menu, you can open launch the web application, for the user you're currently logged in as. You can also open the recent queries window, which'll show you the last 10 queries you've executed, double click a query to copy it to the SOQL query textbox. Watch the recent queries list animate the changes as you run new queries!.

Use File -> Save Query Results to save the results of your current query as a CSV file.

The list of objects & fields appear in the list view on the left hand side, double click an object to automatically create a query to select all the fields. Use the details button at the bottom left to turn on the details window which shows all the properties for the object or field selected in the list.

Hit the schema button at the bottom right to switch to a graphical view of your schema, showing how objects are related.

Use the +/- widget inside each object to control the set of fields that appear (id + name field, all standard fields, all fields). Double click an object (or select from the list view) to make that the primary object of the view.
Right click on any object in the listview and pick 'generate schema report' to generate the schema report for that object, this contains the graphical schema view, along with a table detailing all the fields for the object, you can print or export to PDF the schema report.

Got questions, or suggestions for new features, catch me on twitter.