How I was learning Salesforce Technologies

By | March 14, 2016

Outline

  1. Force.com Platform Fundamentals
  2. Force.com Apex Code Developer’s Guide
  3. Trailhead
  4. Visualforce Developer’s Guide
  5. Developer Workbooks

Force.com Platform Fundamentals

Before learning about Force.com the first step was to understand with what you have to deal. For this goal different sources of information play a first (and the most important) role, because it gives you a first impression of the Salesforce platform, where you will be working for the next time. In my opinion, the “Force.com Platform Fundamentals” is the best source to get started. It gives a full view about Salesforce’s powerful platform, because it shows the scope of your ability to create application in the cloud. This guide combines theory and praxis, and users can understand the theory better when they make some exercises.

For me “Force.com Platform Fundamentals” played a big role in understanding some business processes and how I can implement them with Salesforce’s platform’s tools. If you want to know what will you learn, check out this list:

  •    Which type of objects exist on the Salesforce platform
  •    How to create an application and publish it in the cloud
  •    How to create new objects in Salesforce and how they are stored
  •    How to add different types of information to the object
  •    How to show stored data for different users
  •    Controlling access to data objects
  •    How to inform people about new records in your storage and other events (working with Chatter)
  •    How to create workflow rules and approval processes for managing your data
  •    How to create reports
  •    How you can extend the existing services via Apex and Visualforce

Force.com Apex Code Developer’s Guide

This guide familiarizes you with a strongly typed, object-oriented programming language: Apex. Apex allows developers to execute workflow and transaction control statements on the Salesforce platform server in conjunction with calls to the Force.com API. The code developer’s guide shows additionally: development processes, data types and variables, classes and interfaces. This source will teach you how to work with data. You will become familiar with DML (Data Manipulation Language), SOQL (Salesforce Object Query Language), SOSL (Salesforce Object Search Language) and which is the difference between them.

You learn how you can invoke Apex,  what triggers, Apex web and email services are, how to use Salesforce’s features such us Approval Processes and Workflows with Apex as well as how you can test and distribute the Apex code.

This book has many examples and detailed explanations for it.

After working with this book, big part of development cycle will become clear for you.

Trailhead

Trailhead is a service for learning about Force.com, provided by Salesforce. Trailhead allows you to learn in a gamified way. You pass challenges, earn points and badges, and grow with them. It is one of the best ways for familiarize with the fascinating, innovative, creative services by Salesforce. Let’s familiarize with Trailhead’s features.

All knowledge about Force.com is split into trails. Which role do you want to be? Do you want to be an administrator or a developer or a business user? How long are you familiar with Salesforce? For each person Trailhead proposes a unique trail. Trailhead currently has 13 trails. If you don’t know which trail suits you best you can find your target trail via filters. With filters you can choose your role, your level, which products you want use and apply tags.

To begin your learning you have to have a Salesforce Developer org and an account on Trailhead (if you already have a development edition on Salesforce, you can connect this account to Trailhead).

Each trail consists of modules. Each module has lessons. In each lesson you can find a part for learning and a challenge. The learning part will be text, sometimes enhanced with a video. A challenge will be a quiz or a practical task. If you complete it, you earn points. A practical task gives more points than a quiz. Be attentive when you pass a quiz, because if you fail your attempt, you will earn less points in your next attempt. If you complete all challenges in the module, you earn one badge. More badges mean more knowledge. Of course Trailhead is only the beginning and if you want learn some topics more deeply, you can follow the link in the end of each lesson.

In order to complete a trail you have to earn all badges, that are related to it, however this does not apply to related projects. What is a project? A project is the same as a module, but it doesn’t have theory, it has only practical lessons. If you follow a project, you will be sure, you will know how create an application and customize it. In each project’s lesson you can check your contribution. If you are right, you earn points. If all lessons are right in the project, you will earn one badge, too.

All badges, which are earned by you, are located on your Trailhead account page. You can see what you are learning now on your Trailhead account page, too. Your Trailhead account page with different badges will be more beautiful than without and allows you to check your knowledge. It is an interesting way for learning, because you can see your work and evaluate it. What does sound better to you: “I learned some articles today!” or “I earned a few badges today!”? Make your page beautiful – earn new badges, and improve yourself with Trailhead.

Visualforce Developer’s Guide

This guide helps you to familiarize with a component-based user interface framework for the Force.com platform. The guide answers the questions: “What is Visualforce?”, “How is it architected?”, “How does it work?”, and “How can you use it?”

As the Developer’s Guide about Force.com platform this guide shows how to create a first page and which features it can have.

With this book you will know how to work with HTML and jQuery on the Visualforce page, how to use standard controllers, user controllers and controller extension, how to override buttons, links, and tabs. This all allows you to create and show and interface for your application.

Developer Workbooks

Developer Workbooks are the quickest way for learning about the Force.com platform. These books show how to solve different development, integration and security tasks. These books are divided in many exercises with great explanations. As developer I familiarized with the following books:

  1.    Force.com Workbook
  2.    Apex Workbook
  3.    Visualforce Workbook

All of these books show different techniques and describe how to create a warehouse application, what it is about and how to customize it. The “Force.com Workbook” is similar to “Force.com Platform Fundamentals”, but describes also another application and is a little shorter. The “Apex Workbook” and “Visualforce Workbook” show how to enhance the Warehouse application. If you haven’t worked with the “Force.com Workbook” and haven’t created the Warehouse application you do not need to worry, because you can use it by following the instructions from this books.

For better practice you need to have a Salesforce Developer Org. If you do not know how to create a new Org, take a look at the prerequisites in these books. Of course these books can’t show all features of the Force.com platform but you can find further readings in the end of each source.

Resources

  1.    Force.com Platform Fundamentals
  2.    Force.com Apex Code Developer’s Guide
  3.    Trailhead
  4.    Visualforce Developer’s Guide
  5.    Developer Workbooks

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