If you’re looking to enhance your knowledge of Apex, the Force.com cloud-based programmatic language, Dreamforce is going to have a wealth of information for you.  Since there are too many sessions to even list here, the Agenda Builder is obviously going to be your master record for building your DevZone calendar – but here are a few sessions throughout the week to look out for.

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DevZone Workshops

Throughout the week there are going to be short workshops on specific topics, including both Apex and Visualforce.  Specifically for Apex, look for Workshop 300: Code Custom App Logic (with Apex) in the Agenda Builder.  This is entry level stuff, designed for people who may have some development background but no prior experience with Apex itself.  It’s a great way to get up and running with the language quickly.

Now here are a couple highlights by day:


Apex Design Patterns
Monday, November 18th: 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Moscone Center West, 2006 / 2008
Apex allows you to build just about any custom solution on the Force.com platform. But what are the common design patterns and associated best practices for Apex development, and how can you leverage these patterns and best practices to avoid reinventing the wheel? Join us to learn some common Force.com design patterns and walk through sample code for best implementing them.
Dennis Thong, salesforce.com
Richard Vanhook, salesforce.com

Getting Started with Apex REST Services
Monday, November 18th: 11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Moscone Center West, 2011
If you’re looking to interact with your Salesforce data from other systems, but need something more complex than what’s offered by the native Rest API, look no further than REST Apex. Join us as we take a look at the basics of defining your own custom APIs using Apex REST. The session will be packed with tips and tricks, and we’ll cover everything involved in defining your first Apex REST service.
Matthew Lamb, Apprio


Making Your Apex and Visualforce Reusable
Tuesday, November 19th: 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM
Moscone Center West, 2022
Have you ever had a functionality that was the same across multiple objects or fields, but needed to have it slightly different across each implementation? Join us as we show you how to build Visualforce pages in a more reusable manner. Using practical code examples, we’ll be taking a code example from a page that is strongly typed to an object to using (1) a Visualforce Component and Dynamic Visualforce Field Bindings to make the page flexible, (2) Apex Describe methods to detect what type of object is being used, and (3) Custom Settings objects to maintain flexibility across objects. Always keep an eye out for opportunities to reuse old code without having to have multiple copies of code to update each time something changes!
Raleigh Chen, USAA

Design Patterns for Asynchronous Apex
Tuesday, November 19th: 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM
Moscone Center West, 2024
Have you ever wanted to schedule an Apex operation to repeat every 10 minutes? To have one future call start another one? Is the 10 future call per context limit getting you down? Recent additions to the Apex language have opened the door to entirely new asynchronous design patterns. Join us to learn about the recent language changes, how they are used, and the kinds of design patterns they enable.
Dan Appleman, Full Circle CRM


Apex Trigger Debugging: Solving the Hard Problems
Wednesday, November 20th: 11:45 AM – 12:30 PM
Moscone Center West, 2020
Apex Triggers can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When a trigger is firing properly your data is under control and remains sane, but when a trigger doesn’t fire properly, your users can be faced with the frustration of exceptions when saving a record, or worse: incorrect data. Join us to learn tips and tricks on how to debug and solve the most complex issues, including: Ambiguous Field Validation, After Insert Activity Errors, and SOQL and Governor Limit Errors. You’ll learn the origins of these kinds of advanced trigger issues and gain solutions for avoiding them.
Cory Cowgill, West Monroe Partners

How to Use Loggly in Apex for Massive Scale Logging
Wednesday, November 20th: 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM
Moscone Center West, 2020
Join us for live coding an Apex logging framework to learn how to get information out of a managed package with very little effort, making it much easier to debug. Using the REST API of cloud-based logging service Loggly, we’ll create a client in Apex that acts as a sink for the logs and captures log data back into the Force.com platform, thus providing the chance to make use of all this wonderful data we capture.


Enhance the Feed with Chatter Topics and Apex Triggers
Thursday, November 21st: 1:30 PM – 2:15 PM
Moscone Center West, 2007
Chatter Topics create a new dimension to your social business by linking hashtags and your Chatter feed. With Apex triggers on the Topic objects, there are new possibilities for invoking actions based on what users are talking about. Join us to learn important approaches using Apex to enhance the standard Topic features. Specific use cases will include executing actions and business processes triggered by what people talk about, and a curation of topics that are meaningful to your business. Apex and Topics can bring greater social intelligence to the discussions in your org.
Jonathan Pappas, salesforce.com
Peter Chittum, salesforce.com

Developing Apex Triggers for Chatter
Thursday, November 21st: 1:45 PM – 2:15 PM
Moscone Center West, Mobile Theater
Join us as we explore how to use simple Apex Triggers to make Chatter ever more useful. Specifically, you’ll learn how to create Triggers to automatically post Opportunity Next Actions to a Chatter Group, automatically add new users to Chatter groups, and automatically follow and unfollow Salesforce items based on some criteria.
Chad Smith, Alternative Technology Solutions

But wait, there’s more

There’s always more to be seen in the DevZone.  Check out a few of the previously highlighted Apex session to catch as well as the Women in Technology at the DevZone.  Sessions you’re particularly excited about?  Have questions about?  Let us know in the comment boxes below or give us a shout out on twitter.

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