Tag Archives: User Interface

If you build it, will they come?

Great user experience takes time, but the rewards are worth it. Examples like TiVo, Google Maps, Mint.com and iPhone show the impact a great user experience can have on user adoption and how influential it can be to the industry. Killer apps change the game, and they start with a great user experience.

At Cloudforce 2010, Ian Swinson from our UE team and I spoke about the User Experience Best Practices at salesforce.com. For those of you who missed the session or are looking for a recap, here's a link to the presentation. The goal of the session was to… Continue reading

De-mystifying & optimizing view state

HTTP is a stateless protocol.  Your Visualforce pages though may need to maintain state across multiple HTTP requests / postbacks.  Visualforce automatically does this for you with view state making your job as a developer easier.  Find out more about what is in view state, the new view state inspector in Summer '10 and best practices for optimizing view state for page performance in this article … Continue reading

Calling Apex Code from a Custom Button using a Visualforce Page

I came across this little gem while browsing the blog sphere. Scott Hemmeter from Arrowpointe wrote a great article on how you can use a Visualforce page to call an Apex Class from a Custom Button. There are plenty of reasons why this would be useful.

One use case that comes to mind is developing a Force.com app for Group and Professional Edition. Since GE and PE do not support the API, you cannot use the AJAX Toolkit to execute your Apex Code from a Custom Button. With this approach, you can!

He even includes a working example to try it… Continue reading

Visualforce to Excel


You probably know that a Visualforce Page can be easily converted to a PDF (if not, check out Quote2PDF), but did know Visualforce can also generate a Microsoft Excel Worksheet?

By simply modifying the ContentType attribute on the <apex:page> tag, your Visualforce code will automatically generate an Excel document. For example, the following code will create a table of Contact data for a given Account:

<apex:page standardController="Account">   <apex:pageBlock title="Hello {!$User.FirstName}!">      You are viewing the {!account.name} account.   </apex:pageBlock>   <apex:pageBlock title="Contacts">      <apex:pageBlockTable value="{!account.Contacts}" var="contact">         <apex:column value="{!contact.Name}"/>

Adding a Visualforce Page to a Page Layout


A nice feature of S-Controls is the ability to easily embed them into a page layout. Did you know that you can do the same thing with Visualforce Pages?

I was talking with a partner yesterday and they wanted to add some Visualforce functionality to a page layout. To achieve this, they re-created the whole detail page in Visualforce and then proceeded to add additional Visualforce functionality. This approach works, but when it comes time for the user to customize this page, they better be familiar with your Visualforce code.

Dynamic SOQL – why and how


I signed up for the pre-release trial  of Winter ’09 today and am starting to explore the new features. One new or rather a fully supported feature is Dynamic SOQL (it was previously in pilot).  Dynamic SOQL lets you build and execute a query at runtime.  This feature is especially important if you are an ISV (Independent Software Vendor) or someone writing tools that has to work in multiple orgs where it is impossible to know until runtime what the query looks like.  As an example, a general purpose reporting tool would have to let the user select the objects… Continue reading