Wiki Basics

Think of the Wiki as the Wikipedia for developers. It's a website for anyone to use to get access to development information, tools, and other resources. But because it is a wiki, it is also a powerful tool for sharing your own expertise with other developers in the Developer Force community. Every Developer Force member has the option to participate -- you can contribute new resources of your own, or add to almost any of the existing resources already posted.

Participation is open to anyone who is a Developer Force member. If you have a Developer Edition account that you've enabled for the Discussion Boards -- and doing that is easy, and free -- you are good to go. The rest of this help section will give you the details you need to contribute, edit, and more.

Wiki Syntax

To add or edit wiki content, you'll want to have basic understanding of wiki syntax. Click the "edit" button on pages on this site, and take a look at the underlying syntax and markup. You can accomplish a lot just by mimicking what's already been done, and this has the added benefit of helping keep the site consistent and usable. Probably 90% of what you need to know can be learned by looking around this site, and copying syntax and tags from existing pages.

To go a little deeper, or if you need to look something up, Wikipedia has a nice set of documentation on how to edit wiki pages. If you want to do some wiki experimentation, we've set up a Wiki Sandbox page where you can create test pages, try out formatting, and so forth, without fear of messing up anything important.

Still unsure? Follow these steps to get your confidence up:

  1. Open a second browser window so you can read these steps in one window and work in the alternate window.
  2. In the alternate window, go to the wiki and log-in. Be sure to use your Developer Edition credentials (the ones you use to access the Developer Force Discussion Boards, etc.).
  3. Go to the Wiki Sandbox page referenced above, and notice the content there and the way it is formatted.
  4. Now click the edit link in the grey bar at the top. What you'll see now is the text and wiki markup code for that page. The text and symbols here all get translated into the formatted words you saw in the previous step.
  5. Somewhere on this page type two left brackets and then a unique word or two -- "Ethan's test page" or something similar -- and then two right brackets. You've just created a link to a new page.
  6. Save Page. Look for the link to your new page, it'll probably be in red if you used a unique name. Click on it.
  7. You'll now be on the new page you created. It won't have any content on it, so it will be in edit mode and say "You've followed a link to a page that doesn't exist yet". Type in some text. Save it and take a look. Refer to the syntax guide referenced above, and other items on this page, then click "edit" at the top of the page and add some more text and some formatting. Try a few things, see how it works. Your first page is built. You are off and running.
  8. Extra credit: Go back to the Wiki Sandbox page. Your link is still there, but now it is blue, because it's a page with content now. When you build a real page, you'll want to link to it from other pages -- just use the same double brackets syntax.
  9. Extra extra credit: Could these instructions be improved? You now know how to edit a wiki page, so jump onto this page and make it a little better for the next person.

Adding New Wiki Content

How this site is organized

The primary organization of the site is topical. There are five top-level categories -- Application Framework, Integration, Apex, Visualforce, and Database Services -- and numerous topical subcategories to each of those. There are also three special categories, Tools, Packaging, and Business Resources.

Each top-level category has its own page (informally, we call these "pillar pages"), and subcategories appear as sections on that page. Links to content resources are are listed within subcategory sections. See the Integration page for a good example.


If you create a new page, be sure to add links on all of the appropriate topical pages, so others may be more likely to find it. A piece of Java sample code that addresses an integration issue, for example, should probably be categorized and linked from both Java and Integration sections.

Creating new pages on the wiki

We encourage your contributions -- the point of the Wiki is to bring together the collective expertise of the Developer community. If you have something to contribute -- say a piece of sample code or a tech note that you would like to share with the community -- you can easily create a new page. New pages are created simply by editing an existing page to add a link. Say you have a new piece of Java sample code you want to share. First you'd need to log in to the wiki. Next you'd go to the Java section of the API page, since that's the most likely place to categorize the new sample code. You'd click on the "edit" button above that section, and then you'd see the wiki "source" for the section within an editable field. Add a link to your new page using wiki syntax -- for a new page, it's as simple as enclosing the name of the new page in double brackets, then saving that change. You'll see the link to your new page in red. Click on this, and -- ta da! -- you're on your new page. Copy in your sample code, add a little wiki markup for styling headers and such, and save. That's it. (The Wiki Sandbox page is a good place to experiment without fear of messing up a page other folks depend upon.)

For more detailed information, check out Wikipedia's "how to edit wiki pages" reference; we're using the same wiki engine (MediaWiki) that they are. And one nomenclature tip: Since the way you add a new page to a wiki site is by editing a page that already exists, most wiki information about contributions is confusingly categorized under "editing".

Remember that others can be confused or misled when they click a link and come across a work-in-progress. When creating a new page, it's a good practice to use comment tags to hide links to your work until it is ready for prime time, then simply remove the comment tags to expose the link when the page is ready.

Placing and categorizing your content

Any given piece of content should be listed within at least one section of one pillar page (which is the same as saying it should live in at least on category/subcategory pair). So, for example, the Tech Note Creating an Outbound Messaging Notification Service with Eclipse 3.2 is placed on the API page within the Java section. But a piece of content can be listed in multiple places if this makes sense -- and it should be as well, since different users may seek information via different paths. An example is the document Creating Applications with the Platform.

When placing and categorizing your content, try to make best use of the patterns and conventions already in use on the wiki. That will help the site maintain a consistent navigational scheme.

Using templates

This section describes how to use templates when adding new content pages: tech notes, samples, books, documenation, or multimedia content. Simply include one of the following at the top of your content page and the appropriate header will be displayed:

  • {{Template:Tech Note}}
  • {{Template:Sample}}
  • {{Template:Book}}
  • {{Template:Documentation}}
  • {{Template:Multimedia}}

Notes on content types and template usage:

  • A "Tech Note" is generally a short and case-specific technical resource, and is often fairly casual in tone. It may include some code snippets or reference other resources.
  • A "Sample" is all about the code, either providing code for others to use as they may need, or providing it to illustrate a way of doing something. It should have some introductory and supporting text, but it's primarily code.
  • "Documentation" is currently a catch-all content type, used for all sorts of text-based content. The documentation template is used quite broadly, for documentation, whitepapers, case studies, etc.

The __NOTOC__ tag you see at the top of most pages is used to turn off the default table of contents, which would otherwise appear at the top of the page (as it does at the top of the help page).

Editing Existing Content

If you are logged in, you can click on the "edit" button on any page or section of a page, and you'll be able make changes to the content there. Adding to and improving exisiting content is highly encouraged, but be respectful of the work already done by others, and be thoughtful about any changes that remove, obscure, or diminish already existing content that the community may value.

Embedding Multimedia

Embedding video into a wiki page is easy. Depending on your video format, you surround your video id with the proper tags. Below is a list of video formats and tags that this wiki supports:

Google Video


Youtube Video



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