Chrome Push Notifications using Pushbots from Salesforce

Now push notifications are available on web browser also along with mobile. You must have seen websites where websites request you for the access to allow notifications and if you allow the website to send notifications then even if the website is not open in any tab then also you get the notifications.

Software Requried:

Same thing could be used with salesforce to increase customer engagement in salesforce sites/communities. So even if the user has not opened your salesforce site/community then also you could notify your users about important product launches, new announcements, news about your company and list goes on.

Lets see how this can be achieved.   You would need to follow below steps to enable push notifications on your salesforce site. The same kind of implementation will work with the community as well as any internal salesforce community.

Here we would be using pushbots to deliver the notifications. Even its free account is sufficient to handle many notifications and based on its awesome dashboards you can see what is you user base and then you could go for paid service.

Push Notification will look like below:

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 8.32.34 PM

Push Notification

Let’s understand what are the steps to be followed in order to setup this push notifications on your salesforce site.

Step 1. Configure Google Project

Navigate to https://console.developers.google.com  and create a project. Go to the project settings and copy the project number. This project number would be used in the configurations of pushbot.

ProjectSetting

Project Setting

Activate the required APIs:  Now you need to enabled the Google Cloud Messaging for the push notifications.  Navigate to dashboard and there you would be able to see ENABLE API option. Select “Google Cloud Messaging” and enabled it.

EnableAPIs

Enable Google Cloud Messaging APIs

Create credential key:  Now we need the API key from the google project that you have created. Go to credentials and if there is no key already created and create a new server key. Copy this server key, you would need this while configuring the pushbot application.

GenerateAPIKey

Generate API Key

Step 2: Create site:

For the sake of example, we are going to create a site but it is not a required step. You can implement this for internal users also like using internal visualforce pages.

E.g: https://kmforce-chrome-developer-edition.ap2.force.com/

Step 3: Create Pushbot Application from https://pushbots.com/

Give name to your app

PushbotApp

Create Pushbot Application

Go to to Push tab of application, Add GCM Key, configure logo and configure site URL as below:

PushbotAppConfiguration

Step 4: Configure your site and deploy the code from https://github.com/kiran-machhewar/salesforce-chrome-pushbot-notification

Note: I have downloaded chrome SDK from https://pushbots.com/developer/docs/chrome-integration and modified it based on the needs of salesforce. At the time of writing of this blog static resource is up to date. But in future for any new features you might want to get it from Pushbots official site and modify it.

Once code is deployed you can set your site homepage as PushNotificatonPage for testing.

You would need to make below changes in your static resource file and PushNotificationHandler.cls

a. Configure PushNotificationHandler:

TriggerHandler

b. Configure pushbots-chrome.js from static resource:

pushbots-chrome

c. Configure service-worker.js from static resource:service-worker d. Configure manifest.js

manifest

How does this work: Now open your site and click on Enable Notification.

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 8.25.08 PM

Now click on Allow

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 8.27.02 PM

Once you you allow notifications from this site then chrome will allow itself to listen any notifications which are sent to chrome browser by Pushbots.com.

Now go to Pushbots Notification app and create a record for Push Notification

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 8.31.26 PM

Once you create a record a future method from trigger will get fired which will call pushbots api to add notification. Once Pushbots.com gets that notification it delivers that notification to all the users who have subscribed to notifications and every one will receive notification.

On chrome it will look like:

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 8.32.34 PM

On mobile it will look like:

Screenshot_20170527-203142

This is not limited to salesforce, this can be configured on any website in any framework.

Differences between the ways resources are referenced in href/src

Sometimes small items takes too much of time. I always face issues when it comes to providing correct location of the resource so this post is an effort to minimize such issues.

Let’s understand differences in which resources are referenced. Consider the index.html has script in below ways:

    <script src="myscripts.js"> 
  1. Browser will look in the current directly of the file where this script tag is mentioned. So if you move the index.html into any other directly then browser will not be able to reference the myscript.js
  2. <script src="./myscripts.js"></script>
  3. This will be exactly same as example in #1. This is only different way of mentioning that refer the file from the current directory.
  4. <script src="/myscripts.js"></script>
  5. Here browser will look into the root directory of the website, no matter where the index.html having this tag is present.
  6. <script src="../myscripts.js"></script>
  7. Here browser will go to the parent directory of the index.html and then will look for the myscript.js

This blog post is small but thought of sharing, whenever I used to face issue then I used to try different formats and some or the other used to work. Never paid close attention but if you have so many file references and then your try outs permutation and combination increases. Having clear understanding of how references work would save some hassles.

Scheduled Report Export using Analytics API in Apex

In salesforce we cannot have scheduled email export. Below solution could help to get the scheduled export of the reports as CSV. For this I have used “Execute a Custom Action” feature when we subscribe to email notification. Salesforce has provided feature where Apex code can be executed if the condition specified while subscribing report is met.

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 7.11.30 PM

EmailReportExport class

You can use code from : https://gist.github.com/kiran-machhewar/ff0f2ca55b89b793ad88973f7701feb0

In order to get the scheduled export of Report data, report has to be subscribed and while subscribing report select “Execute a Custom Action” and select EmailReportExport class. As per the schedule provided as soon as the conditions are met then execute method from EmailReportExport will get invoked. In the execute method csv data is created by Analytics api in Apex.

Subscribe the report in below way:

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 7.47.10 PM

When the condition for the report subscription is met at scheduled time you will get the email notification as in below snapshot:

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 7.50.53 PM

Features:

  1. No email limits are consumed since email would be sent to the user who has subscribed the email.
  2. Same EmailReportExport handler can be used with different reports.

Limitation:

Only 2000 records will be available as a csv export.

Happy learning  🙂

 

Integration via Outbound Messages-SF API Call Manager

This article is for exploring integration possibilities via outbound messages and solving below problems:

  1. Timeout issue – In salesforce there is strict limit of 120 seconds for callout. This could be solved if API calls are carried outside of salesforce like in heroku app where no such limit for callout is there.
  2. API Calls which requires polling – Polling for response becomes difficult in salesforce as in order poll for result batch is required which runs at regular interval but there cannot be more than 5 batches running simultaneously. This can be solved by implementing polling logic in heroku app where threading could be used for polling and making inbound call to salesforce when results are available.

This idea came up when I was having discussion with my colleague Tushar Kaore on integration approaches. We thought that lets try to analyze the performance and reliability of outbound messages in integration.

Here is the design of this framework:

OutboundMessagesIntegration

Integration via Outbound Messages

Lets see how this would work

  1. Whenever API Call has to be made then in salesforce API Call record has to be created which would include below details
    • Endpoint
    • Request
    • Headers
  2. On create of such API Call records salesforce would initiate an outbound message call to the heroku application with all the details which would be required to make API call
  3. Actual API Call will be made by heroku app to the external system. Here an API call which takes more than 120 seconds can be made and it is required to do polling then heroku app can handle that by polling in regular intervals of time.
  4. Heroku app will receive the response.
  5. Inbound API call would be made to salesforce to pass on the response received by heroku app.
  6. Response would be updated in API Call record and on trigger of API Call record response could be processed and proper actions could be taken.

In this structure two applications are involved Salesforce App and Heroku app.

Steps to configure app:

  1. Heroku App: Install the Heroku App  : heroku-api-call by using deploy to heroku button from repository home page.
  2. Salesforce App: Insall the Salesforce App : sf-api-call by using Deploy to Salesforce button from repository home page.
  3. Configure workflow rule: Create workflow rule on API Call object with the outbound message action as per below screenshot.

    sf-api-call

    Outbound Message Action

  4. Add Remote Site setting: Add the remote configured endpoint as remote site setting.

How to test:

Create an API Call record in salesforce with the endpoint. As soon as the record gets created salesforce will make outbound message call to heroku app. Heroku app will make API call to the endpoint and it will be update the received response to salesforce via making inbound api call.

I will be be testing this for performance and will check its reliability to use in production applications. Currently only GET API calls are supported and will update the code to have below featues:

  1. Headers support
  2. POST call support

features list will go on…..

Whenever real time integration is not required and this approach could be used to solve issues of

  1. Callouts taking more than 120 seconds
  2. Whenever polling for response is required.

Result of this exercise:

I created nearly 50K API calls (thats lots of API calls) and tried to see how many API calls will get processed by this mechanism. Results are very promising

APIPerformanceReport

Results shows that 20K API calls are fulfilled within 3 minutes i.e. 113 fulfilled API call/second. My heroku instance was bombarded with outbound messages calls and now it is down.. 🙂

Note these are the results with free heroku instance with one dyano only. So imagine if you have a heroku app with good number of dynos to fulfill requrest then you can think of very promising results.

API Call is made to http://headers.jsontest.com/ for testing.

Happy learning and keep exploring..

 

Disabling standard style sheets – Salesforce

Everywhere we have lightning and Salesforce is in process to provide all classic features in lightning. In this process there would be some features which would not be available in lightning. So sometimes we need to use the best of both worlds classic and lightning. Here is similar problem and its solution.

Problem : Custom click to dial functionality can be used in visualforce pages with the below code

<apex:page standardController="Account" showHeader="true">
    <support:clickToDial         number="415-555-1234"         entityId="001XB000000HFUM"         params="myparam1,myparam2"     />
</apex:page>

Ref: https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.pages.meta/pages/pages_compref_support_clickToDial.htm

As of now this only works with the visualforce page where showHeader is enabled. Now if we enable showHeader then visualforce includes standard style sheets but then such standard style sheets  could get mixed up with LDS in visualforce page and creates css conflict issues.

Solution : Lets consider what we want here-

  1. ShowHeader = true, on page level showheader has to be enabled other wise click to dial functionality from visualforce page would not work.
  2. Don’t want any impact on lightning design system css

Here solution is to dynamically remove the standard style sheets which gets loaded because of showheader set to true. The problem with that approach is that whenever any section of page is reRendered then standard style sheets are loaded back which again distorts the LDS css. There is one way to solve this is instead of removing standard stylesheets disabling it by below code:

<script>
 function disableStandardStylesheets(){ 
       $('link[rel=stylesheet]').each(function(){
          if(this.href.indexOf('/sprites/')!=-1 &amp;&amp; this.href.indexOf('/CTI.css') == -1){ 
               $(this).attr("disabled", "disabled");
          }
       });
 }
 disableStandardStylesheets(); 
</script>

Advantage of disabling standard style sheets instead of removing is that after every reRender it will not get loaded back. This solution will other places in Salesforce where you want to disable effect of any standard stylesheets gets loaded by Salesforce.

LDSmixedWithStandardStylesheets

Visualforce page with LDS and Standard Style Sheets

LDSwithDisabledStandardStylesheets

Visualforce page with LDS and disabled Standard Style Sheets

User Creation in Salesforce

This post is for the best practices to be kept in mind while loading users in the system. If client business users starts getting notification when they are not supposed to then that could create chaos. Below are the points which needs to be considered while loading users in the system.

  1. User Template: User data should be gathered before hand, to make sure that we are not missing any information which we are supposed to be asked to client. Template should be used so that no data would be missed. Attached is the user template using which we could ask client to provide all user details UsersTemplate.
  2. SSO consideration: If the salesforce org is using SSO then federation id should be asked before hand and should be part of user template.
  3. Multicurrency: If salesforce org uses multicurrency then it would be good to include that CurrencyIsoCode column in the user template.
  4. External Id: No matter how much you plan but you could have some wrong data like incorrect firstname, lastname etc. It would be a good practice to create external id in user object so that users could be upserted and data could be corrected.
  5. Email Id change: Whenever user’s email ids are changed then users gets notification for confirming the email address and also notification is sent to the email id which you are changing. If you want to change the email ids without any notification to users then you can turn of the Email Deliverability to “No Access”. This will make sure that email id is changed without creating any chaos of notifications.
  6. Reset Password: Whenver user loading process is going on it would be good to turn off Email Deliverability. When you think that now its the time to welcome users then you can reset the password. Users will get the email to set their passwords.
  7. Feature Licenses: If you want to activate some feature licenses then that could be added as a part of user template.

    FeatureLicenses

    Feature Licenses

  8. Welcome Email: If you want to send welcome emails to user for helping with the documents to understand salesforce and with next steps. To implement this you would need to create email template and which would be used by workflow rule on user object.

Above list could act as a checklist for your plan of creating users in salesforce.

Using Picklist in Integrations- After Spring 17 Release

In integrations mainly information is communicated to other System by passing id/code values instead of Labels. In Salesforce picklist has values and labels but before Spring 17 release there was not provision to have different value and label for picklist items.

Whenever different Label has to be shown to user and different code has to be passed to other system then some workarounds were required to be done like having code label mapping in code or keeping code values in custom object and passing those values in integrations. Such solutions were error prone and requires maintenance since in code it is required to do String comparison to get the proper code to be sent to other system.

Now we have a relief, in Sprint 17 salesforce has provided much required feature where we can have separate code and label for picklist items.

picklistvaluelable

Different code and label

picklistvaluevslabelincode

Apex code showing how to get Label and Code which could be used while passing data in integrations to other system

Now using this we could minimize the extra maintenance which was required initially. This is a great feature and should be considered in integrations.