Salesforce, Python, SQL, & other ways to put your data where you need it

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My goal is to help you work faster.

I must speak and teach until I hear 10 people say, "That thing you taught me? I used it! And it saved me time!"

(Ahem ... although maybe blogging slower than I'd hoped. Ugh, coders' repetitive stress injury.)

So check out the tutorials. Play with code. Tell me about your triumphs.

Salesforce Apex lets you use external IDs

04 Jan 2022 🔖 salesforce 💬 EN

How did I miss this? Salesforce Apex lets you DML lookup and master-detail relationships by external ID.

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How I set up VSCode for a new Salesforce project

21 Dec 2021 🔖 salesforce vscode 💬 EN

It seems my “Setting up VSCode to edit Salesforce metadata” article is still pretty popular, and although I haven’t followed it step-by-step in a while, at a glance I suspect it’s not particularly wrong, per se. However, it’s extremely oriented toward “org-driven development” in sandboxes.

As documented in “Random handy CumulusCI notes”, I’ve been starting to play with “source-driven development” in scratch orgs – like for real, not just for Trailhead points.

This article is my attempt to “think out loud” as I work through whether maybe there’s a good way to set up VSCode, my Salesforce CLI configuration, and my CumulusCI configuration so that folders on my hard drive feel uncluttered but also offer me the flexibility to play with both models of development.

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Localhost HTML with Python on Windows

09 Nov 2021 🔖 python web development minimum viable build 💬 EN

If you’ve ever tried to open a file c:\example\my_web_page.html in a web browser by putting file:///C:/example/webserver/my_web_page.html, you might have noticed that HTML <FORM>...</FORM> tags don’t work like they’re supposed to.

To get an HTML form’s submit button to actually work, you need to visit my_web_page.html at a http://localhost/-style URL, not a file:///C:/-style URL.

On Windows, with the help of Python, you can do this.

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WCOnline API explainer

20 Oct 2021 🔖 api integration python 💬 EN

Apparently at many schools, Twenty Six Design’s WCOnline cloud software is a popular choice for online tutoring and for making appointments with tutors available through the system.

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How I added Algolia search: front-end

04 Oct 2021 🔖 web development jamstack 💬 EN

For a few months now, this site has had an internal search function, and some of you are even using it!

Here’s a new code demo showing how I put an Algolia search box into my web site to actually do something with all that data Algolia had on file.

It’s a great approach for Jekyll, Hugo, 11ty, or other truly statically generated sites. (I’ve tried it on both Jekyll and 11ty so far.)

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Inspecting an existing 11ty project

04 Oct 2021 🔖 web development jamstack 💬 EN

Cassey Lottman’s “Diving into an existing 11ty project” from the 11ty Meetup is great. You can skim a TL;DW on Cassey’s blog, but I recommend listening to the talk, because there’s a bit more “why” behind each of the 6 concepts to orient yourself to in someone else’s 11ty project.

As a case study, let’s follow Cassey’s methodology to look at web-site-11ty-07-movable-git, the most recent 11ty example code I posted on GitHub (which supports my article “Jekyll doesn’t do components? Liar!“).

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Document Salesforce TDTM to avoid dev-admin handoff issues

30 Sep 2021 🔖 salesforce 💬 EN

Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack (“NPSP”) and Education Data Architecture (“EDA”) installable packages both come with functionality called Table-Driven Trigger Management (“TDTM”).

The admin options are powerful enough to break dev code, so good practices around handoff are essential.

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Customizing Sanity Studio beyond the schema

27 Sep 2021 🔖 jamstack web development 💬 EN

Wow, it’s hard to figure out how to customize Sanity Studio’s look and feel, beyond playing with schema definitions, if you’re not a front-end developer and things don’t really make sense to you to begin with. One of those “understand what to Google in the first place” issues, for sure.

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But WHY do you need a database?

24 Sep 2021 🔖 architecture databases 💬 EN

I’m so excited – a non-desk-job, real-world acquaintance just asked over social media if they knew anyone who could “talk to them about database stuff.” And they picked me! While I waited to see if they’d reach out, I came up with 21 questions to guide the conversation.

If you’re the person who’s been told you need a database, this is a non-technical list, so read on! You might be able to take your own notes and have a really production conversation with a friend in tech. But I know it’s a lot, and you don’t have to – a good database professional will have questions like these floating in the back of their head but be able to just ask you more unstructured questions like, “Tell me what’s on your mind” and ask you these kinds of questions without letting you realize you’re even being asked them.

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Jekyll doesn't do components? Liar!

09 Sep 2021 🔖 web development jamstack 💬 EN

Hot take: anyone who tells you that Jekyll doesn’t support component-based design, and that you need a React- or Vue-based static site generator, is wrong.

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