Customer Review

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great roadmap to development, January 8, 2010
This review is from: Development with the Platform: Building Business Applications in the Cloud (Paperback)
This book is remarkable for three reasons.

The first reason is that this book exists at all. If you search Amazon, you'll see that there are hardly any books about Salesforce technology. If you then search for, you'll find only this book. This is because, traditionally, Salesforce and information has all been available electronically, often coming out faster than a book could be published. This is marvelous for access to information, but has a serious downside in that Developers need to look in many different places to find information about developing a solution. So, this book is beneficial in that a notably large amount of information is available in one place, and that it is available in a comforting paper-based format.

The second reason is that this book specifically focuses on, which is a relatively new development platform. The book makes no attempt to explain the traditional CRM side of the Salesforce platform; it jumps straight into, which is the custom development side of the Salesforce offering.

The third remarkable fact is that this book is written by a truly knowledgeable person on the subject. Jason Oullette is Chief Architect at Appirio, arguably the leading organisation specialising in Salesforce and technology. Jason has been personally involved in some of the biggest and most publicised rollouts of solutions. For example, he created the solution that Appirio demonstrated during the Dreamforce 2009 conference keynote presentation.

The book itself contains the complete array of technology involved in creating a solution: user interface, coding, workflow, database, integration and development tools. Each includes a sample solution for the topic discussed.

CHAPTER 1, Introducing, provides an overview of the platform and how it fits within the Salesforce suite of products.

CHAPTER 2, Database Essentials, explains how data is stored and accessed within, including the creation of custom objects and fields. It includes a comprehensive sample application that uses custom objects, formulas and data.

CHAPTER 3, Database Security, explains the multiple security models available in that can be quite confusing for new developers.

CHAPTER 4, Additional Database Features, takes a more advanced look at fields, record types (used to create different views of the same data) and a few miscellaneous topics.

CHAPTER 5, Business Logic, gets into the 'meat' of development with the Apex programming language that is native to It covers lists, loops, governor limits, SOQL ('s version of SQL), triggers, classes, tests and logs. The chapter is rich in information and could almost fill a book of its own.

CHAPTER 6, Advanced Business Logic, covers the more technical topics of SOSL (searching), DML (lower-level database calls), sharing rules (custom security) and email integration.

CHAPTER 7, User Interfaces, introduces the Visualforce platform that provides totally custom interfaces to applications. It covers the complex topics of controllers, components, actions, security and testing. Once again, this is a topic worthy of its own book. Fortunately, sample code is provided to give a worked solution of a Visualforce implementation.

CHAPTER 8, Advanced User Interfaces, continues with JavaScript interactions, components, Adobe Flex and sites (public websites). These are very advanced topics that typically cause the most angst in complex implementations.

CHAPTER 9, Integration, covers inbound and outbound communication including Salesforce-to-Salesforce and REST calls.

CHAPTER 10, Advanced Integration, throws in Web Services and the Metadata API (a means of importing/exporting the configuration).

CHAPTER 11, Additional Platform Features, covers the more mundane workflow, approvals, reporting, internationalisation and single sign-on.

The strength of this book is also its weakness, which is the fact that it covers the complete range of topics. This unfortunately means that each topic is only covered briefly, with just short samples of each topic. As an example, Chapter 5 covers Apex but only gives short samples of Inserts, Updates, Triggers and Batches. These are some of the most challenging topics in Apex yet there is unfortunately little space to delve deeply into these topics. Thus, the book has a lot of breadth, but not a lot of depth for each topic.

This book is ideal for someone new to because it provides a comprehensive overview of all topics, acting as a roadmap of knowledge and capability. However, developers will still find themselves having to consult the traditional sources of information, mostly found on Salesforce web pages and downloadable PDFs.

Don't get me wrong - this is an excellent book that legitimises development. It covers more topics than all but the best developers would know. It is already 400 pages; covering all the topics in depth would require encyclopedia-like volumes. Recognise this book as a means of gaining comprehensive insight into the capabilities of It is great as a learning aid, but do not expect it to be a definitive reference. You will still need access to more information, but at least this book tells you what capabilities exist. I have no doubt this book will find its way onto the bookshelves of the majority of developers. Oh, and it's a darn sight easier to read this paper book on the bus than the traditional PDFs that come from Salesforce!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in

Review Details


4.4 out of 5 stars (19 customer reviews)
5 star:
4 star:
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
1 star:
Used & New from: $0.02
Add to wishlist

Location: Australia

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,134,675