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    Ongoing observations by End Point Dev people

    JSforce: A Quick Path to Salesforce Development

    Couragyn Chretien

    By Couragyn Chretien
    October 21, 2023

    A completely clear blue sky is broken by a desert mountain with exposed light rock, covered partly by striking green trees and bushes. Above the mountain is a half-moon.

    Using JavaScript with JSforce can get you working on a Salesforce project quickly if you don’t have a Salesforce expert on hand. It provides easy access to Salesforce’s API, which will allow you to focus on development instead of learning a new system.

    No Salesforce learning curve

    Apex is a platform-specific language created so that developers can interact with Salesforce classes/​objects and write custom code. Apex allows you to do some cool things such as directly triggering custom Apex code based on an action in Salesforce.

    The problem with Apex is that it is its own world, with its own IDEs, deployment processes, etc. There’s a steep learning curve to getting up to speed with the Apex ecosphere.

    JSforce is a wrapper/​abstraction of the Salesforce API. It allows you to do a lot, like search, perform CRUD actions, and even send emails. These functions aren’t as streamlined as their built-in Apex counterpart, but JSforce allows any JS developer to jump right into the code without wasting costly training time.

    Using JSforce CLI

    Below are some examples of connecting and performing basic CRUD operations.



    $ npm install jsforce -g …

    javascript salesforce api

    Building Ecommerce Search Using Algolia

    Dylan Wooters

    By Dylan Wooters
    October 12, 2023

    Looking east from the top of the Berkeley hills over the Briones Reservoir. Rolling hills are seen in the distance with the sun setting to the west.

    A common request that developers receive when embarking on a new website project is for the website to have “Google-like search.” For many years, this meant writing custom code to replicate the intelligent and user-friendly aspects of Google search, which was no easy feat. However, now we have many search-as-a-service offerings that do the hard work for us and make this process much easier.

    In this blog post, we’ll dive into one of these search-as-a-service platforms, Algolia. We recently worked on an ecommerce website and used Algolia in an interesting way, both as a search engine and as a lightweight backend database to hold product data managed in Salesforce. Algolia worked beautifully, offering users fast and accurate search results, and also allowing us to launch the site within a relatively short time frame.

    We will look at how to load Algolia with data, configure search options, and connect the search to the frontend using Algolia’s Vue library.

    Loading the index with data

    To start using Algolia’s search, you need to load up an index with data. You have the option of manually uploading a JSON file, or using Algolia’s API to programmatically load records. For …

    search vue typescript

    Introduction to Playwright using C#

    Bimal Gharti Magar

    By Bimal Gharti Magar
    October 12, 2023

    In the foreground, the foliage of a light green tree edged with sunlight creates a line across the image. In the background, a mountain hillside with light dirt, intermittent exposed rock, and foliage just starting to turn the yellow, orange, and red colors of fall

    Automating web application tasks is a necessary skill for software developers and testers. You need it for performing repetitive tasks, conducting end-to-end testing of web applications, and scraping data from websites. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to use C# with Playwright for automating tasks.

    What is Playwright?

    Playwright is an open-source automation framework developed by Microsoft that allows you to automate web applications using various programming languages, including C#. Playwright was created specifically to accommodate the needs of end-to-end testing, but we will use it as a library for web automation. Playwright supports Chromium, WebKit, and Firefox. It runs on a variety of systems: Windows, Linux, and macOS, locally or on a continuous integration (CI) platform, headless or headed with native mobile emulation.

    To begin web automation using C# and Playwright, follow these steps:

    1. Prerequisites: You should have .NET Core or .NET 5+ installed on your machine.

    2. Create a New C# Project: Let’s start by creating a new C# console application.

      dotnet new console -n EPWebAutomation
      cd EPWebAutomation
    3. Install Playwright NuGet Package: Open new project …

    csharp testing automation

    Testing user-defined functions with pgTAP

    Todor “Theo” Dimov

    By Todor “Theo” Dimov
    September 25, 2023

    An overhead shot of a market full of thousands of colorful DVD cases. Several people peruse the wares in an aisle

    For a great introduction to the pgTAP protocol, please read over my colleague Josh Tolley’s article, using pgTAP to automate database testing. Also check out Edgar Mlowe’s article on how to set up pgTAP for writing PostgreSQL database unit tests.

    As a protocol, pgTAP provides a great list of functions and commands to easily and clearly test all aspects of a database. As I’ve been tasked with more implementations of unit tests for user-defined functions, I thought it helpful to share some useful methods.

    First we’ll go over a few basic pgTAP functions that are useful in testing the existence of functions and procedures. Then we’ll use the PostgreSQL port of the Sakila sample database for MySQL, called Pagila. We’ll construct two functions and go over a single test case. Using basic Postgres tools, I’ll walk through a few methods of calling and testing our functions. Finally, we’ll go over a more concise way of testing all cases for said functions.

    Feel free to work alongside this article to hopefully leave with a comfortable idea of how to construct unit test files for your database.


    For this first example, remember to have the pgTAP extension in your schema …

    sql postgres database testing

    Ubuntu Touch on a Galaxy S7 & a Pixel 3a

    Seth Jensen

    By Seth Jensen
    August 29, 2023

    A dark print on very old paper shows an armored knight on a horse, surrounded completely by swirling floral patterns. In a few places the pattern evolves into a flower or what appears to be a curved, long bird head.

    I have a shoebox in my closet I call my “phone graveyard.” At times I’ve had five or more old phones in there, in various states of decay—some have fully shattered screens, some broken USB ports, etc. But some still have quite usable hardware, their main drawback being how slowly they run modern versions of Android or iOS, and the lack of support for modern features.

    It has always troubled me to have such incredible devices, with way more computing power than, say, a Raspberry Pi, gather dust because of software limitations. Even if I don’t use an old phone for daily use any more, what if I could use it as a DNS server (like a Pi-hole), or as a camera or media player?

    When I heard about Ubuntu Touch, it seemed like the perfect OS to bring back some long-term functionality to these old devices. Originally created by Canonical, it was soon abandoned but revived by UBports, who started community development in 2015. They actively maintain the OS for around 80 devices, including two I have in my phone graveyard: a Samsung Galaxy S7 and a Google Pixel 3a.


    Installing Ubuntu Touch is quite straightforward; the UBports installer does most of the heavy …

    linux mobile ubuntu

    Upgrade Vue to TypeScript

    Nicholas Piano

    By Nicholas Piano
    August 28, 2023

    An expansive sky filled with faintly red clouds extends above a field turned red from the sunset. A layer of trees separates the field from the sky

    It’s important to keep your code up to date so that time can be dedicated to improving an application instead of version-related mishaps. This is especially true for web development as the landscape changes so quickly.

    I recently upgraded a Vue project to exclusively use Vuex. This was a great opportunity to also upgrade the project from JavaScript to TypeScript. This article will cover the steps I took.

    Some of the changes can be difficult to understand if you are not familiar with TypeScript. I recommend reading the TypeScript Handbook to become more familiar.

    Several features of Vue, originally written in JavaScript without types, are hard to convert to TypeScript. These include this.$parent, this.$refs, and this.$emit. These allow you to access the parent component, child components, and emit events respectively. We will make changes to these features along with adding types to the global state handler provided by Vuex.Store.


    Before you begin, make sure the necessary dependencies are installed:

    ~$ vue add typescript

    Also make sure that Vuex is installed:

    ~$ yarn add vuex@next

    Convert your component files

    There are several changes that must be made to …

    vue typescript

    Synchronous work in asynchronous work environments

    Vincent Martin

    By Vincent Martin
    August 15, 2023

    A light green tree blows in strong winds, against a grey stormy sky.

    Co-authored by Trevor Slocum.

    As a team that spans the globe, asynchronous communication is a necessity for us. While we do use email, of course, we use internal text chat rooms for communication more frequently. These asynchronous tools are useful to have around, but they may not be the best fit for sharing an idea or some other information with others. Sometimes we need to speak with someone in a voice or video conference, or even share our screen and work together to solve a problem. In this article we will share some of the things we have learned while working in these situations.

    Solving problems together

    When pair programming, we solve problems together. This usually takes the form of one person sharing their screen while the other watches and provides guidance and feedback, but it also takes other forms which we will refer to later. Having someone critique our work in real time as we try to solve complex problems can be stressful. This is an entirely natural reaction to the situation, and happens to everyone who engages in pair programming and other collaborative work.

    If you find yourself feeling this way, our advice is to take a brief pause and talk it out with your …

    remote-work tips vscode

    How to use dependent dropdowns in Microsoft Excel

    Nicholas Piano

    By Nicholas Piano
    August 2, 2023

    Red leaves extend on thin branches towards the center of the image. Each is a different distance from the camera, so one, with white blossoms, is in focus, while some are blurred a little, and others so much that they are almost unrecognizable red splotches. There is a vaguely spherical distortion from the lens which gives a convex look to the image.

    Dropdowns are a way to constrain the input of a cell to a set of values. This can be useful for data validation, or for making a spreadsheet more user-friendly. In this article, we will look at how to create two types of dropdowns in Microsoft Excel: the basic dropdown and the dependent dropdown.

    Using this, we can expand to more complex dropdown dependencies and spreadsheet generation, including validation using the Axlsx gem in Ruby.

    The basic dropdown

    A dropdown takes its data from a list of values specified by a range. This could be a range of cells, or a named range. To create a dropdown, first select the cell you want to add the dropdown to. Then, go to the Data tab, and click on Data Validation.

    The data validation dialog. The leftmost section is selected, “Settings”. Under the single heading, “Validation criteria”, there are several options. “Ignore blank” and “In-cell drop-down” are checked, “Allow:” shows a dropdown set to “List”, and “Source” is empty. A “Data” dropdown is greyed out.
    Data Validation Menu

    Specify the range, e.g. =Sheet1!$A$1:$A$5. Then, select the “List” option under “Allow”. You can also specify an input message and error message, which will be displayed when the user selects the cell. Note that the range can come from another worksheet.

    An Excel column reading “R” has a cell reading “James”. A dropdown is open, showing options Harry, Tommy, George, John, Roger, James (highlighted), and Adrian. Cells in column S hold this list of names.
    Basic Range

    And that’s it! You can now constrain the input of the cell to the values in the range.

    The dependent dropdown

    Things get a little more complicated when we want to …

    tips ruby
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