PARX: Development methodology

Methodology for tailor-made solutions

Can your process or problem not be resolved by the standard functions of Salesforce? Then we will be happy to develop an individual solution for you based on the Force.com platform.

During development on the Force.com platform we consistently use Workflow, which has proven itself in traditional software development. The application is developed in its own environment (Development Sandbox) and then distributed through a test environment (Test Sandbox) in the productive Force.com version.

Workflow: Development - Sandbox - Production

Programming languages and application architecture

External access to the platform and applications takes place via standard REST or SOAP web service interfaces.

For development on the Force.com platform, we use widely established best practice approaches. This includes, among other things, consistent implementation of the Model View Controller (MVC) architecture, which has become the de facto standard. The user screens (views) are converted by so-called Visualforce pages consisting of HTML, Javascript and extended HTML components (tag library). User interactions are evaluated by the controller components and forwarded to the appropriate classes to apply the business logic. Furthermore, the conventions of traditional software development, such as naming, code formatting and object orientation, are strictly observed.

Business logic is handled in Apex, Salesforce's own programming language. This strongly typed, object-oriented language similar to Java allows the developer to implement any functions or processes based on the Force.com platform.

Testing

The development of applications on the Force.com platform promotes a consistently test-driven approach. In order to be able to load program code from the development sandbox to the productive environment, unit tests covering at least 75% are required.

Tools

Development on the Force.com platform typically takes place in an integrated development environment (IDE) based on Eclipse. Alternatively, there is the facility to design small adaptations directly in a web-based environment. A wide variety of tools are provided to help in identifying errors and monitoring runtime parameters. The program code and the other Salesforce configurations are managed via a standard versioning tool such as GIT.

Components

The Force.com platform is component-based from the ground upwards. An extensive standard component library is available in this context. If required, the platform allows simple creation of customised, reusable components.

User friendliness

Usability - the user-friendliness of an application - should be the main driver of the screen design, which is why we suggest an approach that focuses on user requirements. The 5-S phase model of Jesse James Garrett puts the user in the centre and makes it possible to design a user interface based on usability step by step, including visual design.

The 5-S phase model:

  • Strategy: content objectives and user requirements are developed using expert evaluations and through user surveys
  • Scope: describes the functionalities of the individual area, definition of the content elements
  • Structure: definition of the interaction design and information architecture
  • Skeleton: design of interface, navigation and content, initial user acceptance tests by means of prototyping
  • Surface: graphic implementation of the design, usability tests

A simple style guide summarises the results and guarantees the right implementation in developing the functions. The colours and design elements are developed in the process described above and are based on the one hand on the needs of users, but on the other also on the specifications of the customer in relation to corporate identity guidelines. The final phase of the model described above includes usability and user acceptance tests and concludes the screen design process. Additional specialists can also be called on if necessary.