The Last Few Percent

I know this is a marketing blog. But if you’re a marketer using Salesforce, it’s important to understand a bit about the technology you are using – beyond just how to use the application. Because there are things you may need to be doing to maintain that technology, that can come back and haunt you if you don’t.

Case in point.

Every class and trigger and VisualForce page you are using, whether it is your own, or an application you installed, was created at a certain point in time, when the Salesforce platform worked a certain way. The way we describe this technically is that your application was built against a certain version of the platform API.

That version changes three times a year with each release. For example: Spring 14 will be API version 30. One thing that Salesforce does brilliantly is the way they do versioning – if you create code against a certain version of the platform, Salesforce will continue to run your code against that version – effectively maintaining all of the old versions on the platform to make sure that changes they make won’t break your applications.

They do perform brilliantly, but brilliance is not perfection. And as time passes the chances of them simply not being able to support an older version exactly, increases. This is happening with the Spring 14 release where a particular function that has existed for a long time, can no longer work the way it did – even on older versions. A detailed technical description can be found here.

What does this mean to you?

Hopefully nothing in this case. But ultimately this – every piece of code you create, every trigger, every VisualForce page, every package you install needs to be maintained. Sometimes I see orgs that have code that is several years old, or packages that have not been updated in years. These can quickly grow into real problems at the most inconvenient time.

You may feel that the risk of upgrading something that is working is too great to take – and I understand that – why fix something that works fine? But you need to be aware that not upgrading something, even if it is working, is also a risk. Salesforce, as a cloud platform, does 95%+ of the work by maintaining the hardware and infrastructure. But they don’t do it all – that last few percent, is up to you.

Dan Appleman

About Dan Appleman

As Full Circle Insights’ CTO, Dan Appleman brings a broad technology experience to our customers. In addition to having supported over 30 Salesforce.com implementations with technology solutions, Dan is also the author of the book "Advanced Apex Programming for Salesforce.com and Force.com" and has been a speaker at Dreamforce since 2012. Previously, he was the founder of Desaware, Inc. a developer of add-on products for Microsoft Visual Studio, a co-founder of Apress publishing, and the author of numerous books and articles.