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What is Elastic Compute? – Sorry Functions!

Here’s a quick blog from one of our Technical Architects at Cloud Galacticos, Mike Gill. He was interested to see that Salesforce Functions is now generally available. Here’s his initial thoughts:

 

Mike Gill

Mike Gill

What is Elastic Compute? – Sorry, Functions!

A couple of years ago, our COO Paul wrote one of our most popular blogs ever on Salesforce Evergreen after it was announced at Dreamforce 2019 calling it a game-changer for Salesforce developers. A little over 2 years have passed since then and Evergreen has now finally become Generally Available and has a new name – Salesforce Functions. But what are “Functions”? Elastic Compute; sometimes called Serverless, or now simply put “Functions” is Salesforce’s answer to services already provided by other major cloud providers.

It’s little more than that. It has been talked about for ages; why can’t Apex be more like Java? Well now you can now use proper Java in Salesforce!! And if you have been expanding your Node.js skills like I have, you now have the ability to build out solutions leveraging the wealth of Node.js npm libraries out there.

 

What are the benefits of Functions?

Whilst you have been able to integrate with Salesforce using other languages for a long time, the big difference here is that with Functions all your code runs within the “Salesforce trust boundary.” This means all of your permissions and security are handled for you. Also, it doesn’t even count against your Salesforce request limits!

 

Get involved

Why not start playing around with it today? The keys to the kingdom are now unlocked!

 

Why not sign up?

If something is too good to be true, then it probably is! We’ve heard this before with Salesforce… Well, not this time if seeing is believing.  Functions have landed and you can start your New Year off with an exciting new tool!

Sign up here and try it out  https://functions.salesforce.com/signups

 

About Cloud Galacticos

Cloud Galacticos is a  Salesforce Consulting Partner with an all-star team. We are user and developer group leaders, bloggers, MVPs and all round Salesforce nerds. Our Salesforce consultancy has people all over the UK including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, and London. If you are looking for a Salesforce partner with experience who can help you make the most of your org, why not give us a call?

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Mike Gill, Technical Architect – Meet the Galacticos

Continuing in our series in which you get to meet and learn more about the Cloud Galacticos team, say ‘hello’ to Mike, one of our Technical Architects. I caught up with Mike via email to find out more about him and his experiences.

 

Mike Gill, Technical Architect

Hi Mike, thanks for finding a few minutes to help people learn a bit more about you. Can you give us a bit of background about yourself and your history with Salesforce?

I am what you would call a ‘career consultant’. For my entire career I’ve been working and consulting across a range of technologies and platforms; working directly for the software vendor or with partners of the software vendor. I am now in my third decade of working, which includes more than a decade with Salesforce. I sure feel old now!

 

Wow, that is a long time working with Salesforce! So how did you find Phil and Cloud Galacticos?

It’s fair to say I’ve known Phil for almost the same amount of time as I’ve been doing Salesforce. We started crossing paths regularly when I was involved in the running of the London Admin User group. We have always said ‘Hi’ and grabbed a beer when our paths crossed. He has been on my case since transitioning from Phil Walton Consultancy to Cloud Galacticos. I guess the stars aligned and it happened!

 

Aside from Salesforce and working at Cloud Galacticos, what else do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy spending time with the family and our dog Astro (yes, named after the Salesforce mascot!). When I am not spending time with the kids, I play competitive hockey for my local team.

Mike Gill with his Hockey Team

I know you have been involved in a number of projects for us as a Technical Architect, can you tell me more about what the role involves?

My time with Cloud Galacticos I’ve been lucky enough to work across some very different and challenging projects. One project the client was a fast moving Fintech. My role involved designing an application based around the latest cutting edge Lightning Web Component framework. 

On another project, my role leaned me more towards mentor and adviser. helping the team and the client to think like Architects, understand the technology, and make some difficult decisions in order to move forward. As an Architect you can’t have everything and no two projects are the same, therefore all you can do is make the least worst decision at the time and move forward.

 

What tips would you have in working with clients remotely, or working remotely in general?

For me, I think one of the most important aspects of remote working is to try and always have your camera on. It’s a bit like presenting, it’s only hard for the first 5 seconds and then it’s easy, people don’t really care what you look like, but it definitely helps you to build relationships and make a closer connection with your audience. 

Astro WFH

 

Thanks Mike for your time and insight into your life. We have quite a few other team members to interview in due course. Watch this space!

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trailheadx 2020 Roundup

A little over a week ago, Salesforce held its reimagined version of trailheadx. The videos for this are now live for you to watch and catch up with if you missed anything. A number of the team attended online and have shared their thoughts and highlights below to help give you some ideas of what to go searching for.

Mike Gill – Architect

My first TrailheaDX was a little different than expected. Having been to many Dreamforce’s over the years I made a mental promise to myself to to attend “TrailheaDX”. Gift a little Pandemic I was able to live up to the promise and attend a virtual version of the conference.

The format was condense and focused, I set aside some time to kick back with the iPad, watch, and learn some stuff. It was executed flawlessly. I had no connectivity issues at all compared to previous years trying to watch Dreamforce, which was a pleasant surprise. Maybe I got lucky there? Either way, here are some of my highlights:

App Development with Salesforce DX

As someone who lives in VSCode and sfdx cli daily this was a good session, the session presenters did a number of polls during the session asking questions like who has tried things like unlocked packaging and scratch org – it’s clear that these technologies are still in the nascent phase of maturity and people are only just getting their feet wet.

One of the key take-aways which isn’t new but worth keeping in mind – Adoption of DX doesn’t mean you have to go all in.

True to the code (TTTC)

And my other session – well would have been rude not to mention this one. I’m sure this is a big favourite of lot of people. I love it because it puts product managers on the spot quite literally. Parker is the master of deflection and deferring the relevant person on the product manager panel.

True to the Core

There were plenty of great comments and promises! I noted this one from Parker Harris himself:

We all know that file storage on the platform is something which if you don’t take care of, the costs sky rocket … maybe there are more efficient and cost effective storage coming our way…

And as promised by the man himself, “we’re not trying to make money on data storage… I promise you”

Neel Meghani – CTO

I was excited that TDX was virtual this year even though I had planned on attending in person for the first time. This was also my first Salesforce virtual event. I was very impressed how slick the UI was and how good the streaming and chat were.

The content was brilliant with some excellent new functionality revealed. Already very excited to learn more about Salesforce Anywhere, and to get my hands of Code Builder. The stand out sessions for me were ‘Digitizing your Business with Automation’ and ‘Unlock Developer Productivity with Modern Open Tooling’. This last one in particular showed me some plug-ins that I hadn’t previously discovered.

Salesforce Code Builder

Salesforce Code Builder – credit https://developer.salesforce.com/blogs/2020/06/introducing-code-builder.html

So that’s what Mike and Neel had to say about their experience of TrailheaDX 2020. Did you attend? What are your thoughts? Let us know on Twitter!