Tuesday 26 November 2013

Freezing Users from Visualforce

One of the new features in the Winter 14 release of Salesforce is the ability to freeze a user, which stops them logging into the system.  The Salesforce help points towards using this functionality when you would like to deactivate a user but additional work is required as the user is part of other configuration, as the default lead owner for example.  This is one use for this functionality, but another occurred to me based on work that I carried out about 20 years ago.

In a former life I used to build deal capture and risk management systems for investment banks.  A requirement of many of the banks was that traders had to take a two-week holiday every year and had to be locked out of all systems for the entire two weeks  The thinking behind this was that if the trader had something to hide, it was likely to surface during this two-week period when they couldn’t take any action to cover it up. 

Freezing users is therefore a great fit for temporarily disabling a user’s access to the system, with the intention of re-instating their access after a period of time.  The downside to the feature is that it can only be accessed from the user record, which means that an administrator has to click into individual user accounts to freeze or unfreeze them. This is fine for the odd user, but becomes time-consuming when it has to be done on a regular basis for a number of users.  

After digging through the Apex Developer’s Guide and experimenting with the execute anonymous element of the developer console it quickly became clear that I couldn’t freeze a user in Apex.  Searching the SOAP API Developer’s Guide proved more productive when I came across the UserLogin object and its associated IsFrozen field.  While this still mean that I couldn’t use Apex, the SOAP API is accessible via the Ajax Toolkit which I can use from a Visualforce page.

It was then short work to create The Freezer - a Visualforce page to output all usernames present in the system and allow them to be frozen/defrosted at the click of a button.  The page is shown below:

Screen Shot 2013 11 03 at 17 49 39

clicking on the Freeze button next to the Customer User pops a dialog to detail the action being taken:

Screen Shot 2013 11 03 at 17 50 00

and a further popup displays the results:

Screen Shot 2013 11 03 at 17 50 14

before the page refreshes itself and displays the Defrost button for the Customer User:

Screen Shot 2013 11 03 at 17 50 26

and just to prove there’s no trickery, here’s the Customer User record with the Unfreeze button present:

Screen Shot 2013 11 03 at 17 51 14

The functionality is provided by a couple of JavaScript functions. The getUserInfo() pulls back all the UserInfo records in the system and stores them in the equivalent of a Map keyed by user id.  It then retrieves all of the active user records in the system, and dynamically builds the table of users including the action buttons:

function getUserInfo()
      var userInfoById = {};
      var result = sforce.connection.query(
          "Select Id, UserId, IsFrozen, IsPasswordLocked From UserLogin order by UserId");
      var it = new sforce.QueryResultIterator(result);
         var record = it.next();
         userInfoById[record.UserId] = record;
      var output='<table><tr><th>User</th><th>Action</th></tr>';
      result = sforce.connection.query(
          "Select Id, FirstName, LastName from User where IsActive=true");
      it = new sforce.QueryResultIterator(result);
        var record = it.next();
        if (record.Id in userInfoById)
          var userInfo=userInfoById[record.Id];
          var name=record.FirstName + ' ' + record.LastName;
          output+='<tr><td>' + name + '</td><td>';
          if (userInfo.IsFrozen=='true')
            output+="<button onclick=\"freeze('" + userInfo.Id + "', '" + name + "', false);\">Defrost</button>";
            output+="<button onclick=\"freeze('" + userInfo.Id + "', '" + name + "', true);\">Freeze</button>";

The freeze function updates the UserLogin for the selected user to freeze or defrost them:

function freeze(id, name, freezerState)
    alert("Freezing " + name);
    var userlogin = new sforce.SObject("UserLogin");
    userlogin.Id = id;
    userlogin.IsFrozen = freezerState;
    var result = sforce.connection.update([userlogin]);
    if (result[0].getBoolean("success")) {
        alert(name + " " + (freezerState?'frozen':'defrosted'));
    } else {
        alert("failed to " + name + " " + result[0]);

The code is pretty basic - there’s not much error handling and it is unlikely to scale when there are a large number of users, but those elements are left as an exercise for the avid student. You can access the full page at this gist.


Thursday 7 November 2013

Visualforce in Chatter Mobile

Chatter mobile 4.2 for iOS launched this week and one feature has generated a lot of interest - the ability to include Visualforce in the application. Daniel Hoechst produced a blog post explaining how to achieve this in record time.

At first glance it might seem that this doesn’t add much over and above a regular HTML5 application that is executed from the mobile device browser - in fact an application wouldn't even require the consumption of a tab to expose the Visualforce page.  

The difference is that the chatter application refreshes an oauth token to gain access to the pages and data, so users don’t need to rekey their user id and password each time they access the application.  This is a big deal.

To achieve this without the chatter application, you’d be looking at building a remote start hybrid application using Xcode on a mac and if my experience is anything to go by, spending a fair amount of time playing the provisioning/distribution profile guessing game. You’d also need to either purchase an enterprise distribution license or make your application available through the apple app store. Throw in the being a Salesforce partner building applications on behalf of customers, and things get even more complicated. Did I mention that this is a big deal?

I’ve had a quick play around with the iPhone and iPad variants - the fact that the iPad has more real-estate and supports landscape mode means I focused on that in the first instance.

Burning a tab for each Visualforce page that you wish to surface in the application is a bit of an overhead, especially in Enterprise Edition where you quickly become tab-poor if you build a number of custom applications. The good news is that the tab that you surface doesn’t have to be tied to a particular purpose, so you can build a jumping off page that allows you to access any amount of other pages.  Even better, only the page present in the tab needs to be marked as available for mobile.

To demonstrate this I’ve created a simple jQuery Mobile page that presents a listview with a couple of options. Each of these options opens a new jQuery Mobile page, one that I wrote ages ago to demonstrate navigation, and the other a sample application for swipe navigation that I blogged about a few months ago.  The page source is shown below:

<apex:page showheader="false" sidebar="false" standardstylesheets="false">
    <title>Chatter Mobile Page</title>
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1" />

    <apex:stylesheet value="https://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jquery.mobile/1.3.0/jquery.mobile-1.3.0.min.css" />
    <apex:includeScript value="https://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-1.9.1.min.js"/>
    <apex:includeScript value="https://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jquery.mobile/1.3.0/jquery.mobile-1.3.0.min.js"/>

  <ul data-role="listview">
    <li><a href="/apex/JQM">JQM Page</a></li>
    <li><a href="/apex/JQMSwipe">JQM Swipe</a></li>

I then made this page available to mobile by ticking the “Available for Salesforce mobile apps” checkbox on the edit page, creating a Visualforce tab and adding this to the available Chatter mobile tabs via the Setup -> Administration Setup -> Mobile Administration -> Mobile Navigation setup menu option.  When I open the chatter mobile application the new page is available under the apps menu:

Screen Shot 2013 11 07 at 17 55 52


clicking the VF Page app opens my basic jQuery Mobile page:


Screen Shot 2013 11 07 at 17 57 08


clicking one of the links, the JQM Swipe for example, opens that page:


Screen Shot 2013 11 07 at 17 58 55


Once I’m done with this page I can click the left arrow icon at the top right of the page to go back to my jumping off page.