Using the Salesforce Metadata API in .Net

The SalesForce Metadata API provides a way of deploying and retrieving customisations in your Salesforce instance such as custom objects. Like with the SOAP API for transactional data the documentation for setting up a connection in C# and .net is not great. So here I’ve outlined the process to connect and retrieve data from the API in this environment. I’ve used Visual Studio 2017 in these examples. Continue reading “Using the Salesforce Metadata API in .Net”

Converting UTC to Local Time in SQL Server

For Salesforce UTC Date Fields

Salesforce stores all datetime fields in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)  and converts them to the users’ local time when they’re displayed in the UI. If you’re extracting date data from Salesforce via the APIs then they’ll also come across as stored – so in UTC. If you want them to be in local time you need to convert them back. Fortunately this straightforward in SQL Server. Continue reading “Converting UTC to Local Time in SQL Server”

SQL Connections, Tasks and Multiple Results Sets

There is a tendency when confronted with a bug to assume that it’s related to the most complex or least understood part of a program. While not unreasonable this can lead to missing simple and obvious problems. I recently wasted several hours convinced that I had a threading issue which predictably turned out to have a much more prosaic explanation.

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Creating a SQL Server Code Back Up

Over the last few years I’ve got into the habit of setting up an SSIS job to do a daily backup of all the procedures, views and functions on databases that I’m working on. A lot of organisations I’ve worked with don’t have any source control or release procedures on database objects and having a history of these objects can be invaluable. A few times I’ve been able to use this to restore procedures that have been updated without having to find and restore an entire database to get at the old procedure version – well worth the time required set this up. First a view for the procedure and view definitions: Continue reading “Creating a SQL Server Code Back Up”

Converting an Accumulating Fact Table to a Transaction Table (Calculating Peak Call Volumes)

An accumulating fact table has rows that represent a process and typically has dates (amongst other keys) that represent the time of completion of a stage in the process. For some calculations they are also a pain to deal with and where possible I like to convert them into transactional tables as well which makes solving these a lot simpler. Transaction tables represent a single measurement at a point in time which is immutable – it will never change. To take a very simple example consider a call logging table that contains the start and end of a call. Continue reading “Converting an Accumulating Fact Table to a Transaction Table (Calculating Peak Call Volumes)”

De-duping based on Sample Files

A while back I was asked if I could carry out a contact de-duplication exercise based on samples from the actual files to be de-duplicated. My initial answer was no. Clearly checking the level of de-duplication on a sample will not give the same results as for the complete files. Given two identical files (100% duplicated) of 50 records and taking a random sample of 5 records from each the chance of getting two identical samples is a million to one against! My second more thoughtful answer was yes but it would be fiddly (more so than just using the complete files). Still I was curious enough to work out how it would be done. Continue reading “De-duping based on Sample Files”

Power BI Custom Visual Part 5 – Formatting

Setting up the formatting options turns out to be the most fiddly bit of developing a custom visual. There are a few “special” property names that are required to trigger some behaviours, undocumented features and at least one bug that I’ve come across. In this section I’ll explain how the options are set up for the Tree Funnel visual and in an extra post I’ll talk about some of the other issues and features. Continue reading “Power BI Custom Visual Part 5 – Formatting”

Power BI Custom Visual Part 4 – Accessing the DataView

In understanding how to access the data in a custom visual I found AB Kimmel’s tutorial incredibly helpful. Here I’m just going to go through the options I need, for a broader explanation I’d recommend reading his sections on data views. There are four steps to go through. First specify what data can be added to the visual via the Fields pane – this data will then be accessible via the dataview. Then create a data model to hold this data and a function to populate it from the dataview. And finally use the data model data to draw the visual. Continue reading “Power BI Custom Visual Part 4 – Accessing the DataView”