Heroku recently announced early access to the new Heroku Kafka service and while I’ve heard great things about Apache Kafka I hadn’t played with it because I’m too lazy to set that kind of stuff up on my own. Now that I can setup a Kafka cluster just by provisioning a Heroku Addon I figured it was time to give it a try. If you aren’t familiar with Kafka it is kinda a next generation messaging system.
Recently I needed to create a mock HVAC system so that I could have a portable smart thermostat for various demos. I searched around but couldn’t find any such thing. So with some sleuthing and the help of my friend Bruce Eckel I was able to build a simple system that powers a smart thermostat and simulates a heating system. This post will document how to do this in case anyone else ever needs such a thing.
Great developer experiences allow you go from nothing to something amazing in under ten minutes. So I’m always trying to see how much I can minimize getting started experiences. My latest attempt is to deploy a Spring Boot app on Heroku, download the source to a developer’s machine, setup & run the app locally, make & test changes, and then redeploy those changes — all in under ten minutes (assuming a fast internet connection).
This weekend I’m at the Go Code Colorado Challenge Weekend event in Durango. The purpose of Go Code Colorado 2016 is for teams to build something useful for businesses using one or more of the Colorado Public Datasets. Some teams are using Salesforce for the back-office / business process side of the app they are building. So I decided to see if I could pull a Colorado Public Dataset into Salesforce.
When getting acquainted with new technologies I believe that users shouldn’t have to spend more than 15 minutes getting something simple up and running. I wanted to apply this idea to building an app on the Salesforce REST APIs so I built Quick Force (Node). In about 12 minutes you can deploy a Node.js app on Heroku that uses the Salesforce REST APIs, setup OAuth, then pull the app down to your local machine, make and test changes, and then redeploy those changes.
I’ve been to a TON of developer conferences and by a landslide my favorite is the Winter Tech Forum (which used to be the Java Posse Roundup). Here is why… Learning for me is experiential. Typical eyes-forward conferences are like being a passenger on a sail boat. I can watch what is happening but I could definitely not become the captain based on my experience as a passenger. This is what makes WTF different; every attendee is a captain (or maybe a skipper if you are new).
This year at Dreamforce I presented a session that walked through a few of the ways to integrate Heroku apps with Salesforce. Here is the session description: Combining customer-facing apps on Heroku with employee-facing apps on Salesforce enables a whole new generation of connected and intelligent experiences. There are four primary ways to do this integration: Heroku Connect, Canvas, Apex / Process Callouts, and the Salesforce REST APIs. Using code and architectural examples, we’ll walk through these different methods.
Getting started with new technologies is usually a huge pain. Often I stumble around for hours trying to get an app’s toolchain setup correctly. Instructions are usually like: Things get worse when I lead workshops for hundreds of enterprise developers where many are on Windows machines and not very comfortable with cmd.exe. Experiencing this pain over-and-over is what led me to create Typesafe Activator as a smooth way to get started with Play Framework, Akka, and Scala.
Over the past 10 years the ways we build and deliver applications has changed significantly. It seems like much of this change has happened overnight but don’t worry, it is perfectly normal to look up and feel disoriented in the 2015 deployment landscape. This article compares the deployment in 2005 with “modern” deployment so that all the new terms and techniques will make sense. Forewarning: My background is primarily Java / JVM so I will use that terminology but try to make the ideas polyglot.