Salesforce-Appexchange_167X167When Cervello was approached about building a Salesforce app for a leading financial information provider, we were excited about the opportunity. What could be better than working on a project where we are designing a killer new app with the latest and greatest technology (Force.com, Heroku Postgres, and Spring Web Services) and collaborating with an awesome company and team? Then I heard about the timeline. We had five weeks to develop a brand new Salesforce app and submit it for the Salesforce security review. This was a pretty aggressive schedule. Here’s exactly how we pulled it off.

Eliminating Road Blocks Early On
The project started off with various team members focusing on the several work tracks – Salesforce development, database development, web services, and the user interface. Using this method we were able to work in parallel during our requirements gathering process to build the backend system using Heroku Postgres, as well as start the Salesforce development. The team got baseline functionality up and running quickly by creating a sample database, using dummy web services, and creating functionality without security. This allowed us to be more agile instead of focusing on developing one area fully before moving on to the next.

Iterative Development
We kicked the project off by having a multi-day in person workshop with the client where we iterated on requirements and mockups. Using PhotoShop, we were able to give the client a realistic mockup of what the app would look like imbedded in Salesforce, which in turn made it easier to come to decisions on the user interface quickly.

Early on in the project, once base functionality was established, we gave the client access to our testing sandbox. That way, we were able to get real time feedback on the app and if the direction needed to be changed we could easily do so.

We used a tool called, Trello, to track the team’s tasks and progress as well for bug recording. Our client had full access to our Trello board so that they could see what was going on at all times, as well as add their own comments and tasks. During daily internal and external meetings we would review and update the Trello cards to make sure that the team was all on the same page.

Submitting the App for Security Review
From the start we focused on a minimum viable product concept where we built out the basic functionality needed to submit for security review. This allowed us to move quickly by limiting the requirements. Once that app was submitted we knew that we could continue to enhance it for future versions. After submission, we made sure to have regular contact with the right people at Salesforce.com to help move the security review process along. After a few nail biting weeks the app passed security review, and now the Cervello team and our client are off to Dreamforce to showcase it!

carter sartellAuthor: Carter Sartell

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