Introduction of using Apex in Salesforce platform

This is second part of the tutorial, which is about how to use Apex in Salesforce Platform. Essentially, if you have experience with Java or any other Object-Oriented Programming language, you can feel safe to jump directly here. You might still want to go over the first post of our last tutorial to have an understanding on where to write code. But other than that, you should be fine.

What is this tutorial and what is not

As I write down on the path of this tutorial, I always asked myself one question: what do I want this tutorial to be? Well, this is not an easy question. I was tempted to include every detailed knowledge of Apex programming and explain everything in details with my experience. In the meantime, I also want it to be a concise and comprehensive guide to Apex beginners. Well, it just cannot be both.

While including every detailed information is a very alluring target, achieving it will inevitably lead to long and complicated chapters. And some complicated concepts (group by cube, for example), are not very frequently used in our everyday programming life. So I decide to concentrate on the essential concepts, which I believe will make a Apex developer capable to accomplish its everyday working tasks.

So, what I am trying to achieve here is:

  1. A comprehensive guide for new Apex developers
  2. Sufficient knowledge and examples to handle everyday programming tasks.
  3. Provide guidance based on my experience on how to make things work

But I will not try to cover every concept. If I think a concept is not essential for everyday programming, I will simply negate it in this guide. If I decide to talk about it, I will cover it in Salesforce coding tips section.

So, how is this different from Trailhead, Apex programming guide, etc. provided by Salesforce?

Well, that is a good question.

Trailhead is always a good place to study. It will give you a quick ramp up on how to work on things such as trigger, SOQL and Unit tests. It is more like codecademy for other programming languages. It is a good starting point. However, will getting the trail badges giving you adequate confident in working as a good Salesforce developer? I doubt.

Apex programming guide, on the other hand, is an excellent source of truth for Apex programming. I would recommend you to go over it after your finishing my guide. I always find something useful in there which I have obviously missed out in the past. However, when I read it as my first book in Apex programming, I find it a bit hard to follow up with.

So this tutorial is sitting somewhere in the middle. It covers a bit more than trailhead, and a bit less than Apex programming guide. I focus on comprehensiveness and the readiness to work as a Salesforce Developer in this guide.

I will also include some common issues, confusions which I have faced in my past, or some other people has struggled with in the posts, together with their solutions. Hopefully that will be helpful as well.

So, cool. Feel ready to jump into our first lecture? Here it is:

1.1 What is SObject and how do we use it in Apex

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