Grow your Career as a MuleSoft Developer

Ana A. has been working as a developer on our team in Ecuador for more than six months. In this time she has achieved her Salesforce Platform Developer I and MuleSoft Developer – Level 1 certification. Let’s look at what MuleSoft does and why getting certified is a good career move.

Understanding APIs

To understand MuleSoft, it is important to understand what an API is. API stands for Application Programming Interface. It’s like a user interface but is not built for humans to understand, it is built for software. MuleSoft allows the software to connect with other applications. To sum it up, MuleSoft is an API and integration platform that allows businesses to connect their data, applications, and devices with others. The entire MuleSoft Anypoint Platform™ is designed to make it easier to create, maintain, and share APIs. They’ve created an entire API ecosystem around it, expanding the API ecosystem to include not only software developers but non-developers like Salesforce administrators with MuleSoft Composer for Salesforce.  

Importance of integrations

You’re probably asking yourself, why are these APIs so important? In MuleSoft’s recent survey of global IT leaders, they found that “the average enterprise has its data scattered across as many as 900 different systems, some of which don’t even belong to the organization.”  Combine that with their estimate that enterprises spend $3.5 million USD per year on integration, and you’ll see that there is an incredible opportunity for developers certified on integration ecosystems like MuleSoft.  The first step in getting the certification is to understand all of the MuleSoft capabilities, features, and tools.

Certification MuleSoft Developer – Level 1 (Mule 4)

There are four MuleSoft certification paths you can follow.  We are just going to focus on just the developer path. To start working on your first certification, Ana highly recommends taking the course Anypoint Platform Development: Fundamentals (Mule 4). This course has 13 modules and is composed of videos, walkthroughs, model quizzes, surveys, do-it-yourself exercises, and a self-assessment quiz. For you to complete this course, you must finish every part, then score over 70% of the self-assessment quiz. The best part of this course is that MuleSoft allows you to make two attempts at the certification for free. Ana also complemented her study with these additional resources: 


The easiest thing about MuleSoft for Ana was learning how to design an API with RAML, which is a RESTful API modeling language that is easy to learn. In Anypoint Platform, you will find the design center, the exchange tool, and the API manager. Ana enjoys working with the platform because it is very intuitive. It even lets you design and implement APIs using drag and drop components.

The most difficult part of getting certified for her was the error handling topic and order of execution. Order of execution can vary depending on the flow you’re building or if the calling flow has scope for error handling, but she was able to master the subject with the additional training resources shared above.

Salesforce and MuleSoft

If you’re a developer already working with Salesforce, you’ll be interested to know that MuleSoft has a Salesforce module with many connectors. It allows you to build an API that can manage a Salesforce org, database operations, or metadata operations like creating, updating, inserting, or deleting records and more. An example would be a connector called ‘create a record’ , which allows the API to create a record (or whenever an object is needed) specifying the configuration or a specific organization.

The MuleSoft Anypoint Platform also works with Salesforce Experience Cloud through a managed package called MuleSoft Anypoint API Community Manager. It allows companies to create developer communities around the APIs they are managing with Anypoint Platform. This helps them better manage access to their APIs and it helps their developer communities more easily adopt those APIs, and a great advantage is that the company can brand their APIs.

Training at Oktana 

When Ana was studying for this certification, she heard a lot about the power of MuleSoft, and how this could improve her career, so she wanted to try it. 

“Oktana helped me a lot with all the resources to start my training. I also had a mentor in the company, so he helped me every time I had a question. This was very helpful”.

Ana A.

Our team is constantly growing, in Ecuador and across the Americas. If you want to enhance your career with Salesforce and MuleSoft, apply for one of our open opportunities. Our training team works closely with the developers to help them achieve their certifications, just like Ana did. 

Tips for your first MuleSoft certification

  • Every time you finish a module in the MuleSoft course, play around with Anypoint Studio. Practice creating new flows with different connectors that you learned in the course. That way you can debug them and understand how the order of execution works for each component or connector. 
  • The exam has many questions about the order of execution, so make sure you understand that properly. 
  • Ana encountered problems installing the exam proctor software on Mac, she recommends taking your exam on a Windows system to make things easier. 


If you want to know more about MuleSoft, we recommend reading about our latest MuleSoft projects to get a better understanding of the great things you can achieve. 

Oktana Calendar: Manage your Events in Salesforce

How we experience time is one of the most visible changes brought by the pandemic. New resources and tools require us to adjust to more agile ways to collaborate and do business. That’s why we created Oktana Calendar, our latest Lightning web component that helps you manage your events and meetings without leaving Salesforce. 

Think of the business meetings we all used to have before the pandemic. Decision-makers moving around the city to meet their peers in a corporate meeting room. Leaders would sit down around a table with a presentation (in most cases) to support their speeches. Business cards for appropriate introductions and handshakes to close deals. All of that is gone, but don’t be discouraged. Even if we miss the on-site conversations and meetings, there is a potential advantage we can leverage in remote work. Let me introduce you to Oktana Calendar, our digital solution to enhance time management across your team.

Oktana Calendar

Oktana Calendar is simple to install and embed

As with all of our Lightning web components, Oktana Calendar is simple to install. Just go to the AppExchange and follow three steps. Once installed in your org, the embedding process is also easy to do. As a stand-alone component, you can embed Oktana Calendar on any home page or app page. Just go to the Lightning App Builder, drag the component, and drop it where you need it. Simplicity and flexibility are part of this component. 

Better layout, more flexibility

“As a Lightning web component, Oktana Calendar can be added to any home page in Salesforce. Also, Oktana Calendar offers different views. Users can change from one to another according to their needs with one click”

Fernanda Bacino – QA team @ Oktana Uruguay

Oktana Calendar lets you take your team beyond the default calendar component in Salesforce by giving you more flexibility. Your team will be able to have a standard calendar view arranged by month, week, or day. If you feel more comfortable with an agenda view, Oktana Calendar also supports a list view of your meetings. Your team will be able to track their meetings and events in Salesforce, which will be certainly reflected in your company revenue report.

Oktana Calendar

Manage your events

Your events, your rules. You control the way you want to see them and the way you want to organize yourself. As we mentioned before, Oktana Calendar can be set monthly, weekly, or as a list of meetings. It’s up to you. You can organize your events with color-coding as you can with other external calendaring apps. The most important details are also supported: Start date and time, end date and time, location, and of course a brief description to have a general context. For those who are busy, we highly recommend setting notifications to never miss an event.

“Oktana Calendar allows you to set notifications in your org to track your events and users can customize color tags to arrange their events the way they feel more comfortable. I think both features leverage the built-in Calendar component of Salesforce”

Salvador Cáceres – Developer @ Oktana Peru

Time management is crucial in this “new normal” and having the ability to manage your meetings from the same platform you’re already using gives you an advantage you definitely want to take. Install Oktana Calendar for free and give your team an intuitive and flexible resource to manage their business meetings and be more efficient.  

Why Connect your Apps to Salesforce

Founded in 2014, our focus here at Oktana is to help customers integrate their systems with Salesforce, whether through custom development or integration with third-party services. Our onshore and nearshore Salesforce experts have certifications across a wide range of products in addition to Salesforce, like Informatica (Informatica Specialist Certification) and MuleSoft (MuleSoft Certified Developer – Level 1, Mule 4 Certification).

We have helped our customers integrate their Salesforce ecosystem with almost everything. Our experience ranges from complex data migrations to building personalized user experiences, enabling companies to connect and leverage data of any kind to create a 360-degree view of their business. Across multiple industries, we have helped our customers integrate with technologies like Facebook, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Bevy, Instagram, Twitter, Google News, LinkedIn, Webex, Gotomeeting, MuleSoft, and many more. Read more about Oktana’s Salesforce Integrations stories.

The idea of integrating with Salesforce is to make your Salesforce CRM experience even better. Uniting information into personalized views helps users and managers make better decisions. In other words, connecting Salesforce with apps and tools that you already use helps you run your business more efficiently and provides much greater operational visibility.

For a Salesforce integration process to go smoothly it is important to understand your business goals, create a fool-proof plan, and provide training for your team to make the most out of your Salesforce integration services. 

What are the different types of Salesforce integrations?

1. App-Based Salesforce Integration

The vast majority of organizations use Salesforce to manage data, develop leads, and provide effective customer service. Numerous third-party apps are integrated with Salesforce to streamline the CRM by providing business applications and reducing data duplication. This includes integrating apps from the Salesforce AppExchange. At Oktana, we’ve built and managed several Salesforce AppExchange apps including one of our own, Tok for real-time communication with Chatter.

Tok - For real time communications

Also, we have worked implementing MuleSoft solutions since it was first acquired by Salesforce and we are experts at customizing and integrating the new Anypoint Platform™.

2. Code-based Salesforce Integration

Salesforce integration can also be done using programming languages. Apex is the default Salesforce programming language that has Java-like syntax. There are numerous advantages of using Apex, the most common ones are that it is easy to use and test, it is hosted on the Lightning Platform, and offers built-in support.

At Oktana, some of our senior staff have more than 15 years of experience programming with Apex.  We’ve worked on projects that required using APEX to make API calls to external systems, allowing access to information that they needed in their Salesforce org. Integrating this way can sometimes be the only option, but it can be more work to maintain than leveraging an app-based integration.

What are the possible ways to integrate with Salesforce?

Integration typically occurs within 3 different areas: user interface (UI), business logic, and data to provide a greater level of operational efficiency, standards, and consistency to users.

1. User Interface Integration

A great way to permit users to enter multiple apps from a single platform. One such example is the Facebook or Twitter apps. Publish tweets, send messages, and follow others on Twitter automatically. Sync contact data, manage deal flow, and automate your sales pipeline in Salesforce.

2. Business Logic Integration

Use Apex to handle business logic across multiple applications. It helps extend the business logic present in Force.com with outside platforms. Apex web services are used for inbound logic integration, to write logic and express it as a web service for external applications. It provides developers’ with the ability to apply project-specific business logic and the flexibility to add custom logic. 

3. Data Integration

Handle data synchronization needs by using SOAP and REST APIs to allow a single application in an enterprise to act as the primary source of a specific business object. 

Salesforce Integration Checklist

Salesforce Integration Checklist

1. Planning & Documentation

Planning and documentation of the assigned project are required to find additional insight into business needs and technical requirements for the project. It should include:

  • Write down the business goals
  • Identify data ownership
  • Understand integration standards & best practices

 
2. The Apps

The application is the most important part of any integration scheme and is vital for the successful accomplishment of the work. It is crucial to understand the apps and how they integrate. It must include:

  • Prepare the data 
  • Understand the dependencies for each application 
  • Enable APIs
  • Consider API limits


3. The Processes

Processes establish the flow of data from one endpoint to another, which helps in staging and modifying data before transmission to other applications. 

  • Identify the endpoints
  • Provision of effective connection for custom integration & 3rd party integration tool
  • Determine data delivery performance for applications
  • Limit and control access to trusted users


At Oktana this is just one of the services that we provide to our customers. If you are looking to boost your business success and profitability request a quote from our Salesforce integration services page. If you would like to be part of our team of Salesforce experts, check our careers page and apply for the job that best fits your skills. 

QA testing methods for better products

Agile processes inspire a more collaborative environment to design and release digital products. This methodology, particularly popular among tech and innovative entrepreneurial companies, brings a new high-speed workflow that companies must be able to meet. In this context, QA testing methods are more important because of their ability to increase efficiency and improve work processes within the tech industry. 

Having consistent QA testing procedures will increase your customers’ satisfaction, which will be reflected in long-term commercial relationships. QA has a direct impact on revenues, so it’s important that leaders include QA engineers in the entire process of digital product development. A strong QA team provides a wide range of tests that make sure digital products work, and saves companies a lot of money and working hours. Let’s go over some of the QA methods our team applies.  

Smoke testing

Smoke testing is very helpful to review whether the most crucial features involved in an app or software are working properly. It’s a primarily scripted testing method that provides a quick big picture view of your digital product. Smoke testing aims to ensure overall functionality.  It’s a useful starting point to get the bigger picture of the digital product and proceed with other more specific methods. It’s also a source of data to decide if it’s time to continue to production or conduct other tests.  As part of our QA strategy, we perform smoke testing all the time with Tok, our Chatter messaging app. This is particularly helpful to ensure our new versions are 100% ready to be released in AppExchange. 

Regression testing

Regression testing requires tests be performed for every single area of functionality for the app or software after a change has been made. When bugs are found and the team does their best to fix them, the programming code changes. Each time the code is changed, it may impact other functionality that wasn’t supposed to be affected and may result in new bugs that need to be fixed. Regression testing helps us trace any unexpected impact from alterations. We helped Zola, a wedding registry, planning, and retail company, to test their web and native mobile apps. Regression testing provided great results and new learnings for both of us. 

Sanity Testing

Sanity testing is not performed to verify the core functionality (such as regression testing), but to double-check the rationality (sanity) of the digital products. It focuses on one or two (or a few) sections of the software. If any of them doesn’t retrieve the expected result; then the build should not continue with more rigorous procedures that may demand an extra investment of time and money.  This method is characterized as being narrow, deep, and normally unscripted. 

Exploratory Testing

This method encourages the QA team to “explore” the application and play around with it to identify and report any possible bug. Test cases are not required in advance. Actually, experimented teams use it to gain time before the Requirement Documents are not available yet. We are not talking about a lack of procedures; we are talking about the possibility of discovering, learning, and executing tests simultaneously. That’s why exploratory testing is widely used in agile environments. We highly recommend this method in your testing strategy because it uncovers issues that another functional testing wouldn’t be able to, it puts an emphasis on the UX and trains your team to become more intuitive and creative.

Other tests: 

Besides the three methods listed above, others may be included in the test plan according to the QA engineering criteria and, of course, the nature of the digital product. Here are some of them: 

  • Unit testing, the core of QA testing: This procedure aims to isolate functional pieces of code and test them separately. This way, the QA engineer makes sure every single part of a system works properly. This first scan provides predictability for the QA team to test at a higher level. 
  • Integration testing: When programmers write code, it interacts within a more complex system and those interactions must be tested with the same strictness. So, after unit testing has been successfully conducted, isolated functional pieces of codes are tested together. 
  • Stress-testing: Facing the unexpected is a part of life and it’s necessary to embrace it. Even though a digital product was thought to meet some criteria, it’s very likely that during its life cycle, exceptional situations will be presented. The QA engineer pushes the software to its maximum potential to discover bugs or points of improvement that are hard to identify in regular scenarios.  
  • End-to-end testing: 

In this type of test, the entire application or digital product is tested from a user perspective. It aims to analyze all possible ways a user can interact with the digital product and then, identify and register every point of improvement. The user is the center of this testing method, so the data reported can be particularly useful for the UX strategy.

Our commitment to QA testing

Because we have helped a lot of customers build and boost their digital products around Salesforce, we understand the importance of QA testing. Having a strong QA process not only means meeting our customers’ expectations but also implies money and time savings for our company. Tok, our Chatter messaging app, and other Lightning web components remind us every day that QA testing is a procedure that never ends, but is worth all the time and energy we put into it.

Tok 30 day trial - QA testing

Top Salesforce Developer Certifications for 2021

Salesforce is one of the most powerful business technologies on the market, which makes Salesforce certifications a great way to gain expertise and enhance your career as a developer. At Oktana we are committed to the professional growth of everyone on our team. That’s why we have a specialized training team that guides and prepares our entire squad to tackle new challenges and to help them build expertise across the Salesforce ecosystem and across a range of languages, frameworks, and platforms. 

During recent months we have published many articles about Salesforce certifications.  They are compiled here to help you figure out which option is the best to boost your career:

1. Salesforce Certified Administrator

Overview: 

  • Exam Duration: 105 minutes
  • Questions: 60 multiple-choice questions + 5 non-scored 


The Salesforce administrator certification helps you better understand Salesforce CRM fundamentals and demonstrates your expertise and abilities in the platform. You should be able to maintain a Salesforce org,  support common business requirements and inquiries, and last but not least, execute Salesforce administrative tasks. 
Not sure what Salesforce admins do? Start with this Trailhead module: Salesforce Admin: Quick Look. (10 min)

2. Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I

Overview: 

  • Exam Duration: 110 minutes  
  • Questions: Content: 60 multiple-choice questions + 5 non-scored 


Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I is probably one of the most important and complete certifications that Salesforce offers. Additionally, it is a prerequisite for many other certifications such as the Salesforce Certified Platform Developer II and it is the first step to becoming a system architect. It is an excellent way to demonstrate to your peers and customers that you have the required skills to complete a successful development project.

3. Salesforce Certified Platform Developer II

Overview: 

  • Exam Duration: 120 minutes  
  • Questions: Content: 60 multiple-choice questions 


The Salesforce Platform Developer II certification exam may seem daunting at first, but with some studying and determination, you’ll have that certification under your belt in no time.

It’s important to mention that to achieve this certification you must have already obtained the Salesforce Platform Developer I certification. During your preparation for this certification, you will learn how to leverage the advanced programmatic capabilities of the Salesforce platform and data modeling to include more complex business logic and UIs in applications.

4. Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Consultant

Overview: 

  • Exam Duration: 90 minutes  
  • Questions: Content: 60 multiple-choice questions 


This certification enables you to design and implement solutions that are maintainable, scalable, and meet nonprofit business requirements. During your preparation for this certification, you will build a solid understanding of data management and database concepts, understanding of internet technologies and cloud computing, and more. If you are interested in earning this certification, you must first become a Salesforce Certified Administrator.

5. Salesforce JavaScript Developer I

Overview: 

  • Exam Duration: 105 minutes  
  • Questions: Content: 60 multiple-choice questions 


The Salesforce JavaScript Developer I certification, introduced in 2020, is an excellent way to demonstrate experience developing with one of the most popular web programming languages. JavaScript developers work with front-end and back-end development and even related technologies like Salesforce’s Lightning web components. This credential is a great way to further your development career.

6. MuleSoft Certified Developer – Level 1 (Mule 4)

Overview: 

  • Exam Duration: 120 minutes 
  • Questions: Content: 60 multiple-choice questions 


MuleSoft streamlines the process of integrating various systems, like new APIs, Salesforce, ERP, or legacy applications. It is a unique technology that makes it easier to integrate systems and manage the entire lifecycle of your APIs, including building, testing, deploying, and managing.

Even though there are no prerequisites for this certification, our team recommends having background knowledge of REST API services, the basics of web concepts, HTTP requests, and knowing how these work from a server perspective.

7. Tableau Desktop Specialist Certification

Overview: 

  • Exam Duration: 1 hour 
  • Questions: 30 multiple-choice questions 


Tableau is a visual platform that transforms the way we use data to solve problems. It empowers people and organizations to make the most out of their data. In 2019, Tableau was acquired by Salesforce, but its mission remains the same: to help people see and understand their data. 

Our team highly recommends this certification. Companies like Amazon, Experian, and Unilever trust Tableau business intelligence (BI) and analytics software to explore, visualize and securely share data in the form of workbooks and dashboards. Tableau is very user-friendly with drag-and-drop functionality. Tableau Desktop Specialist allows you to quickly clean, analyze, and visualize your data.

8. Informatica Specialist 

Overview: 

  • Duration: 90 minutes 
  • Questions: 70 multiple-choice questions 


Okay, it’s not an official Salesforce certification, it’s more like a complementary certification. Informatica enables you to migrate data from different data sources and transform the data according to business requirements.

Informatica certification is in heavy demand by enterprise companies that have large databases they would like to connect to Salesforce. If you work with Salesforce, this certification will expand on the methods you know to integrate Salesforce plus enable you to provide additional value to your internal teams or clients. 

Interested in working on Salesforce projects? We are now hiring! Check out our open positions.

Oktana YouTube: Embed & Share Videos in Salesforce

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. That’s why we are proud to announce Oktana YouTube, our newest Lightning Web Component for Salesforce

Videos can be a strategic ally when it comes to communicating complex and important messages. Think about training the team on that new app you just purchased to increase sales productivity or that anniversary message from the CEO that cheers everyone up. Both are messages that need to be understood clearly and that have a greater impact when they feel more personal. Oktana YouTube makes your life easier by creating a place in your Salesforce org to embed and share YouTube videos to communicate with your team. 

Oktana YouTube

No code needed: Oktana YouTube is all about simplicity

Oktana Youtube is based on the Lightning Web Component technology. It is easy for Salesforce admins to install it from the AppExchange and to enable it on any Salesforce page. Drag and drop the component and you will be all set.

Alexis Mamani – Developer @Oktana Peru

Simplicity is at the core of Lightning Web Components and Oktana YouTube is no exception. Installing it from the AppExchange takes three (3!) clicks. Once the component is installed, you just enable it on the Salesforce page of your preference. The Lightning App Builder makes this easy for you. Drag the component and drop it wherever you prefer. As you can see, no coding skills are required to add Oktana YouTube to your org.

Admins have full control

As an admin, you get to decide whether to embed a corporate video for all of your users, or let them decide what to watch according to their needs. That’s up to you. If you need them to watch a specific video (let’s say a tutorial, a demo, or a message from the team lead), paste the YouTube ID in and you are all set. If you prefer them to be able to search, just leave the YouTube ID blank.

Oktana YouTube means flexible layout

As you create a new page in Salesforce, you also decide where to place your components. We recommend the upper right corner as the best spot, but you can move it according to your needs. Oktana YouTube also allows you to adjust the title and the height to fit your expectations. Good enough? You get the same flexibility in desktop and mobile. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can always watch your embedded videos. 

Oktana YouTube

Search videos

As Salesforce admin, you can allow your users to search YouTube videos from within your org. How does this work? Exactly as YouTube does. Enter keywords and the Lightning Web Component will retrieve related videos. Every user has their own viewing history stored, making it easier to locate previously watched videos. And you can always clear your search history with a simple click. 

Oktana YouTube is useful for everyone because it provides YouTube functionality in an intuitive way. If the admin allows it, users can visualize, share, and search any video they need. Anyone can use Oktana YouTube with other components in the same panel/screen. This way, users can access important videos without leaving Salesforce. 

Juan Chacón – QA Analyst @ Oktana Peru

All of this functionality makes Oktana YouTube a useful component you should definitely try. We leverage the YouTube API to embed and share tutorials, demos, or any other important message to your team right in your org. 

Install Oktana YouTube and give yourself another channel for your internal communication strategy. At Oktana, we care about your efficiency and experience in Salesforce, so if you think this is a good match for your company, install the Oktana YouTube Lightning Web Component for free from the AppExchange.

We create Salesforce products, check them out.

Oktana YouTube

Why become a Salesforce Developer in Bolivia

Thinking about a tech career? There are a lot of different directions, but the  Salesforce developer path is one that will enable you to quickly get started and expose you to numerous technologies as you work with companies to integrate and customize Salesforce. While a coding background is definitely helpful, Salesforce is a really good place to start your tech career.

You can explore this career path from the perspective of two of our Salesforce developers, Erwin and Sergio. They’re both new to Salesforce development, having joined Oktana Bolivia in 2020. They deserve an extra round of applause since their team started remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic!

In Bolivia, very few people know about Salesforce which surprises most of our team because they can see it’s a platform with a lot of potential. Because of its size and complexity, with so many different products, learning Salesforce on your own can be intimidating, but Erwin and Sergio have found that the learning materials and coaching provided by their trainer made everything much easier. 

Since childhood, both Erwin and Sergio showed a strong interest in technology, especially video game creation. This passion eventually led them both to software development. Before they joined Oktana, they had never worked with Salesforce, but had gained experience with different languages like Angular, C++, and Java. 

Similarities with common programming languages

Now that they have been working with the platform for several months, they have found some similarities with common programming languages:

  • Salesforce uses Apex, a proprietary language very similar to Java. The syntax is Java, but simpler.
  • The same happens with Lightning Web Components. They have a Java base, making their creation easier for Java developers.
  • The way Salesforce manages data is by storing everything in metadata. You can manipulate it using SOQL, which is similar to SQL.

Benefits of Salesforce

As a Salesforce developer, you help businesses by helping them integrate with a secure and scalable platform that’s easy to customize and upgrade without anything breaking. From the point of view of our Oktana Bolivia, here are some additional benefits of Salesforce:

  • Efficient: With just clicks, you can create a structure very quickly. Comparing it with other programming languages where you have to create the database from scratch, using Salesforce is much easier because the database structure is already created for you. Also, the way Salesforce organizes your information is great. If you have to make a change in Salesforce, and if you setup your metadata correctly, it is simpler to reorganize it, saving a lot of time.
  • Drag & drop page layouts: Salesforce lets you move fast by dragging elements and following defined steps which allows you to focus on other development.
  • Mobile: Salesforce offers a mobile application that lets you work like you would in the browser. When you build functionality for Salesforce, it can be made immediately available on the Salesforce app, so you don’t need to build a separate mobile app. 
  • Platform: The Salesforce platform is very intuitive. Salesforce teaches you to think about the easiest way to solve a problem, so it’s quite easy to follow this trend. For example, if you start working with Lightning Web Components, when you get some practice, you learn to create components one on top of the other and that interact within the same page, understanding how the components communicate with each other.
  • Environments: Salesforce already has everything hosted for you. It’s easier to develop in a sandbox environment, then upload it later to production. You don’t have to deploy, just take it to a sandbox to upload it later to a host and then production.

Salesforce best practices

On the other hand, working with Salesforce forces you to learn good programming practices like:

  • When you develop with Salesforce, it forces you to be more orderly and develop in the most optimal way possible, so your code is not chaotic. It’s really how you should program on any platform in any language.
  • Likewise, all the out-of-the-box tools are very well made and give you ideas of how you should develop if you aren’t working in Salesforce.

“I consider that the creators of Salesforce are THE BEST, they thought it through very well, and you learn from this.”

Erwin M – Developer

Challenges while learning Salesforce

Maybe the toughest thing is the declarative part of the flows. Salesforce has tools to automate data management. One is the Process Builder where you can develop with clicks, also with the Flow Builder, which allows you to create complex solutions all with clicks, too. In the beginning, it can be a bit complicated to select the right tool for each type of request, but with practice, you get to know everything that Salesforce offers and can do.

Plus, at Oktana, with the onboarding training and experience on different practice projects, you have an excellent base to get to know Salesforce much better. 

“There is a lot of information about Salesforce, so it is difficult to know everything, but with practice, you gradually get used to using this platform”  

Sergio Z – Developer

Why should you become a Salesforce Developer?

Erwin and Sergio highly recommend taking this career path, because it allows you to create different types of solutions, learn good practices and it’s a great way to start learning a different form of programming. Also, there is a lot of demand related to this career. 

It’s not necessary to have previous knowledge of Salesforce before starting this career path. If you know the basics of programming, that is enough. But, it does facilitate learning to have prior knowledge of web development, JavaScript, or basic Java (or C#).

What it’s like working with other cultures

Erwin and Sergio think it’s great, and fascinating, to work with people across several countries – every day they learn about the customs, food, culture, and places they would love to visit in Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States. They also learn many of the similarities between countries. 

Something funny Erwin found when he started working at Oktana was that he had thought Salesforce was a simple and straightforward CRM tool, but after training and working with it, he was completely surprised by the size and potential of the platform. For Sergio, when he started working at Oktana, it was the first time he had worked with a Mac as a working tool. He thinks it isn’t as bad as some comments he’s heard from those who don’t use Macs, it has quite interesting and useful things.

It has been interesting getting started at a new job, learning new technologies, during COVID. For example, for Erwin, it was interesting several paid events around the world that used to take place in person, are now broadcast over the internet for free, allowing people to know and learn much more about Salesforce and new technologies for developing software. In the case of Sergio, working completely from home has great advantages. The fact of literally getting out of bed and taking a couple of steps to be in your work area, instead of taking a bus to go to the office, is really motivating. It’s also really relaxing too, at the end of the day, simply log your hours and close your Mac to be at home and rest. 

We’re still growing! If you’re interested in becoming a Salesforce developer in Bolivia, check out some of the Salesforce Certification articles we’ve put together and our current open Salesforce developer positions in Bolivia.

Why become an Android Developer?

Android, Inc. was founded in 2003 and, as you may or may not know, acquired by Google in 2005. Android is an operating system and programming platform now developed by Google for smartphones and other mobile devices like tablets. Given this, many developers have chosen to specialize in Android. We talked with Amancaya, one of our Android developers, about why she chose this career path. 

Amancaya was always interested in technology and started her development career in Sucre, Bolivia. At that time, many different tech communities existed,  and one, GDG Sucre, invited her to join. As a participant in their community, Amancaya started to learn and share new technologies she discovered. (Fun Fact: Erwin, another member of the Oktana Bolivia family, is also part of this community.)

Since joining Oktana, Amancaya has contributed to a project involving Android app development for a leading US-based weight-loss program.

Why become an Android developer?

If mobile is what you like, you won’t regret becoming an Android developer. In the case of Amancaya, it was frustrating to learn JavaScript because it isn’t so flexible and she appreciates a very well-established structure. Kotlin, on the other hand, combines object-oriented (a paradigm in which you have to think about objects at the time of development) and functional programming features that are more comfortable to her style. Java is also a good starting point for an Android developer.

When she started to learn about Android development, the only information she found was about other web developers and frameworks. In Sucre, Bolivia not many people do mobile development, everything is more web-oriented, so this further complicated her path at the start. Now there is a much stronger global community of Android developers sharing tricks and tips, so it’s much easier to feel supported and get answers when you need them.

The most important thing in getting started is that you feel comfortable with Kotlin or Java.

Kotlin vs Java

Kotlin was designed with Java interoperability in mind, you can include Kotlin code in your Android app in any way you want. Java can be called from Kotlin in a natural way and vice versa. Both languages ​​are very similar, that’s why both are the favorites of the developers, but there are some differences:

  • Kotlin provides the ability to extend a class with new functionality without having to inherit from the class or use design patterns such as Decorator. This is done via special declarations called extensions.
  • Any chunk of code written in Kotlin is much smaller compared to Java, as it is less verbose.
  • Kotlin compiles the code into a bytecode which can be executed in the JVM. So, all libraries and frameworks made in Java can be moved and run in a Kotlin project.
  • Kotlin is not as popular, so the developer community is sparse compared to other well-established languages ​​like Java. 

You can read more about Kotlin and Java here

Android developers in Bolivia 

In Bolivia, the Android community is gradually growing, and exists in different communities across many cities in Bolivia, including Kotlin User Groups en La Paz, Cochabamba and El Alto, GDG Android Bolivia. These communities host regular talks and workshops to help more people learn about mobile development and Android development, to grow the Android developer community in Bolivia.

Another group of developers exists that is starting to specialize in Flutter, which is a new open-source mobile software development kit that can be used to build native-looking Android and iOS applications from the same code base. 

Also, if you are interested in learning more about mobile development, read about one of our latest projects

At Oktana, our team of mobile developers is growing, check our current open positions. In Amancaya’s words:

“The people who work on my project are very good. I have learned a lot and every day I learn more. My team explains things to me when I need them to, it’s been a great experience.”

 

 

 

Manage API Users with MuleSoft Anypoint API Community Manager

Oktana is one of the first Salesforce consulting partners to work on MuleSoft Anypoint API Community Manager (“MuleSoft ACM”) integration projects. We are one of the few with experience on MuleSoft ACM. Our team is currently working on six different implementation projects having completed more than five already. These MuleSoft ACM integration projects have been across a wide range of industries. Such as aviation, financial services, healthcare, interior design, and high tech.

Why MuleSoft Anypoint Platform™?

Many organizations turn to the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform. Because it provides the tools to develop, deploy, manage and secure the APIs that help them run and extend their businesses.

Digital transformation in any industry brings challenges. How do you regulate and manage access to APIs while providing clear and open information to your developer community on usage? Security is exceptionally important. For example, when you’re creating a new digital ecosystem, you want third-party developers working with your systems to also be able to develop rapidly and effectively.  

Organizations that need to scale their network of partners and customers through expanded communities can now leverage MuleSoft ACM. Which essentially provides MuleSoft customers with the ability to manage their API users in a community. The community is based on the Salesforce Experience Cloud (previously known as Community Cloud). This enables them to improve communication and provide more context to their API users. Managing access and security and also providing detailed information on API usage is essential when exposing core information related to customers, accounts, transactions, payments, and credit cards. 

The length of each of these projects has varied based on the complexity of the organization’s requirements but generally takes 4-6 weeks. Obviously, it can take more time based on the number of customizations required. Customizations can include custom signup and approval processes, custom objects, special security and permissions configurations, and enabling custom domains. 

Aviation

The work done to integrate MuleSoft ACM for our aviation industry partner was complex. It required creating and integrating external objects. That had to then be shown in permanent categories in the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform ecosystem. Our team was able to integrate these external objects using Apex. 

Healthcare

Our partner, a healthcare provider, required a unique process for user approvals. They needed to add an additional step for the usage of specific APIs and the method by which API keys are distributed. MuleSoft provides solutions specifically for healthcare. Designed to streamline manual processes, enable cross-collaboration, and unlock healthcare data in a secure, reliable manner.

Financial

For this specific project, our team started with the implementation of MuleSoft ACM. Installation and configuration were followed by significant work managing additional security requirements. To allow efficient management of access to the APIs, we created a new self-service registration service for developer partners. The team use Apex, Aura Components, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to create the registration service. Ensuring developer partners have managed registrations allows our customers to personalize partner pages and create a fully branded experience. MuleSoft ACM is able to leverage the Salesforce Content Management System (CMS). It publishes materials for each API, like documentation and marketing information. Also, MuleSoft allows them to manage access and provides developers the ability to test APIs without code.

Certainly, companies looking to improve how they manage their APIs will find MuleSoft has solutions specifically targeted to eight different industries. Financial Services, Government, Healthcare, Higher Education, Insurance, Manufacturing, Media & Telecom, and Retail. But, companies from other industries, like our Aviation partner, can also successfully leverage the platform to accelerate development. If you have an API strategy firmly established on the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform. It will be easier to enable developers (internally and externally) to use your APIs responsibly.

Read more about our MuleSoft Anypoint API Community Manager customers and other past projects.