Tips for working with the CRM On Demand JavaScript API

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Are you ready to add some slick functionality to your Oracle CRM on Demand with JavaScript API’s? You’ve already mastered CRUD; creating, reading, updating and deleting records in your CRM and making changes to the CRM UI, like adding buttons and getting field values.

But you’re just getting started and there’s so much more you can do. How about bringing up a dialog box in JavaScript that has fields your users can input? Or what about building in an iframe with your own custom content? You can show product videos, demos, user interviews, images or come up some nifty functionality that will satisfy a specialized need.  These are great ways to take CRM on Demand and truly make it your own.

If you’ve never done this before (and even if you have) your first thought might be what technologies should you consider to make the job - and your life - easier? It’s a great question!

Building high quality, reliable, cross-browser and cross-device functionality is tricky. Here are a few technologies to consider before you get into the project.  They’ll save you time, frustration and help your project run more smoothly.

Browserstack.com

This solution allows you to bring up your new UI in any modern browser, using any OS and on a variety of devices. It works through your browser, which means you won’t need to worry about installing or maintaining any extra software. Browserstack.com is worth looking into. Forget virtual machines with your own copy of IE8,9.10,11, Chrome, Safari..….. Just use browserstack.com.

Having said all that, there is one caveat to be aware of related to security.  When using browserstack.com assume the credentials you're providing when you log into your CRM are now in the wild. So, clearly this is only to be used with test systems that have no private or confidential data.

JQuery

What do you need to know about JQuery? We can start by saying there are good reasons that this free, open-sourced software, first released in 2006 is currently the most popular JavaScript library. If you're planning to undertake any significant JavaScript development, you will want to check out JQuery. We covered this in a previous blog post but what it comes down to is that JQuery will help you deal with most cross browser issues, and provides a programming paradigm to make working with the DOM much easier.

Foundation by Zurb

Zurb boldly describes Foundation as “The most advanced responsive front-end framework in the world.” I don’t make my living writing marketing taglines, but I can tell you that Foundation is one of many CSS frameworks you can use to make it much easier to build robust cross browser and cross device web UIs.

It used to be enough to have your app look great on a desktop and simply appear on other devices, but those days are long gone. Now it has to look (and work) like it was created specifically for each and every device your users decide they need. So, when your app will be used on a desktop or tablet or phone, and you need all the auto-sizing and controls to layout properly, based on the device, Foundation can really help.

So, don’t make your work harder than it needs to be. These three tools will help you build more attractive, more robust, cross browser and cross device web applications – and save you a lot of headaches in the process. The web is full of considerably more information on JQuery and Foundation by Zurb, both of which are corporate-friendly, open source packages. On the other hand, browserstack.com is a paid subscription, and well worth the cost.