How to start debugging an issue in Salesforce

Step1: Check logs
Debug logs Audit Trails
Records Records automated actions and results generated by end user or code Tracks configuration changes by Salesforce user in the Org
Example Apex trigger actions, workflow, validation rules Create/updates happened on workflows, validation rule, sharing rules, classes etc

Debug Logs: Will provide you information what actions are getting performed and in which order

Audit Trails: Helpful to find out it some newly made org changes has broken the functionality

Step 1: System Debugs

Debug log recording in Setup is turned on for your User via: Setup > Monitoring > Debug Logs. See here for more information.

I would place temporary debug statements such as

System.Debug('>>>> the value of x is ' + x);

within my code to make sure that the code is executing the way I think its working. Individual SObjects, Maps of SObjects and Lists of SObjects can all be appended and that shows you all populated SObject fields.

The >>>> is a unique string that usually doesn’t appear anywhere else in the log files. This allows me to quickly find my debug output. (Logs are truncated after 2M bytes of output – there are workarounds for this.)

Step 2: Use the Developer Console

The Developer Console is a great tool for debugging. You do the following things (and more) with the developer console

  • View Logs – This is another way of viewing debug outputs.
  • Execute SOQL –  This can be used to verify that the SOQL in your code is returning the correct information
  • Execute Anonymous – Apex code can be run directly from the dev console

Log Lines

Log lines are included in units of code and indicate which code or rules are being executed. Log lines can also be messages written to the debug log. For example:

Log lines are made up of a set of fields, delimited by a pipe (|).

The format is:

· timestamp: Consists of the time when the event occurred and a value between parentheses. The time is in the user’s time zone and in the format HH:mm:ss.SSS. The value in parentheses represents the time elapsed in nanoseconds since the start of the request. The elapsed time value is excluded from logs reviewed in the Developer Console when you use the Execution Log view. However, you can see the elapsed time when you use the Raw Log view. To open the Raw

Log view, from the Developer Console’s Logs tab, right-click the name of a log and select Open Raw Log.

· event identifier: Specifies the event that triggered the debug log entry (such as SAVEPOINT_RESET or VALIDATION_RULE). Also includes any additional information logged with that event, such as the method name or the line and character number where the code was executed.
















Step 3: Explain like I’m five

Simplest meaning of it is “Explain a complicated subject in a way five years old can understand.” Try to explain your code stepwise to yourself or someone else(Dry Run). A lot of the time you figure out the problem when you are explaining the code to someone else. (If exceptions are involved, take a look at your code at the line numbers reported and consider what could have generated the exception.)

Step 4: Create a Unit Test

A unit test is a great way to figure out what is going on with a piece of code. It allows you to:

  • Execute your code in an environment with no other data
  • Create test data that you can use over and over again.
  • Use asserts to check your code
e.g. System.assert(contacts.size() > 0);
     System.assertEquals(expectedX, actualX);
Step 5: Take a break

Sometimes taking a break helps to refresh your mind and allows you to take a look at the problem from a different angle. This has really helped in most of the time. If you don’t think you have enough time to take very short breaks you’re probably spending a lot of time doing things that aren’t productive. It’s important to take a step back and ask “Am I doing working in correct direction?”

Step 6: Ask for help

If you have done all the steps above and reached this point then you most likely need help. This is where a colleague or stack exchange come in. Make sure when asking a question that you clearly state your problem, provide enough information to make it understandable to others and if you are providing a code sample make sure that it is well formatted.

Eclipse/Class save error – This Apex class has batch or future jobs pending or in progress

I was constantly getting an error “This Apex class has batch or future jobs pending or in progress” whenever I was saving Apex class written for batch Apex. This was happening in the developer org where we develop a test managed package for the AppExchange product. There was no way I can throw out this org and start with a new one.

For debugging started with following steps:

  1. Check Schedule Jobs – No schedule jobs (If any are running and related to your class somehow you can just delete the schedule job)
  2. Check Apex jobs – No Apex is job is running or in Queued state. (If are running you could just click “Abort”)
  3. Google – Found some known issue and checked workarounds which were of nouse.

As nothing worked logged a case through Salesforce Partner portal as job needed to be deleted from the backend. But case got categorized as a developer support case. Not having the premium support it Case got closed 😐


Then started research –

  • Tried deleting all running schedule jobs through Apex in case any is stuck in the background and not visible on UI.

No Luck!! 🙁

  • Making query on the AsyncApexJob object – SELECT Id, Status, JobItemsProcessed, TotalJobItems, ParentJobId, NumberOfErrors FROM AsyncApexJob Where Status = 'Queued' et voila!! returns the job stuck in Queued status which was not visible through UI. I thought my job is over I will just copy Id from the query result and execute “System.abortJob(jobid);” But that didn’t work. It needs a ParentJobId which was missing from this entry. – No Luck 🙁
  • Then came across a tiny line in the Salesforce Article. If you want to abort a job using Job Id use API version 32.0 or earlier. Login to workbench using v32.0 and from “Execute anonymous” execute System.abortjob(). This time it worked… Finally!!! 🙂

Salesforce: Adding specific business days to a date using BusinessHours class

Businesshours is a system class provided by Salesforce for performing various operations on the DateTime values. It provides methods for checking if a date falls during business hours, whats the diff between two dates in business.

The in-built method does allow adding the specific days to the DateTime value but there is a catch, it needs to be in the Long format. More information could be found here.

add(businessHoursId, startDate, intervalMilliseconds)

What exactly this method does?

The method has been specifically designed to add the number of hours in the millisecond format. And addition is done with respect to business hours. Let’s consider you want to add 1 day to the Date December 18th, 10 AM. And business hours are set for 8 AM to 8 PM for all days.

This calculation added complete 2 days as business hours are set 12 hours a day.

Alternative for avoiding such hour based calculation could be going in an iterative way.

This will also ensure that the initial time is preserved.

Salesforce: Trigger on Attachment – Restricting user from attaching files with specific extensions

By default, Salesforce doesn’t allow admin to configure or restrict a user from adding a specific type of files. Admin may need that user should not be able to attach files of type exe, dll which can have the virus in them. Also, there is no virus check is done when a file is getting uploaded to the Salesforce.

But Salesforce does allow writing trigger on the Attachment Object by which you can implement such restrictions. Following is the snippet of the code which will restrict the user from adding the files with extension mentioned in the set list. You can also edit the code and do the reverse by checking if extension exists in the set then only allow attaching the file.

Once trigger code is up and running, whenever Salesforce tries to attach any file with extension exe or dll he will come across following error message.