Team development is one of the new features of APEX 4.0, one option to use with this feature is Feedback. In short, Feedback allows users to easily report “bugs” for an application. (Like we APEX developers can program bugs… NOT!).
This blog post will describe how you would export your feedback from a production system to the development system where you as developer try to make/solve things. After changes are made you want to inform your users what has been modified…
1. Setting your environment variables
The first thing you have to check before you want to export/import feedback, is the name of your workspace. If you use the same name for a workspace in both environments then we will have to distinct the development environment from the production environment. If you don’t do this, the export/import feature for feedback will not work. You can distinct the environments by altering the Feedback Synchronization Source Identifier, this will default be the name of your workspace. Changing the identifier can be done by using the Internal workspace -> Manage Workspace -> Workspace Details -> Edit Workspace Information.
You don’t have to use the Internal Workspace to check the Feedback Synchronization Source Identifier, only if you want to change it. To view it from within your workspace go to: Home -> Administration -> Manage Service -> Workspace Utilization
2. Export the feedback from production
Now that everything is fine we can export our feedback from production to development, to do this go to:
Home -> Application Builder -> Export -> Choose the Feedback tab
3. Import the feedback into development
Go to your development environment and go to Home -> Application Builder -> Import. As file Type choose Feedback and upload the file.
3.1 Solving bugs and editing feedback
Now you imported your feedback from production, you can start by solving this feedback and adding some feedback to the users.
Once this is done you are ready to take an other export and import it again into production so the user can see what is solved.
4. Export the processed feedback from development
To export the processed feedback go to: Home -> Application Builder -> Export. You will see that Deployment System field will contain the Feedback Synchronization Source Identifier from your production environment.
5. Import the processed feedback into production
In your production environment import the file by going to: Home -> Application Builder -> Import and select Feedback as type.
Important: you can upload several versions of the processed feedback to your production environment. So if you haven’t solved everything and you still want to give an update, this is possible. All feedback will be updated with your modifications.
6. Let users see the follow ups on the feedback
Now that all your updated feedback is again in the production environment, you want to display this feedback to your users. Giving them a development account is not really an option so we have to look for alternatives. A very nice alternative is to use the apex dictionary views to expose the meta data of apex. The new version of APEX contains a new list of synonyms also named as the APEX dictionary views.
If we can access the feedback with an SQL query then we can make some kind of report based on these views. To expose the feedback in a friendly way try to experiment with the views apex_team_feedback and apex_team_feedback_followup. Please note that there are a lot more views to use with team development.
You now completed the feedback cycle from production to development and back.