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Posts tagged “async

Dynamic Apex Invocation/Callbacks

So I’ve been working on that DeepClone class and it occurred to me that whatever invokes that class might like to know when the process is done (so maybe it can do something with those created records). Seeing as the DeepClone is by it’s very nature asynchronous that presents a problem, since the caller cannot sit and wait for process to complete. You know what other language has to deal with async issues a lot? Javascript. In Javascript we often solve this problem with a ‘callback’ function (I know callbacks are old and busted, promises are the new hotness but bare with me here), where in you call your asynchronous function and tell it what to call when it’s done. Most often that is done by passing in the actual function code instead of just the name, but both are viable. Here is an example of what both might look like.

var someData = 'data to give to async function';

//first type of invocation passes in an actual function as the callback. 
	console.log('I passed in a function directly!' + result);

//second type of invocation passes in the name of a function to call instead

function onCompleteHandler(result)
	console.log('I passed in the name of a function to call and that happened' + result);

function asyncThing(data,callback)
	//async code here, maybe a callout or something.
	var data = 'probably  a status code or the fetched data would go here';
	//if our callback is a function, then just straight up invoke it
	if(typeof callback == 'function')
	//if our callback is a string, then dynamically invoke it
	else if(typeof callback == 'string')

So yeah, javascript is cool, it has callbacks. What does this have to do with Apex? Apex is strongly typed, you can’t just go around passing around functions as arguments, and you sure as hell can’t do dynamic invocation… or can you? Behold, by abusing the tooling api, I give you a basic implementation of a dynamic Apex callback!

public HttpResponse invokeCallback(string callback, string dataString)
	HttpResponse res = new HttpResponse();
		string functionCall = callback+'(\''+dataString,',')+'\');';
		HttpRequest req = new HttpRequest();
		req.setHeader('Authorization', 'Bearer ' + UserInfo.getSessionID());
		req.setHeader('Content-Type', 'application/json');
		string instanceURL = System.URL.getSalesforceBaseUrl().getHost().remove('-api' ).toLowerCase();
		String toolingendpoint = 'https://'+instanceURL+'/services/data/v28.0/tooling/executeAnonymous/?anonymousBody='+encodingUtil.urlEncode(functionCall,'utf-8');
		Http h = new Http();
		res = h.send(req);
	catch(exception e)
		system.debug('\n\n\n\n--------------------- Error attempting callback!');
	return res;

What’s going on here? The Tooling API allows us to execute anonymous code. Normally the Tooling API is for external tools/languages to access Salesforce meta-data and perform operations. However, by accessing it via REST and passing in both the name of a class and method, and properly encoding any data you’d like to pass (strings only, no complex object types) you can provide a dynamic callback specified at runtime. We simply create a get request against the Tooling API REST endpoint, and invoke the execute anonymous method. Into that we pass the desired callback function name. So now when DeepClone for example is instantiated the caller can set a class level property of class and method it would like called when DeepClone is done doing it’s thing. It can pass back all the Id’s of the records created so then any additional work can be performed. Of course the class provided has to be public, and the method called must be static. Additionally you have to add your own org id to the allowed remote sites under security->remote site settings. Anyway, I thought this was a pretty nice way of letting your @future methods and your queueable methods to pass information back to a class so you aren’t totally left in the dark about what the results were. Enjoy!