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The curious case of the custom redirection on Salesforce Console



Every developer worth their salt knows that the easiest way of redirection from a page to another is by using everyone's favorite function

  public PageReference redirect() {
       PageReference pageRef = page.peskyProblemRedirection; 
       pageRef.setRedirect(true); 
       return pageRef; 
    }

And the method is called by adding it to the Action attribute of the CommandButton or link, which works like charm and the user is redirected to the page after completion of the action.
So why am I going back to the basics? Because this way of redirection causes a pesky little problem in using the Service Cloud or Sales Cloud console.

Let's illustrate the problem, let's say you have a visualforce page as follows:

<apex:page sidebar="false" showHeader="false" controller="myExampleController">
<apex:form >
<apex:pageBlock >    
  
         <apex:pageBlockButtons >
             <apex:commandButton action="{!Redirect}" value="Next Page"/>
          </apex:pageBlockButtons>
     
  </apex:pageBlock>
  </apex:form>
</apex:page>

The controller to this class is as follows:

public with sharing class myExampleController {
  public PageReference redirect() {
       PageReference pageRef = page.peskyProblemRedirection; 
       pageRef.setRedirect(true); 
       return pageRef; 
    }
}

This does what it says, you click a button and it takes you to the next page seamlessly.

The Problem

But now let's see when this page is added to the Salesforce Console.
Let's run the same code inside the console.

1. This is our first page
2. If we take a peek under the hood, we open the link of the tab inside the console and it shows our first page. PeskyProblemPage


3. Do the thing, click on next page and voila, we are redirected to the next page- as expected.

4. But here is where the problem starts- if we take a peek under the hood of the second page, we see things are not as they seem. If we click on the link of our second page as shown in annotation number 2 in the figure below, we notice that the link has not changed as shown in annotation number 3


Why is this a problem? That is because Salesforce does not auto refresh its pages every time and let's say the user refreshes the second page- it reopens the first one because the link still points to the first page. So what works here? The console toolkit, that can be referenced here, tells us that most of the console can be accessed navigated by using a Javascript library.


Solution

One solution for this issue is the use of Native OpenPrimaryTab method of the Console toolkit API. So we rewrite the page again using the Console Toolkit API, this time, however, we will set the redirection on the page itself.

So our new Page becomes as follows:

<apex:page>
    <apex:includeScript value="/support/console/28.0/integration.js" />
    <script type="text/javascript">
        //Get the enclosing primary tab, if you want to open a new tab, ignore this method
        var openPrimaryTab = function openPrimaryTab() {
            sforce.console.getEnclosingPrimaryTabId(callOpentab);
        }

        //Whatever the result, open it in the same tab
        var callOpentab = function callOpenSubtab(result) {
            sforce.console.openPrimaryTab(result.id,
                '/apex/peskyProblemRedirection', true, 'Page two');
        };

    </script>

    <apex:form>
        <apex:pageBlock>
            <apex:sectionHeader title="Page one" />
            <apex:pageBlockButtons>
                <apex:commandButton onclick="openPrimaryTab()" value="Next Page" />
            </apex:pageBlockButtons>
        </apex:pageBlock>
    </apex:form>

</apex:page>

As you can see, the magic happens using the onclick function that sets the page redirection on a console. If there is an action to perform before redirection, the same function can be used in oncomplete attribute of the button.

Taking this further,

This example above gives us the basic idea of how the redirection works on the console. Let's say you need to generate a dynamic page URL based on the data manipulation in the action method. E.g., send accountID to the new page from the tab. This can be achieved by using javascript remoting and calling the apex method in javascript. Take a look at the UNTESTED code below, that can get you started on exploration:


<script type="text/javascript">
    function getRemoteAccount() {
        Visualforce.remoting.Manager.invokeAction(
            '{!$RemoteAction.AccountRemoter.getAccount}',
            accountName,
            function(result, event) {
                if (event.status) {
                    sforce.console.openPrimaryTab(null,
                        '/apex/peskyProblemRedirection?id=' + result.id,
                        true, 'Page two');

                 }
            }, {
                escape: true
            }
        );
    }

 </script>

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Working with the Console in the past couple of years has given a greater sense of many things Salesforce developers usually take for granted. But once you get hang of it, Console is the best product ever made by Salesforce (Yes better than Lightning too!!!)

Have you encountered this problem before? Do you have any other solution? Share your experience in the comments below

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