A big talking point – Salesforce DX (Salesforce’s new developer experience). Wondering what it is? What are the important things you need to know? Your mind would be full of questions. But, don’t worry! Keep reading the blog and get the answers of all your queries w.r.t Salesforce DX.
In this blog series, we will discuss the following concepts:
- Introduction to Salesforce DX
- What DX provides to its users?
- Advantages and disadvantages of Salesforce DX
- mprovements in Salesforce development brought by Salesforce DX
- Importance of Heroku Flow in Salesforce DX
Introduction to Salesforce DX
It can be defined as a new way and accompanying a set of tools, bringing to Salesforce Developers a better and latest development flow. It is a product for the App cloud environment to enhance productivity levels with better control and improved collaboration.
As deployment has always been a difficult part of Salesforce development, Salesforce DX brings you the best and efficient tooling from planning to release phase. It enables organizations to grab digital business opportunities and developers to deliver top-quality applications rapidly.
To briefly summarize my thoughts on what exactly Salesforce DX is, it is important to remember that it is fundamentally a mindset and a philosophy.
A new and advanced philosophy, SFDX includes a series of customized tools and features that enable source-driven development and a new level of custom app development.
What Salesforce DX provides to its users?
Salesforce developers are really amazing as they think and act practically. Generally, they aren’t just interested in complicated solutions. So, let me tell you what exciting SFDX brings out for you!
- Version Control System: Since Salesforce DX stepped in the market, one phrase has been spread widely- “Version control is the source of truth”. You might not understand what I meant to say. It means developers need to maintain the entire history of code changes to work and collaborate effectively. It encourages developers to back up their code changes, keep version history, and manage changes over time.
- Use of Scratch orgs: DX introduces the thesis of scratch orgs. It enables you to use a new type of org known as scratch org that is required for setup. Scratch orgs are temporary Salesforce orgs, built from source, used for development and testing, and destroyed when done.
You can use them as a temporary environment to make changes, whenever needed by the developers. It is good because instead of using sandbox with different functionalities on it (which may be difficult to keep track of), DX provides you a feature of having different scratch orgs to work upon a different piece of work independently.
- Continuous Integration (CI) & Continuous Delivery (CD): DX possesses the capacity to improve the quality and it makes sure to release new modification to the customers quickly, in a sustainable way
- Change Management: It provides developers with more and deeper data insights to change the production and manage it easily.
In a nutshell, using version control on whole code and metadata, you can work in a well-organized way in the development and testing phase. As well as you don’t have to go through the same process of setting up and syncing sandboxes anymore.
Very nice Salesforce! Really, very….nice!!
In all the above aspects, Salesforce DX will definitely help you. However, just like other CRM, DX also comes up with advantages and disadvantages that we will discuss further.
Advantages of Salesforce DX
- It helps improve team collaboration and development.
- It makes the release cycle process more agile and efficient.
- It allows the developers to use any tool to modify the code such as CLI, VIM, Sublime, Atom, etc.
- Facilitates automated testing for your code and enables continuous integration.
- Requires a local development setup for the developers to get hands-on expertise on DX.
Disadvantages of Salesforce DX
- As DX is new, some features are still missing and yet to come so users may confront some errors.
- Troubleshooting seems to be a difficult task for system admins as it needs heavy line commands and instructions.
- The learning curve for developers is extremely high to get familiar with the customized platform.
Improvement in Salesforce Development by Salesforce DX
Problem: APEX Development
Before Salesforce DX, developers had the ability of custom development with three possible approaches: implementing the code in the developer console, developing in desired Integrated development environment(IDE), or copy-paste their code into the organization. These approaches have some flaws such as the developer console lacks functionalities from their IDEs like keyboard shortcuts, autocomplete, and a visible structure of the code.
The copy-paste method increases the risk of replication of someone else’s code or directly affecting the production org. While this method allows the developers to write code offline in a familiar IDE or text editor, the process is insecure and time-consuming.
Additionally, developers are constricted to validate and save their code while using the developer console. Using all the above approaches, you are unable to access the history of the code changes.
Solution: Salesforce DX
DX introduces the new tool Salesforce Command-line interface that helps in retrieving metadata, creating a project, and exporting & importing data. It will improve the efficiency and speed of the Salesforce developer.
Meanwhile, CLI comes up with solutions for the major drawbacks of the APEX development processes discussed above.
First and foremost, the developer need not copy-paste their code. It enables them to develop a project with a customized structure occupied with APEX classes and implement the code directly to a Salesforce Org. DX provides the ability to retrieve the code and store it locally and make changes without impacting the Org. With this ability to create projects, DX introduces the custom development structure that gives the user the ability to modularize the Salesforce org by spitting into distinct projects.
Importance of Heroku Flow in Salesforce DX
DX depends on the Heroku flow for functioning and some additional functionalities. Let’s discuss three principal components that help in machine learning and big data management.
They create a visual platform for the users to review, develop, and produce a compatible environment for providing excellent support. Furthermore, Heroku Pipelines manages huge quantities of big data flowing in every process.
These components allow users to propose, discuss, and decide whether they need to merge changes into their codebases. Heroku can run a temporary autotest on a unique URL for the apps connected to GitHub.
The all-new Heroku CI in Salesforce DX and continuous integration provide smooth integration with third-party tools. The method of running an automated test against your current code can be accomplished through it.
We’ve now explored the possibilities offered by Salesforce DX. It is an excellent choice for Salesforce developers projects with a slew of new and useful features. DX from Salesforce empowers the admin as well as the developers to work with more flexibility together than before. Undoubtedly, DX will expand and evolve more exciting features in the coming months or years.
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