Improving Application Development and Release Management with Salesforce DX
Salesforce remained as a very powerful CRM. On entering into Salesforce DX, you can see a very mighty set of tools and processes, which facilitate the seamless collaboration of development and continuous delivery of the applications. More importantly, Salesforce DX can re-imagine the development life cycle and release management to align it well with the DevOps practices. We will look a closer look into the toolset of Salesforce DX helping in improving the overall developer experience.
Developer Experience of Salesforce DX
Salesforce DX was first announced at the Dreamforce in 2016 and launched its first beta version by the end of June 2017. The featured suite of Salesforce DX was available from October 2017 onwards. Salesforce DX can help both individual developers as well as bigger teams with their needs in end-to-end development in the software life cycle, created for high-end agile development. If the need is to build together and continuously deliver, then Salesforce DX will offer an innovative developer experience.
Starting with Salesforce DX
Before getting into this platform, you have to be first familiar with the Salesforce DX approach. The great things about Salesforce DX are that there are some important documents. Some ideal places where you can start to get an overview with DX documentation include:
– Set up guide for Salesforce DX
– CLI Command Reference
– Developer Guide for Salesforce DX
– Tools for Salesforce Development as Visual Studio Code
You can also earn four badges after completing the trail at Trailhead as:
– Development Model with Salesforce DX
– Salesforce DX App Development
– Salesforce DX Continuous Integration
– Git & GitHub Basics
After carefully going through these documentations, developers can have a better overview of Salesforce DX and can start with it confidently.
Increasing productivity with CLI of Salesforce DX
The CLI of Salesforce DX can bring together the best of various Salesforce APIs and also the advantages of Migration Tool of Force.com, among various other tools. Using all of these, the developers can easily create a user-friendly development environment and testing methodologies to run tests along with synchronizing the source code by controlling the overall life-cycle of development. In order to ensure that you are up-to-date with the latest parameters and commands, developers should also check the latest CLI Command Reference of Salesforce DX. The latest version of the reference at the time of writing this article is version-41.
Using Scratch Orgs to speed up the development
Developers may be longing to configure all the aspects of runtime for the metadata and Salesforce code? Salesforce ideally meets this requirement in its new DX by offering Scratch Orgs, which is your own customized development environment. Alongside being source driven, these environments can also be disposed anytime you want. With the use of Scratch Orgs, you may be able to emulate various development editions with different features and preferences effectively.
After setting up the project and authorizing Dev Hub org with Salesforce CLI, you may be able to delete further, create, or manage scratch orgs as explained by Flosum.com. You may also set expiration dates of different scratch orgs, whereas the default duration can be 7 days.
Keep track of the DX projects and synchronize the source
One major factor which makes DX developer’s best choice is that Salesforce DX will make it much easier to track and synchronize the Salesforce DX project source with the scratch orgs by mentioning it in the latest release. Tracking of metadata source is also improved now on the server side. Another big change put forth by Salesforce DX is the static resources which are no longer getting the file extension of .resource, but instead is noted with MIME extensions to help improve editing and file management.
Salesforce developer tools for the Visual Studio code
As the Developer Tools of DX for the Visual Studio Code is primarily open source, developers can build their applications with the help of any random tools of their choice as like Git, Eclipse, Sublime, and Selenium among others.
The major features in the Salesforce Developer Tools for the Visual Studio enable the developers also to worth with the unique tools as Scratch Orgs, Apex, Lightning components, Visualforce, etc. While working with DX, one should also keep in mind that you should install salesforce dx VS code extension pack first to start using the development tools in the Salesforce DX for Visual Studio Code.
What next in Salesforce DX?
Salesforce will keep on adding more features and functions to improve its developer experience. There was a winter 2018 release, which was the second-generation packaging in beta with features enabling one to create some scratch orgs with the shape of another similar org.
However, it is into the pilot sage only. In terms of second-generation packages, it will make development much more agile with the help of source-driven packages which are not based on orgs.
Salesforce DX for admins
As we have seen above, Salesforce comes into the forefront of many technological revolutions. The biggest shift in Salesforce DX from its predecessor is the shift towards source-driven development. Most of the developers are now moving towards the Git in order to handle their version control in Salesforce DX. But, what does it mean to the admins coming as a part of the ecosystem?
The major thing to note about Salesforce is its ‘clicks not code’ approach. This allows various technicians in the picture to contribute to the Salesforce app. This includes admins, business analyst, PMs, and even marketers who can contribute their knowledge into the app without being experts in coding or computer science.
At the paradigm of Force.com, both declarative changes of a non-coder and the codes by a developer stands equal value. Most of the teams are declarative features as Workflow Rules and Apex Classes etc.
So, to get the most out of DX, teams must have to include declarative changes too along with code changes in the version control system. It means that the changes made by admins also will be included in version control for teams to experience the advantages of Salesforce DX better.
Setting up source control for the Salesforce DX is a great way to prepare and leverage many stunning features which Salesforce DX offers and it is good news for the administrators also to be a serious part of Salesforce DX app.