At the time of the Dreamforce 2016, the Salesforce team announced their vision of bringing forth a brand-new approach to building Force.com applications and named it Salesforce DX. There were many exciting sessions in the Dreamforce 2017 also and by 2018, the dream came true, and Salesforce DX was made available from the time of Winter 2018.
In this article, we are trying to have a high-level overview of Salesforce DX along with some references with the users can follow along. There is huge excitement about Salesforce DX among the corporate developer teams as well as individual application developers across the globe.
The major catch of Salesforce DX is a keen focus on source-driven development, which makes it easier for the developers and testers to build together in small or big teams and also deliver continuously in an agile model by using the most advanced tools to make them optimally productive.
Why Salesforce DX–
Salesforce development environments usually consist of a large number of developers, and they have to collaborate effectively with one another in a sustainable way. In such a development environment, developers have to shift ‘source of truth’ from the Salesforce org to any Version Control System in order to track the changes by different developers. Salesforce DX offers a source-driven developmental model along with a DevOps culture, ability to do continuous integration, and also a smart set of industry-relevant tools.
In order to administer the industry best practices and to fit them all at one place, Salesforce thought of standards tool as to:
- Integrate with the source control system
- To help different developers and tester to work together by using an effective source control
- Decomposes the metadata on Salesforce
- Enable continuous integration
Flosum.com development approach on Salesforce may not only consist of developers, but a few designers and testers also who all need to collaborate effectively with each other. They all need to move the source of truth from the Salesforce organizations to Version Control Systems in order to keep track of the changes made by various users. This further encourages a source-driven model, continuous mix, DevOps by conceiving the standard industry instruments.
What Salesforce DX does in this environment–
Salesforce DX is a standard set of tools, which streamline the entire development lifecycle. It is a brand-new approach to the development paradigm by shifting the source of truth from org to an advanced VCS (version control system). This shifts the focus of development from org-based to artifacts-based development. Through this, team collaboration is improved, which also facilitate automated testing and ongoing integration. Overall, the development and release cycles are made more agile and efficient with the use of Salesforce DX.
The major advantages of Salesforce in general are:
- Improved team development experience.
- Better collaboration between developers, designers, testers, and other users.
- Facilitates automation in testing and ongoing integration
- Makes release cycles more agile and efficient
- Improved VCS allowing better synchronization through change-tracking of the Setup features
- Ability to enhance quality and take advantage of the lesser time to market with
- CI (continuous integration), and
- CD (and continuous delivery)
- Better visibility and fine-grained clarity into change management
- Ability to implement an agile release management process
The advanced version control system of Salesforce DX brings in more transparency and better governance in the development process by:
- Maintaining and sharing a change history which is visible to all involved and updated automatically.
- Alert developers if any code conflict is identified at any stage of development.
- Achieve cross-environmental consistency with repeatable and dynamic deployments.
- Enforcing test classes to be run at Sandboxes to discover any test class issues at the first point itself.
- Allow timely (daily or weekly) deployments through CI.
- Ensure better management of releases and deployments.
How Salesforce DX work?
If you are confused about what the best place to start with, of course, it is Trailhead. Following the trail will guide you step by step to leverage Salesforce DX for your best benefits.
The key features to know to start with Salesforce DX are as below.
Salesforce DX key features
- Scratch Orgs – To use scratch orgs during the development with the use of continuous integration tools.
- Source Sync – Synchronization of all packageable sources and metadata in and out of the Scratch Orgs.
- Salesforce CLI – In order to better interact with the Scratch Orgs, Source Sync, Heroku and other services in the DX toolkit.
- Test Runner – Enhance the ability to define the apt test profiles which the developers need to execute. It is interactively invoked through the CLI and CI process.
- Continuous Integration – Ability to use SFDX innovations with CI processes like Jenkins, Travis CI, TeamCity, or Heroku CI, etc.
- Force.com IDE – Usage of the new and advanced Force.com IDE.
Future of Salesforce DX–
As far as any businessmen or salespersons are concerned, the primary importance to be given is to the customer. Customers drive the market and accelerate the growth of any business. Nowadays, corporate and individual entrepreneurs are more inclined towards machine learning and other such technologies for product development. This is the scenario where Salesforce DX offers an advanced and sustainable solution to businesses in terms of application development.
In the future, we may expect every industry to join a single platform like Salesforce. Salesforce apps offer a gamut of marketing and sales related activities, which helps organizations to maintain a very cordial and personal relationship with customers. Salesforce DX still remains in the growing stage, but we can expect it to be one of the major driving forces in the future of business application development. With the kind of advanced tools and source-driven development methodology it puts forth, we can expect that in the coming years, it is going to be mandatory need of the hours and Salesforce DX may be considered as an indispensable part of any organization or business, which is coming on to the Force.com platform. To leverage this at best, you have first to realize the actual needs or your business and where it is heading to in the coming decade. Salesforce DX can assist you in developing and managing a wide range of Salesforce apps, which makes business administration and customer management a pretty enjoyable and successful affair.