Initial Impressions of SalesforceDX

Last year at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s Wade Wegner unveiled a new initiative called SalesforceDX, in which Salesforce promised to make the Version Control System the source of truth and NOT the Salesforce org, as it is now.

SalesforceDX represents a VERY different way of development.

As a former .NET developer, who has long considered the Salesforce tooling to be anything but robust and not in line with some of the more modern development tooling, I was VERY happy to see this new development. I waited anxiously to hear more, and early this year, Salesforce announced it was ready to go into the pilot phase. I immediately signed myself and my company, SynapticAP up and was graciously accepted.

This post represents a summary of some of my initial impressions while being part of the pilot:

  • The team has done a GREAT job of putting together a set of streamlined tools that I think were well thought out and elegantly designed.
  • I see this as something of great interest to ISV partners and large enterprises, but not sure how valuable it would be to small/medium sized orgs with low or simplistic code bases, especially since it will likely be an extra service they will have to pay for.
  • Even though the Force.com IDE uses the CLI, or Command Line Interface, it seems to me that the design team intended for you to use the CLI as your primary method of managing your scratch orgs. When SalesforceDX is released, I am sure other third-party IDE’s will jump on to supporting it, and perhaps the visual tooling will get better, but as it is, the Force.com IDE does not seem to do everything that the IDE does and I suspect it may always be that way.
  • SalesforceDX represents a VERY different way of development. To be quite frank, Salesforce has been doing things wrong for many years (in terms of modern development standards), but SalesforceDX represents an attempt to remedy that. If you are a developer that has only worked with Salesforce, or you started your career as an Admin and then transitioned to development, you may find SalesforceDX kind of strange at first. This does not mean it is bad, it just may take you longer to adjust to the way things are done with the version control being the source of truth and not the org itself. It represents a shift in thinking about your org, so don’t expect to make this transition overnight. Give yourself some time and eventually things will start to make sense.

I look forward to the eventual release of this product as I am sure it will really help to propel Salesforce development into the next whatever. If you have a chance to work with the pilot or the eventual beta release, feel free to share your thoughts here in the comments.

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