Salesforce DX is a comparatively new platform, but had already earned accolades as one of the most user-friendly and features rich platform in enterprise application development. Both individual developers, as well as enterprise development teams, could benefit from Salesforce DX. Growing from its initial objective of offering customized CRM solutions to enterprises, Salesforce has now grown into an end-to-end enterprise planning suite, in which DX is a significant step forward.
Salesforce DX now makes the development process much scalable and flexible. With this source-drive approach to development, Salesforce DX also puts forth many challenges to developers. Here, in this article, we will further discuss the source-driven developmental approach in a bit more detail.
Source driven development
A major issue existing with Salesforce DX initially was the issues related to the set-up menu. During the times of the old Salesforce developmental platform, the set-up menu was very common in terms of configuring and administering Salesforce. This menu was handy in terms of:
- Creating new objects
- Adding various developmental roles and development groups.
- Creation of new objective.
- Creation of email templates, and also,
- Controlling everything for the users.
With the latest upgrade of Salesforce DX, now the set-up menu is made a bit more complicated, though more functional. In fact, there was nothing wrong in terms of this concept as even the smaller enterprises were moving on to Salesforce and were able to accomplish anything they wanted with the use of its set-up menu.
On the other hand, larger organizations may need more control over the process and better visibility for the proper administration of big-volume projects. They may look forward to data-driven insights.
- Nature of organizational changes an advancements overtime
- Differences between Sandbox and Production.
- What drove the changes, and who are the owners?
- What was the mode of testing and test results?
- The custody chain of production assets in development?
- Whether there is any need for additional compliance documentation for the developers to understand?
- Meeting up with the general regulations as FISMA, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GLBA, SOX, or GDPR, etc.
In any case, the business decision-makers may not want to go through the chaos of accessing the set-up menu every time to change things to get it working. What they look for is always instant answers. As pointed out by Flosum.com, the enterprise application developers are also used to source-driven methods of development where they could visualize things clearly and work on the most appropriate tasks. The code repository itself will act as a source of truth for different applications.
The second-generation packages in Salesforce DX
For the individual developers as well as bigger teams into application development, Salesforce DX now offers an innovative approach with an integrated platform by ensuring a more agile and high-performance environment for development. This platform is also built to be so flexible and open so that users could build using their own practices and could also make use of the tools which they are familiar with. Some significant advantages in terms of using Salesforce DX are:
- Source driven approach – It is easy to build together and continuously by shifting the code source from org to a version control system.
- The collaboration of the latest technologies – Salesforce DX makes it possible for the developers to collaborate with the latest technologies like Git and also make use of the other third-party tools to test and build.
- Salesforce CLI – With Salesforce DX, you could speed up the development process across the platforms with the CLI (Command Line Interface).
- Easy integration – Salesforce DX is built on open API, so it is capable of getting integrated with the existing workflow of the corporate development teams and the systems already into practice.
- Scratch Orgs – You may try to emulate the Salesforce org with preferences and features which could be customized. Scratch orgs have a source-driven approach that is easily configurable and also instantly disposable for the purpose of integrated development as well as testing.
More all the things discussed above, a special note also should be made about the packaging of Salesforce DX, which now revolutionizes the conventional methods of managed packaging in which the partners and the customers may effectively organize their data alongside adopting a very innovative approach to source-driven development to manage app development lifecycle better.
There are different packages coming under the second-gen packages of Salesforce DX, which are primarily:
- Managed packages
- Locked packages, and
- Unlocked packages
In the old method, there was a single org only to create the managed packages, and this org may act as a host for all types of customizations. In the latest model of Dev Hub, the development teams could create various packages as well as test all of them instantly in the Scratch Org. Each of these packages could be built from scratch with the help of metadata assets. The code also gets stored in the developer project in local machines, and the built applications could be tested against various Salesforce org.
On Salesforce DX, it is easy to create locked as well as unlocked packages with or without namespaces. Unlocked packages are more or less identical to the unmanaged packages of the old development suite. But, the locked, as well as unlocked packages having the same namespace, could be easily upgraded as managed packages in order to edit those like unmanaged package.
All these second-gen packages could surely go further to reach more heights in terms of creating a better-integrated development environment for enterprise application development and deployment. Using Salesforce DX, it is possible for organizations of small or larger scale handing multiple projects too to handle the second-gen packages to create a better development environment and easy deployment. Along with tracking the changes easily, the use of these packages will also help to do the customizations in a more organized way. With this, the admins also do not want to wade through a huge amount of unpackaged data in order to identify what is out there in the Salesforce org.
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