What tools can developers use to automate various processes?

The annual Dreamforce conference is the largest software industry event in San Francisco. Salesforce uses this opportunity to announce new positions and features for their platform or products; also, they speak about key markets and developments.

This year’s event (October 4-8) was no exception: at a press conference during the first day, and Marc Benioff presented the latest additions to the salesforce1 Platform. As expected, there were several announcements of tools that developers and admins can use:

Ironically, these product announcements present three different approaches to take advantage of the growing developer community: One is focused on experts and adopts a low level approach to offer maximum customization capabilities; another one is aimed at experts too, but it takes a more general approach and adopts a high level of sophistication. The last one is aimed at beginners and has the simplest interface.

This post will focus on those tools that developers can use to help their admins automate processes through the 1-Click Deploy feature, Code as a Service (calling Apex from Visualforce pages), and Logic Apps. In other words, I will cover those products that were announced under the title “Developer Tools” resources and time to build a common vision.

Chatter for data integration with external systems was also announced, but it goes beyond what this blog is about. Salesforce devops certification will help you build a great working knowledge about technologies. 

After all, there is another advantage of these products: they are aimed at making developers’ daily life easier, so speaking about them helps to join forces within companies to get more As a bonus, once developers use these tools, they can be adopted; by admins too!

Salesforce has delivered on its promise of making its platform more open: the future is not only about Apex and Visualforce anymore!

The following list describes the main features

Chatter for apps (forthcoming): connect any app built in an environment like Node or PHP to Chatter; allow integrations with custom APIs. More details at Dreamforce 2015 Session PBCS3011 – Introduction to Chatter for Apps.

Cloud.com Integration Toolkit (forthcoming): Connect Salesforce1 Platform objects directly with external systems using Java and OAuth.  More details at Dreamforce 2015 Session PBCS3025 – Extend Salesforce with the Integration Toolkit.

IDE (forthcoming): Developer productivity tool to connect to an Eclipse or IntelliJ IDE to share a coding environment and work together in real time! More details at Dreamforce 2015 Session PBCS3021 – Lightning Ready: Developing on the Salesforce1 Platform.

AppExchange partner ecosystem around Data.com’s industry specific applications, such as People.com, Jobs.com, etc.: An entire suite of tools that allows developers to easily integrate their apps into salesforce using Apex code that calls REST APIs made available by data.com. More details at Dreamforce 2015 Session CAAB001 – Introduction to Data.com APIs.

Heroku’s Salesforce integration

Allows developers to write in the Heroku git system and deploy their apps directly through their Salesforce organization without needing any local server. More details at Dreamforce 2015 Session HERK3015- Lightning Ready: Developing on the Salesforce1 Platform.

Logic Apps 

It is a series of integrations that allow admins to create workflows using prebuilt connectors for services like mail, chat, social media, printers, scanners, etc… More details at Dreamforce 2015 Session PBCS3033 – Logic Apps Made Simple for Developers.

Code as a Service (CAAS) (ready now)

This feature allows developers to create Apex code in the Salesforce platform and execute it in real time to do things like insert data into tables, update data in standard objects, etc. More details at PBCS2031 – Introduction to Code As A Service.

1-Click Deploy (ready now): this feature allows developers to instantly deploy their changes without any IT admin approval or action. More details at PBCS2020 – Advanced Debugging for Beginners.

As a bonus, Dreamforce 2015 Session COS201 – Triggers: Under the Hood is also useful for developers to better understand how triggers work. The session focuses on what can be done with triggers besides validation rules enforcement (like security conditions). Remember that developer products are now part of salesforce’s Developer Platform.

The following table shows the existing products showing which ones are being advertised as developer tools.

Product name Brief description Status 

It is a tool for coding on the Salesforce platform using an Eclipse or IntelliJ IDE connected to the salesforce org live in real time Ready now! The Migration Tool Helps with data migration from external systems into Heroku Ready now! Developer Console Provides information about Apex classes, triggers, Visualforce pages, Test classes, and methods Available now! Metadata API Connects applications with metadata objects made available by the Salesforce platform. Ready now! UAA Tools (Bundle) Standalone tools enforcing security rules related to CRUD actions in the Salesforce1 platform are Ready directly! Metadata As A Service (MAAS) Enables developers to create and deploy Apex code to execute in real time. Ready now!

Logic Apps Web service integrations through pre-built connectors available inside the salesforce org ready for developer usage. Ready now! Custom Connectors Allows developers to make their web service integrations with Logic Apps Enabled by default (since October 16th, 2015). Chatter REST APIs Allows developers to develop applications using standard Javascript tools. More details at Dreamforce 2015 Session CAAB001 – Introduction to Data.com APIs. Coming soon: 1-Click Deploy Save development changes and apply them directly to production without needing any admin permissions Coming soon: Salesforce DX Developer Console enhancements Coming soon:

Developer certificates 

To use Apex code in production orgs, a developer certificate is required. I used to recommend personalizing your development instance by importing a custom logo and setting a custom theme. However, since October 16th, 2015, administrators could allow users to select their logos from the salesforce1 mobile app (Settings>My Company>Company branding). So if you want that logo to be available in your developer org, don’t forget to add it into that application using the data loader. More details at DTF-ATG-DEV-0021 – Custom Logos. 

Remember that the developer instance is now part of the Developer Platform, so there is no longer a need to deploy orgs using cURL or OAuth. More details at PBCS3033 – Logic Apps Made Simple for Developers. Dreamforce 2015 Session CRES5010 – Introduction to Mobile SDK for Lightning is also helpful if you want to learn more about mobile development with the Salesforce1 platform.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *