Taggart Matthiesen just gave a very interesting talk on Advanced Force.com Development at CloudForce 2010.
Taggart illustrated how the platform evolved over the years supporting many new features most came to life thanks to user and developer feedback. It was amazing to see the exponential growth on Visualforce and Apex adoption by the developers. We are talking about a year to year growth here, folks! The platform supports 500 million lines of Apex code and the 1.3 Million VisualForce pages. Over 55% of customers have installed their own VF or Apex logic. Absolutely amazing! Huge adoption! This is multitenant Force.com platform that supports all the development that is being shaped by feedback from developers, from their ideas and requests.
As a matter of fact, developers were also the focus of Taggart's talk from the perspective of newly introduced features. He focused on two different features, both are on pilot currently to select customers that are targeted to developer productivity. Both features are aimed to make the developers life easier in writing and testing code with Force.com. One of them is the new Console that allows you to play back the Apex code that has executed. The other is the new ViewState inspector that allows you to inspect the forms and the interactions for your pages. Taggart demoed the Apex CSI and ViewState Inspector for the developers for troubleshooting to an appreciative audience. I liked especially where he demoed the common mistake of not bulkifying the queries and where developers can get into trouble, but how Apex CSI can easily pinpoint the problem. In the ViewState Inspector, Taggart illustrated how inspecting the ViewState can easily zeroin to the actual problematic sections of the controller and make it obvious to the developers, by using a specific controller as an example that queries unnecessary fields from the database and contribute to exceeding limits.
With these two tools, the developer has a much better idea about where the issues/bottlenecks in the code there may be, and how they may affect the governor limits, etc. (Is anyone not aware of Governor limits :)) It also allows you to be able to "view" your code execution end2end wit the effect of both tools used together.
Have a look at the write ups on these tools separately, in case you missed these new exciting features or Taggart's presentation and request to be on the pilot.
If you would like to be in the pilot program and if you are a customer, login a ticket and request to be in the pilot. Our APEX and VF team is looking for feedback from the community.