I’ve been heads down working on my presentation, Five Developer tips every Admin should know, for Cloudforce NYC on 11/30 (Did you register yet? It’s free!). I wanted to look at ways in which I could take typical developer related tasks, and make them more approachable to an admin. One of these tasks was the Force.com IDE.
The Force.com IDE is a developer orientated tool. One of the great things in the IDE is the ability to quickly flip through tabs of object definitions, triggers etc – it’s about productivity. But, as an admin, do I need to download the IDE to achieve this productivity gain? A huge benefit of Force.com, and PaaS is the ability to do everything via your browser. Why can’t I have that same productivity improvement via the browser then?
In Winter ’12 you can!
Winter ’12 saw the introduction of the new Developer Console (click on [Your Name]–> System Log to access it). Sandeep spoke about it before, but I think it is well worth a second look, in particular the Repository tab as it has changed the way I work within Force.com. Through the repository tab, all of a sudden, I can open an object definition, and a trigger in separate tabs, and quickly flip between the two to look up field names, identify dependencies, and have real-time error checking. Previously I had to open separate tabs in my browser for each class, and then another one for actually viewing and testing my app. Needless to say, it took some effort to keep track of everything.
I suspect that many admins have rarely used the Developer Console, but it is a great, and in my opinion, a much quicker way to navigate objects, triggers, and code than the traditional Setup menu. If you are coming to Cloudforce, and are attending my breakout session, I am going to provide a few more tips where the Developer Console may quickly become your new BFF (Best Force.com Friend).