It’s been a joy seeing the excitement over Salesforce DX since we launched at Dreamforce to help you build apps together, and we’re excited to share some great news for those of you who’ve been feeling the same way!  Today, we’re announcing the next step in our Salesforce DX journey – the Salesforce DX Pilot (sign up here!).  Professionally, there’s nothing better than working hard on a product that will help your customers and make their lives easier.

Salesforce DX defines an entirely new way to manage and develop Salesforce apps across their entire lifecycle to enable new levels of agility:

  • Shifting the source of truth from the Salesforce org to version control.
  • Focusing on source-driven development to facilitate team collaboration and continuous delivery (CD).
  • Consolidating Salesforce developer and DevOps capabilities into a single command-line interface (CLI).
  • Providing scratch orgs as ephemeral, configurable, and disposable environments, built from source, for development and continuous integration (CI).
  • Prioritizing the use of industry standard tools and processes.
  • Re-imagining our packaging technology to manage the encapsulation and deployment of metadata and code.
  • And dozens of other things to support these efforts and more.

Since well before Dreamforce, over a dozen teams at Salesforce have been hard at work on Salesforce DX. Not only have we worked with internal Salesforce teams who build on the platform, like Salesforce CPQ (formerly Steel Brick), Financial Services Cloud, and Healthcare Cloud, but we’ve also engaged with dozens of partners and customers through a highly successful Developer Preview – and we’ve learned a lot.

We have:

  • Redesigned our workflows based on your feedback
  • Added new capabilities with regards to using your own applications
  • Streamlined tools to better address your requirements

These are just a few of the items we’ve added or changed based on your feedback. We would not be where we are without the help and support of the people who generously gave their time and energy during the developer preview and for that we thank you. Quotes like this let us know we are on the right track:

“Through one set of elegantly consolidated tools, you can set up your org shape, add data, and spin up a completely fresh scratch org with only what you decide to put in there, all this, reflecting back to one, version controlled source of truth ! Add your Heroku pipelines to this, and you have your full integrated suite of tools for a complete e2e CI/CD process…

Salesforce DX is truly a beautiful experience for the Developers !”

Transitioning into Pilot from Developer Preview

Many of you have participated in Salesforce pilots in the past. Typically, they’re relatively small, with no more than 10-15 customers or partners. But we’re doing something different with Salesforce DX. Because We’re looking to get significant usage and feedback, we’re planning to scale the pilot by a factor of 100. Said another way, we’re hoping to have over one thousand developers participate.

While we have a great many goals for this pilot, there are a few worth highlighting:

  1. Scratch Orgs – We want broad usage of Salesforce DX, and scratch orgs in particular. Scratch orgs will change some behaviors for Salesforce developers. Instead of using Developer Editions or Developer Sandbox environments, developers and test automation suites for CI will create scratch orgs as needed. When the task is complete—whether it’s a new feature, or a CI job—the scratch org can be deleted. If it’s not explicitly deleted, it will get marked for deletion and removed in a scheduled fashion. This is a significant change, and broad usage will help affirm our thoughts around the scratch org lifecycle.
  2. Org Structure – We want to see existing apps leverage Salesforce DX and new apps built using Salesforce DX. Salesforce DX requires you to “decompose” your org and organize your metadata and code, and we’re interested in learning what works for you, and what doesn’t work as well.
  3. Usability Feedback – We want your feedback on usability! In particular, let us know what you think about the new CLI, our shift to source-driven development, and the new ( IDE.
  4. Integration with Existing Process – We want you to incorporate Salesforce DX into your existing CI and CD systems. This could include Jenkins or TeamCity, but may also include Heroku Flow or a home-grown solution.
  5. Benefits & Gaps – We want to see the benefits your teams receive from Salesforce DX, and have you identify other areas where it’s still difficult.

Of course, the most important goal of this pilot is to validate the work we’ve done against your needs and experiences. The best and only way to do this is jointly working with you. Still interested? Here’s how it will work:

  1. Express your interest and sign up here. If you already submitted your information expressing interest in SFDX, there’s no need to submit again. Once the pilot begins, we will stop accepting new requests for pilot and defer your involvement until our public beta later this year.
  2. At the end of January, you will receive an email inviting you to request access to the pilot with full sign-up details.
  3. In late February, we will schedule a webinar to kickoff the pilot for all participants. During this webinar, you will receive access to the pilot and learn about available resources.

On-boarding Process For the Pilot

Our goal is to onboard everyone who expresses interest in the pilot. That said, we also want to ensure we are providing an experience that facilitates the goals expressed above. Consequently, if the pilot is oversubscribed, we reserve the right to onboard pilot participants in waves and cap the total number of participants. Based on the total number of participants we will be on-boarding users in waves. If you are not in the first group, don’t despair we will get to everyone.

It’s worth reminding everyone that between pilot and general availability (GA), things can and will change. While we expect the transition to be relatively smooth, it’s possible that some of the work you do during the pilot will require updates as we approach GA. That said, there’s no better way to make your voice heard than to actively participate in pilot and provide feedback.

We are incredibly excited to start this journey with you (don’t forget to sign up here!).  If you have questions or concerns, please leave them in the comments below. We’ll do our best to answer them.

More Reading

If you haven’t heard of Salesforce DX, don’t fret. Here are a video, and articles/blog posts that you can view to get you up to speed quickly (skip to 31:30 to get to Salesforce DX).

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