In Spring ‘18, we’ve launched unlocked packages: a whole new way for customers to manage applications and deployment on the Salesforce Platform. This blog post dives into what unlocked packages are, and how to use them effectively for your orgs.

Why packaging? How can it help my development team?

There are four key benefits to adopting packaging:

  1. Make app development easier. Unlocked packages provide a Salesforce DX-compatible technology for packaging, deploying, organizing and managing your apps and metadata in any Salesforce environment – scratch orgs, sandbox orgs, trial orgs, and production orgs.
  2. Make deployments repeatable, scriptable and trackable. With package versions, you have an immutable, versionable artifact that can be used in CI, UAT, etc. The same artifact that passes all your CI tests and UAT can be installed in your production orgs. Unlocked packages are designed to serve as that stable artifact.
  3. Track changes to your org more clearly and easily. Unlocked packages have full support for versioning. This means modifications to your package can be managed as versions. You can track which production instance is running which version of an unlocked package and seamlessly upgrade any environment to the appropriate version of your package. This ability to track and release changes quickly and with granularity means change management and compliance become much simpler with packaging.
  4. Keep your customizations more organized. Unlocked packages show up as installed packages and their contents appear as a set of associated metadata. So in a production org, you can quickly see which metadata belongs to which package and how your metadata is organized between different packages. This ability to support modular development allows you to organize your customizations into logical, interdependent units.

What’s included in the Beta?

Unlocked packages are in Beta with Spring ’18. Any metadata type currently supported by Salesforce DX can be in an unlocked package. If you take part in the beta, you can experiment with installing your unlocked package in a variety of environments.

How can I get started and what’s next?

Salesforce DX and unlocked packages fully support a gradual adoption process – it’s not all or none approach. For more on how to dive into Salesforce DX and possible paths to adoption, check out the Getting Started with Salesforce DX series on this blog. You can also get hands on with Trailhead, with the Getting Started with Salesforce DX Trail.

We have several other resources that provide more in-depth information about working with packages and Salesforce DX.

We are at work on a Trailhead module that will go into more detail about unlocked packages — keep your eye out for it around the end of March. In the meantime, be sure to register for the upcoming Ask Me Anything (AMA) with the rest of the Salesforce DX Product Management team, coming up on February 27! And if you’re looking to get more hands on with Salesforce DX at TrailheaDX, check out the Emerging Tech for Developers Bootcamp.

Last but not the least, join our Trailblazer Communities, where developers like you are collaborating while on their Salesforce DX journeys:

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