Salesforce developers have the challenging task of rapidly building and deploying apps in the age of “work from anywhere.” Therefore, they need flexibility in both how they work and where they work. At Salesforce, we are committed to providing tools to make our developers efficient and productive.
In the past, we have innovated developer tools like Salesforce CLI and Salesforce Extensions Pack. Today, we are excited to introduce a brand new innovation in the Salesforce Developer tooling space, Code Builder, now available in Beta. With Code Builder, we will bring all of the tooling innovation you know and love to the browser.
Code Builder is a modern, web-based development environment optimized for Salesforce. Code Builder is in Open Beta as of today. We cannot wait to have you take a spin and share feedback!
Why use Code Builder?
Code Builder, powered by AWS, enables you to launch a full-featured IDE in your browser from your Salesforce org with the push of a button. That’s right — nothing to install or configure on your device means no more spending hours installing developer tools!
Code Builder has all the features of a modern IDE, such as code completion, refactoring, search, and support for Salesforce languages and frameworks. It comes with the Salesforce Extensions installed, so you will already be a pro if you have used our tooling on your desktop. Code Builder works well with typical DevOps workflows thanks to built-in integration with version control systems like GitHub.
Because Code Builder works from a browser, you get the flexibility to code virtually on any device with an internet connection.
How to get started?
Code Builder is a second-generation managed package (2GP ) that you can install in a Developer Edition org. You can obtain the package link by visiting the AppExchange listing. Once you install the package, assign the Code Builder permission set to your user to access the Code Builder dashboard.
From the Code Builder dashboard, you can either create a new Salesforce project or import an existing project from GitHub. Next, authorize your development environment to launch a Code Builder environment and start coding.
You can also follow step-by-step instructions to set up Code Builder.
What can you do today with Code Builder in Beta?
Code Builder comes with the same set of extensions as in the Salesforce Extensions pack for Visual Studio Code, and the look and feel is similar to the Visual Studio Code User Interface. So if you are a Visual Studio Code user and have used our tools like the Salesforce Extensions pack, you should feel at home.
The best way to learn how to use Code Builder is to use the resources mentioned in the Code Builder Resource Panel. The Resource Panel menu can be accessed from the activity bar, as shown in the below screenshot.
Access Salesforce-specific commands
Use Ctrl+Shift+P (Windows) or Cmd+Shift+P (macOS/Linux) to open the command palette and type SFDX to access all of the Salesforce-specific commands.
Connect to multiple Salesforce orgs
You can use Code Builder to authorize against multiple Salesforce orgs and switch between them as needed.
Explore org metadata using Org Browser
Browse and retrieve metadata from your org without having to use a manifest file. Note that the Org Browser is available only in non-source-tracked orgs, such as sandboxes or Developer Edition orgs, at the time of writing this post.
Create and deploy Apex & LWC
Code Builder has rich support for Apex and the LWC programming model with autocomplete and IntelliSense. It brings the same great features and language support because it’s the same extensions whether you access them from VS Code on the desktop or Code Builder.
You can build, test, and deploy changes to Apex classes, Lightning web components, and more — all from your browser, with no setup required.
Write and execute SOQL queries using SOQL Builder
Code Builder comes preloaded with everything you need to build and run a SOQL query as a part of the Salesforce Extensions pack. To learn more about SOQL Builder, watch this helpful video.
Use no-code extensions to write and execute SOQL queries from right within Code Builder.
Use the Code Builder terminal to run your Salesforce CLI commands
Code Builder comes with the Salesforce Command Line tool pre-installed. You can use the Code Builder terminal to run all of the Salesforce CLI commands including the
sf commands (see docs). To open the terminal from the Command Palette (Ctrl+Shift+P), use the View: Toggle Terminal command.
The above are only a handful of features; there’s a lot more you can do, and we plan to produce more content in the coming days. Make sure to check out our YouTube channel and follow the Salesforce Developers’ blog so you don’t miss out on the upcoming content.
Important considerations for Code Builder Beta
Finally, since Code Builder is in Beta, there are a few important considerations. We have capped usage for the Beta at 20 hours for a maximum of 30 days. We highly recommend that you save your work and close the browser tab that is running Code Builder to stop the usage clock when you aren’t using Code Builder.
Don’t forget to save your work
Working in the cloud has its advantages, but there are some differences. Unlike working on a desktop where you save your files to a local machine, you must either deploy your changes to your org or commit them to source control to save your work. Remember to do this before you close the Code Builder tab on your browser, so you don’t lose your work. Throughout the Beta, Code Builder environments could be deleted. All Beta environments will be removed before GA.
The future of desktop tools like the Salesforce Extension pack for VS Code
Our strategy is to have one set of IDE extensions that customers can access from either VS Code or Code Builder. Hence, we will continue to build and maintain the Salesforce Extensions pack to support both VS Code on desktop and Code Builder in the browser.
Submit your feedback
We want to hear from you! We built Code Builder to make your development workflows easier, and we want to understand if we are on the right track. If you encounter issues using Code Builder or have other types of feedback, such as initial impressions or feature requests, file an issue in the GitHub repo. We will actively monitor these issues during Beta and use your feedback to drive our roadmap to GA. We can’t wait to see what you build!
Code Builder Documentation (Beta)
Code Builder (Beta) AppExchange Listing
About the author
Mohith Shrivastava is a Developer Advocate at Salesforce with a decade of experience building enterprise-scale products on the Salesforce Platform. He is presently focusing on the Salesforce Developer Tools, Platform Services, and Lightning Web Components at Salesforce. Mohith is currently among the lead contributors on Salesforce Stackexchange, a developer forum where Salesforce Developers can ask questions and share knowledge. You can follow him via his Twitter @msrivastav13.