TrailblazerDX ’23 was a blast — full of innovation and content for developers. A month after the show, there’s still plenty that you can learn from this major event. In this blog post, I’ll share a Salesforce Platform developer’s hot takes and a list of resources to help you navigate the different product and feature announcements.
Main keynote announcements
As you would expect of a technology conference, the most anticipated part of the show was the main keynote. We made a number of key announcements showcasing new Salesforce innovations. I’ve selected the three most important developer topics that were covered during the main show keynote. Read on!
Announcing Einstein GPT
The highlight of TrailblazerDX ’23 was the announcement of Einstein GPT, Salesforce’s investment in generative AI across our product portfolio. We shared a number of demos of how it works with different products (Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Slack, and Tableau, just to name a few), but what stands out the most for developers is the potential productivity boost brought by the ability to leverage GPT technology for code generation.
In particular, we got a glimpse of how Einstein GPT could help us generate Apex code based on a prompt in VS Code: Einstein GPT generated a method and the related test code. How cool is that?
This is just the start of a whole new developer experience, however, don’t get me wrong: AI will not replace developers. Einstein GPT helps developers be more productive by suggesting code fragments, but the responsibility of developers is to use the generated code as a starting point, then refine it and maintain it to meet business needs.
The second important announcement from the keynote was a showcase of Data Cloud (formerly known as Genie). We saw how Data Cloud can ingest data from multiple sources, harmonize and transform the data, then trigger actions in near real time. This last part is the most interesting for developers: Data Cloud can generate platform events and trigger flows based on custom rules. With these capabilities, developers can easily implement custom business logic that is triggered when Customer 360 data gets updated.
Automation is a key part of our Platform strategy. We announced a number of features that will simplify and expand the way Trailblazers can automate with or without code, thanks to Flow, Flow Orchestrations, MuleSoft, and Slack. Here are my top highlights for Platform developers:
- Reactive screen components (Beta as of Spring ’23) are a game changer for building custom Lightning web components that interact with other components of a flow
- HTTP callouts (Beta as of Spring ’23) are great declarative flow actions that helps to greatly reduce (if not eliminate) the need for custom Apex code when interacting with third-party systems and APIs
- Invocable flows (Beta in Summer ’23) allow builders to call MuleSoft and third-party systems with just clicks and a streamlined configuration
Care to go deeper into the keynote content? Check out the recording of the entire keynote on Salesforce+ and the specific chapters that we covered above:
While the keynote was streamed and recorded, a good part of the in-person TrailblazerDX experience was navigating around the product demos on the expo floor and interacting with product managers and other Salesforce experts.
This part of the experience doesn’t really lend itself to being shared remotely, but I have good news: I’ve assembled dedicated trailmixes for each and every demo presented on the expo floor. These dedicated trailmixes include a bunch of relevant resources, such as videos, blog posts, podcast episodes, roadmap documents, and more.
Highlighted product demos
- Data Cloud
- Automation: Flow Builder and Flow Orchestration
Developer and DevOps tools/platforms
- Salesforce CLI
- Salesforce IDEs (VS Code and Code Builder)
- DevOps Center
APIs and events
- Salesforce APIs
- Platform Events and Change Data Capture
- Unified Developer Experience (AWS partnership)
- Salesforce Mobile Experiences (this covers low- and pro-code)
Low-code customization and configuration
Security and privacy
Sessions on Salesforce+
In addition to the main keynote, a number of sessions were live-streamed and recorded on Salesforce+.
Here’s the Developer Advocacy team’s curated selection of great developer sessions:
Platform Keynote: Roadmap to Build and Extend Your Customer 360
Learn about the latest roadmap updates to the Salesforce Platform directly from product experts. See how you can extend your Customer 360 with automation, DevOps, and security.
Apex: What’s New and What’s Coming
Learn from Chris Peterson and Daniel Ballinger about the recently released and upcoming features on the Apex roadmap.
From Idea to Production — Building Scalable Apps on Heroku
Join Julián Duque and Jonathan Jenkins to learn how Salesforce Heroku enables you to build secure and scalable applications using open languages on the Salesforce Platform.
Simplify API Integration with External Services
Jennifer Jin and Lily Sai showcase exciting updates to External Services, making it easier than ever to securely make API calls from Salesforce, including the ability to make external services callouts natively from Apex.
Build Your First App on Salesforce
Learn how to build your first Salesforce app with LeeAnne Rimel and Julie Thompson. Discover how to build your data model, design security for your app, adjust the UX with declarative tools, and deploy to your users.
Manage Releases with DevOps Center
Karen Fidelak explains how to manage releases with DevOps center. You’ll learn how to manage changes and releases with confidence, no change sets required.
Summing it up
TrailblazerDX ’23 was two full days packed with great content. In fact, there was so much goodness that this blog post only scratches the surface. I hope that this retrospective allowed you to catch up and get excited about upcoming innovation regarding Einstein GPT, Data Cloud, and automation, and that you learned more about our products and features. Get ready for even more developer updates as we work toward the Summer ‘23 release in the next couple of months.
About the author
Philippe Ozil is a Principal Developer Advocate at Salesforce where he focuses on the Salesforce Platform. He writes technical content and speaks frequently at conferences. He is a full-stack developer and enjoys working on DevOps, robotics, and VR projects. Follow him on Twitter @PhilippeOzil or check his GitHub projects @pozil.