Every year, Dreamforce features a concentrated showcase of innovation and developer content, and our 2023 event was just as exciting. But it all seemed to happen in the blink of an eye, and many people may have missed the essential takeaways. So, let’s take a closer look at what developers can learn from this major event.
In this blog post, I’ll share my developer hot takes and a list of resources to help you navigate the different product and feature announcements from Dreamforce 2023.
The main developer-focused sessions at this year’s Dreamforce were The Future of Development keynote, and Release Readiness Live, a preview of the Winter ‘24 release. Both were recorded, so you can rewatch them at your leisure.
Photo of Srinivas Tallapragada, President and Chief Engineering Officer, hosting the Future of Development keynote.
If you haven’t watched them yet, or if you’d like to learn more, here’s a summary of the key announcements that we shared with our developer audience.
Einstein for Developers (Beta): The wait for AI capabilities for development is finally over. We just kicked off an open Beta that lets you generate Apex code from text prompts, thanks to a dedicated VS Code extension. This first iteration is limited to Apex, but we aim to expand it to other languages in the future.
Code Builder (GA): Our modern, web-based IDE will become GA in mid-October 2023. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a shot. You’ll find the power of VS Code together with Salesforce extensions and the Salesforce CLI — conveniently all within your browser.
Code Analyzer VS Code extension (Beta): Code Analyzer can now be combined with a dedicated VS Code extension that lets you visualize the results of static and patch-based code analysis while working on your code.
The developer keynote showcased two promising Apex pilots: Apex Einstein and Apex Guru. Apex Einstein lets you programmatically invoke AI prompts from code, and Apex Guru analyzes your org’s code base and provides AI-powered recommendations to optimize the performance of your code.
DataWeave for Apex (GA): Thanks to DataWeave scripts, you can now easily transform data between multiple formats within Apex (no MuleSoft license required). Along with the GA, there is now a dedicated view in Setup for your DataWeave scripts.
Apex Comparator interface for sorting: The Winter ’24 release adds a new
Comparator interface that helps you define custom sort orders for lists.
Lightning Web Components
Dynamic Components (GA): You can now dynamically instantiate Lightning web components from code, break dependencies, and add configurability in complex components. This long-requested feature is now GA and closes an Aura feature gap. While dynamic instantiation is powerful, bear in mind that it should be used intentionally, as there’s a performance cost associated with it.
Workspace API (Beta): The new
platformWorkspaceApi module delivers an API for interacting with workspace tabs and subtabs. With this, we’re closing another Aura feature gap.
GraphQL Wire Adapter (GA): We’ve been investing in GraphQL for the past couple of releases, and you can now call GraphQL directly from Lightning web components to read records thanks to the new wire adapter.
Experience Delivery (Pilot): During the developer keynote, we had a glance at the Experience Delivery pilot. This is a new architecture that lets you use Lightning Web Runtime (LWR) on Experience Cloud with server-side rendering (SSR) capabilities and a global CDN for improved performance. Thanks to Experience Delivery, sites can now be deployed on Hyperforce.
Custom property editor for Experience Builder (Beta): As the Winter ‘24 release nears, we’re sharing a new Beta that allows developers to build custom property editors for Experience Builder. This feature is similar to custom property editors for Flow Builder and, in the future, we aim to deliver the same capabilities with Lightning App Builder.
Einstein for Flow (Pilot): During the developer keynote, we got a glimpse of the Einstein for Flow pilot. This feature lets you generate a flow based on a text prompt. Thanks to your input, Einstein figures out the flow type and structure and provides you with a flow draft that you can iterate on.
Flow custom error messages (GA): You now have access to a new action that helps you display custom error messages to your users when working with record-triggered flows.
Flow HTTP callouts (GA): You can now declaratively send HTTP requests with a variety of HTTP methods (e.g., GET, POST, or PUT) thanks to a flow action. In addition, you can provide a sample JSON response to automatically generate a data structure (a custom Apex type) for the action’s output.
Flow transform action (Beta): In Winter ’24, we get access to a new transform action that lets you declaratively map an input type with an output type. This saves you the effort of writing a custom Apex action to do the transformation with code.
Flow reactive components (GA): Thanks to reactive components, you can now share information between screen flow components. In other words, a component can use data from another component, and this first component will refresh accordingly when said data changes.
Flow repeater component (Beta in Spring ’24): When working with record/object lists in screen flows, you’ll have the ability to use a flow repeater component to map each list item with a group of UI components. Thanks to this upcoming feature, you’ll no longer need to navigate to another screen to edit individual list items.
Anypoint Code Builder: We are excited to introduce Anypoint Code Builder, our next-gen IDE for API and integration development. It’s available on Cloud and Desktop and it’s currently in open Beta. Built on the same tech stack as Code Builder, it offers a similar VS Code-based experience, providing consistency for both Salesforce and MuleSoft developers. The desktop version of the IDE will go GA in October 2023 and the cloud version will GA in the first half of 2024.
That’s not all — we are bringing in the power of AI to integration development with Einstein for Anypoint Code Builder: Generative Flows. This will help developers jumpstart their projects by using natural language to generate integration flows. This feature will be released as a pilot when Anypoint Code Builder for Desktop GAs in October.
Anypoint Partner Manager: Our enhanced Anypoint Partner Manager B2B/EDI solution enables businesses to connect and communicate seamlessly across their partner ecosystem with low-code tooling. Now with transaction replay and improved transaction visibility and searchability features, companies can manage their business transactions even more efficiently and effectively.
Accelerator for Data Cloud: We also announced our newest Accelerator for Data Cloud, which is currently GA and helps companies bring critical business data from core systems to build a single view of their customer. As a result, users can create personalized customer experiences and uncover valuable insights to improve their business strategies. With pre-built APIs and other technical assets, users can quickly connect key systems and structure data and data flows for top industry use cases across financial services, retail, and healthcare.
Data Cloud-triggered Flows (GA): Previously, you needed to use data actions and platform events as your entry source in flow to capture changes in data model objects and calculated insights objects. Now you can directly use the new Data Cloud Triggered Flow type to create a flow from a data model object, to use data from data model objects and calculated insights, and to capture data changes.
Build Your Own AI Model with Amazon SageMaker Studio (GA): Thanks to our AWS partnership, you can use Data Cloud in combination with Amazon SageMaker Studio. Amazon SageMaker simplifies model training by allowing you to use data directly from Data Cloud with no ETL (extract, transform, load) required. Once you have a working model built in SageMaker, we provide templates to easily deploy it as an API through API Gateway in AWS. You can then bring the model predictions back into Data Cloud in using Apex and Flows.
Embed Tableau Views to Lightning Pages (GA): You can now declaratively embed a Tableau view in any Lightning page thanks to a standard Tableau View Lightning web component in Lightning App Builder.
Tableau Embedding Playground (Beta): You can now quickly and easily embed a Tableau view into a third-party application thanks to the Tableau Embedding Playground. The playground lets you declaratively configure your view, Tableau authentication, view interactions, and more. It generates source code that interacts with the Tableau embedding API, and all you have to do next is paste the code into your target application.
While many Dreamforce sessions were streamed and recorded, a good part of the in-person Dreamforce experience was navigating around the product demos on the expo floor and interacting with product managers and other Salesforce experts.
Photo of the Platform Park zone with attendees looking at product demos.
This part of the experience doesn’t lend itself to being shared remotely, but we have assembled dedicated trailmixes for each and every demo presented on the expo floor. These dedicated trailmixes include relevant resources, such as videos, blog posts, podcast episodes, roadmap documents, and more.
Low-code customization and configuration
APIs and events
Scale and integration
Developer sessions on Salesforce+
In addition to the keynote and Release Readiness Live, a number of developer sessions were live-streamed and recorded on Salesforce+. You can learn more about topics, such as Einstein for Developers, our GraphQL Wire Adapter for LWC, and DataWeave for Apex.
Summing it up
Dreamforce 2023 was three full days packed with innovation and exciting announcements. This post contains a lot of information, but it barely scratches the surface. I hope that this recap puts this great event into perspective and helps you learn more about our products and features. Get ready to get hands-on with some of these innovations with the upcoming Winter ’24 release that is due mid-October.
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.