Salesforce DX Pilot

It’s been several months since we publicly introduced Salesforce DX at Dreamforce 2016 to help you build apps together and, speaking on behalf of the entire team, it’s been a joy to see the excitement all of you have expressed. Professionally, there’s nothing better than working hard on a product that you know is going to 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.

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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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) and our Industries teams behind Financial Services Cloud and Healthcare Cloud, but we’ve also engaged with dozens of you, both partners and customers, through a highly successful Developer Preview – and we’ve learned a lot.

We have:

  • We’ve 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 upon your feedback. We wouldn’t 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 setup 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 going to do something different with Salesforce DX. We’re looking to get significant usage and feedback, and consequently we’re planning to scale pilot up by a factor of 100. Said another way, we’re hoping to get over one thousand developers participating in the pilot.

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 a number of 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 Force.com (http://force.com/) 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/verify 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’s all going to 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’ll 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’ll receive access to the pilot and learn about available resources.

Pilot On-boarding Process

Our goal is to onboard everyone who expresses interest in the pilot. That said, we 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 in 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. If you have questions or concerns, please leave them in the comments below. We’ll do our best to answer them.

Also found at : Salesforce DX Pilot

Post author

Dustin Gurley is an Designer, Developer, Artist, Instructor, Critical Theorist and Systems Engineer. He has an extensive background working professionally with 2D/2.5D/3D Motion Graphics, Compositing, Film, Video, Photography and client-side performance techniques as it pertains to web development. Dustin recently completed work on his Master of Fine Art degree in Motion Media Design (Motion Graphics) from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Prior to beginning his graduate work, Dustin obtained a Bachelor of Art degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Broadcast and Emerging Media from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In addition to design and modeling, Dustin enjoys toying with his view camera, working with scratch film, authoring media related material and contributing to various industry conferences. When not in front of a computer, Dustin can be found with his wife, Regina Everett Gurley. The couple enjoys dividing their time between their home just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina and the beautiful North Carolina coast. Currently, Dustin serves as the Lead Instructor of Internet Technologies for Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina.