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Introduction

Force.com is the backbone of Salesforce’s portfolio of PaaS (platform-as-a-service) services. It is a multi-tenant platform that uses metadata to separate application from platform logic. It offers a variety of services and tools to make it relatively easy to develop new applications and extend existing ones, but it does constrain developers in their efforts.

Highlights

  • Be careful to find the right balance between declarative and programmatic Force.com development. A new generation of Lightning-branded Force.com tools will shift this balance toward declarative development as more and more platform capability is exposed through visual builders.

Features and Benefits

  • Understand how and why enterprises should coordinate Force.com declarative and programmatic development.
  • Understand how and why enterprises should focus on management when using Force.com’s declarative development tools and on design when using its programmatic development capabilities.

Key questions answered

  • What are Force.com's declarative and programmatic development capabilities? How do they relate to one another?
  • What impact have the new Lightning-branded tools and capabilities on Force.com development?
  • Why should Apex and Visualforce development follow good design patterns?
  • How and why should you actively manage Force.com’s packaging and technology limitations?

Table of contents

Summary

  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages

Recommendations

  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

Pick the right Force.com development tools

  • You can start with simple code editors
  • The Force.com Developer Console goes further, and for larger teams, the Force.com IDE is best
  • Leverage the recently released Salesforce Agile Accelerator for agile development
  • Create your own tooling if need be
  • Localize when required

Use Force.com’s reporting facilities to surface and share development data

  • Understand Force.com’s data model
  • Use the report and dashboard builders to build report templates
  • Pick the right report format
  • Use folders to control report and dashboard access
  • Use the reporting API for more custom reporting needs
  • Use the new Salesforce Analytics Cloud

Make full use of developer edition (DE) and sandbox organizations

  • Clearly define and proactively manage your “org” strategy
  • Use Developer and Developer Pro sandboxes to develop and test
  • Use Partial and Full Copy sandboxes for more tests

Create strict change management processes

  • When it comes to change management itself you are on your own
  • Synchronize changes on the way to production
  • Metadata change synchronization requires careful planning
  • Be as strict with configuration change management as with metadata change management
  • Don’t forget data change management
  • Handle sandbox data and metadata refreshes with caution

Be as strict with release and patching management as with change management

  • Pick one of Force.com’s deployment tools
  • Divide deployments
  • Track deployment progress
  • Start with deployment validation before the real thing
  • Help users deal with newly deployed applications
  • Distinguish between full and patch deployments

Appendix

  • Further reading
  • Author

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