Code Builder is a web-based development environment, fully optimized for Salesforce development and powered by Microsoft’s Visual Studio Codespaces.
In this article, I’ll go through what Code Builder is, how to install Code Builder, what you can use code builder for, and the benefits of using a web-based development environment.
What Is Salesforce Code Builder?
Salesforce Code Builder is a web-based development environment developed to optimize development on the Salesforce platform. It is essentially an online version of Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code, so anyone who is familiar with VS Code will have no problem using Code Builder.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, Code Builder comes with a very handy inbuilt user guide to help you get started with the tool.
How to Install
Salesforce Code Builder is installed directly in your Salesforce environment.
First things first, go to the Code Builder (Beta) page on the App Exchange and select the Get It Now button.
Select the account you want to install Code Builder in.
Then, select which users you want to install Code Builder for.
Once installed, you will need to assign the appropriate permissions to the users. This is done by using the CodeBuilder permission set which is part of the installed package.
Now select the Code Builder (Beta) app to get started.
Selecting the Get Started button gives you the option to create a New Project or Import one from GitHub.
If creating a new project, you will need to give it a name and select the project type.
If importing from GitHub, you will need to enter the GitHub URL.
Now connect to either a Developer Org or a Sandbox Org.
You will be shown the following message once your org has been connected:
Finally, assign an alias to your current org in a similar way you would in Visual Studio Code.
And that’s it – you’re now ready to start coding in Code Builder!
What Can I Use Code Builder For?
In short, everything you currently use Visual Studio Code for with your Salesforce development, you can use Code Builder in the same way. Writing Apex Classes and Triggers, running Apex tests, building Lightning Web Components, deploying changes to your org – with Code Builder there is very little you aren’t able to do in terms of development on the Salesforce platform. All you need is a web browser.
Limitations, Known Gaps, and Issues
As Code Builder is in beta, Salesforce has a dedicated gaps and issues page which can be found here.
There is currently a usage cap for the beta of 20 hours for a maximum of 30 days. It is recommended that you save your work and close your browser tab running Code Builder to stop the usage clock when you are no longer using it.
If you want to give any feedback on using Code Builder, you can do so here.
As Code Builder is still in beta there are obviously going to be some kinks that need to be ironed out before it is generally available. That being said, the tool overall looks promising and will make developing on the Salesforce platform more inclusive in terms of devices (developing on an iPad, anyone).
With the massive push Salesforce has given to clicks, not code programming, it’s refreshing to see that they are still investing in developers who code. Long may it continue.
You can learn more about Salesforce Code Builder in this Trailhead module.