Build Better Apps for Your Customers with This New DX Plug-in

Stuart Bernstein
Nov 11, 2019 · 4 min read

Special thanks to my co-author Jeremy Hay Draude.

You want your app to be the best it can be. So, do you ever find yourself wondering if it may be missing some cool, new features of the Salesforce Platform? Or what else you could do to improve your application’s performance? And what about Salesforce best practices specific to your app?

Well, today is your day. We’re pleased to announce the release of a new Open Source DX plug-in to help answer these questions and more. Here is a quick rundown of what to expect from your new “co-pilot” and how to get set up.

Heading to Dreamforce this year? Don’t miss a special session all about this new DX plug-in. You’ll walk away with the knowledge of how, why, and when to use this tool to stay up to date on the latest Salesforce features and enablement relevant to your app. Bookmark the session now.

How The New Plug-In Helps You

Gives best practices and feature recommendations

Proven strategies and best practices are a great North Star to focus your efforts on. The new plug-in provides that guidance, along with an explanation and links to relevant articles for each best practice. For example, if the plug-in detects your application uses Batch Apex, articles on a robust Batch Apex design patterns are listed.

You’ll also see suggested technologies that are of particular importance to ISVs. Case in point: while ISVs might be including Flows, they may be unaware of the ability to create Flow Templates — a more recent platform feature designed specifically help ISVs.

Provides overall quality recommendations

See locations in your code or metadata that can be improved for long-term usability and maintainability by your customer. Some examples include leaving the description in the table or field blank or letting your API version fall too far behind.

Checks applicability of Partner Alerts

Periodically, the ISV team will release alerts to draw attention to something about the Salesforce Platform that requires changes to your applications. The plug-in compares Partner Alerts against your metadata to only show what’s relevant. Note: We are currently only checking for 5 Alerts, but will add more over time.

Warns about installation incompatibility

Get detail on specific reasons why your application will not install in Essentials, Group, or Professional Edition Org. For example, did you know that if you use record types or custom profiles, then you can’t install your package in an Essentials Org? This plug-in does!

Gives an inventory of your app

See English language descriptions of the metadata found in your package.

Installation

Ready to get started with your new co-pilot? Assuming you already have Salesforce DX installed, the plug-in installation is as simple as:

sfdx plugins:install isvte-sfdx-plugin

The plug-in is not yet signed, so please continue and accept the next prompt.

Run this update command to retrieve any updates which may be available

sfdx plugins:update

Running the Plug-in

The magic happens when using the mdscan parameter.

sfdx isvte:mdscan -d <metadata directory>

Where <metadata directory> is the directory containing the metadata of your package. The plugin will only execute against metadata formatted packages, so you may have to convert your DX source using the command

sfdx force:source:convert -d <metadata directory>

Of course, help is available with the -h command.

sfdx isvte -h

Creating better applications for your customers

The ISV team’s mission is to help partners make better apps for their customers, and tools like this new DX plug-in are one way to make that happen. Head over to the ISV Technical Enablement Plugin Chatter Group in the Partner Community and join the conversation to help make things even better!

To see the source code or to contribute via the Open Source process the plug-in can be found at https://github.com/forcedotcom/isvte-sfdx-plugin.

Stuart Bernstein

Written by

Senior Director of ISV Technical Enablement at Salesforce

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