Visual studio code role and and it’s extensions in Salesforce

Before we begin implementing Visual Studio Code in Salesforce, we’d like to become acquainted with the Visual Studio (also known as vs) concepts.

The role of Visual Studio Code and its extensions in Salesforce.

Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) that is used to create many types of software, such as computer programme, websites, online applications services, web services, and mobile applications. Compilers, completion tools, and other features are included to make the software development process easier. For more than 20 years, Visual Studio has been around. Visual Studio 97 was its first incarnation. Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 is the most recent of many versions that have been out since then.

Functioning of the Visual Studio Code:

Visual Studio IDE enables programmers to create and edit code. In software development, its user interface is used to edit, debug, and build code. Code refactoring and IntelliSense are supported by the code editor in Visual Studio (the code completion tool). Both a source-level and a machine-level debugger can be used in conjunction with the integrated debugger. Included are a code profiler, a GUI app designer, a web designer, a class designer, and a designer of database schema.

The Top 10 VSCode Extensions for Salesforce Developers will be covered in this session. By employing the appropriate tools, when necessary, we may dramatically boost productivity. A well-liked development tool is Visual Studio Code because of its outstanding productivity capabilities. In addition, we’ll look at some useful VS Code extensions for Salesforce and how to set them up and modify them to use as effective Salesforce development tools.

Here are Top 10 Visual Studio Code Extensions for Salesforce:

  1. Salesforce extension pack
  2. Apex replay debugger
  3. Salesforce documenter
  4. Salesforce LWC shortcut keys
  5. Salesforce package.xml generator for VSCode
  6. Salesforce snippets
  7. Salesforce SOQL editors
  8. Salesforce Dx code companion
  9. Apex PMD
  10. ForceCode

1. Salesforce extension pack

This extension pack comes with tools for using the portable, adaptable VS Code editor to create applications for the Salesforce platform. You can use these tools to deal with Apex, Aura components, Visualforce, and development orgs (including scratch orgs, sandbox orgs, and DE orgs).

As the name implies, it is an extension pack, and as such, it largely comprises of the following 9 extensions:

  1. Salesforce CLI Integration: To provide essential functionality, this plugin interacts with the Salesforce CLI.
  2. Apex: Apex syntax highlighting and code completion are provided by this extension.
  3. Apex Interactive Debugger: You can use this addon to debug your Apex code directly from your IDE.
  4. Apex Replay Debugger: This extension allows you to troubleshoot Apex code errors by replaying Apex execution using a debug log reference.
  5. Lightning web components: Bundles of Lightning web components are supported by this extension. It makes use of the VSCode HTML language.
  6. Aura Components: You may edit Aura component files thanks to this extension.
  7. Visualforce: You can work with Visualforce Pages and Components directly from your IDE with the help of this extension.
  8. Salesforce Lightning Design System (SLDS) Validator: The Salesforce Lightning Design System is made easier to use with this extension. With suggested tokens and utility classes, it offers code completion, syntax highlighting, and validation.
  9. SOQL: Using this addon, you can interactively create SOQL.

2. Apex relay debugger

To simulate a live debugging session, the Apex Replay Debugger uses a debug log, which is a record of every interaction in a transaction. There is no longer a need to manually parse through thousands of log lines. Apex Replay Debugger, on the other hand, displays the logged data in a manner similar to an interactive debugger so that you can troubleshoot your Apex code. In order to debug your Apex code, you must repeatedly edit it, push or deploy it to your organization, reproduce the error, get the resultant debug log, then launch Apex Replay Debugger using that debug log.

3. Salesforce documenter

Salesforce Documenter aims to facilitate properly structured code documentation for Salesforce-related files by automating key activities such as establishing and updating File and Method headers. Adopting SFDoc as a project- and/or team-wide standard can help to promote and, eventually, enforce proper code documentation.

These techniques make it simpler to comprehend, update, and improve code.

  1. Add a Method header to any Apex method; generating ApexDoc-compliant tags.
  2. Add a File header to any Salesforce file (Apex, Visualforce, Aura, LWC, JavaScript)

4. Salesforce LWC Shortcut Keys

This extension includes JavaScript code samples (shortcut keys) in ES6 syntax and salesforce Lightning Design System for the Vs Code editor (supports HTML, JavaScript and XML).

5. Salesforce Package.xml generator for Visual Studio Code

For development against sandboxes or DE orgs, this plugin provides a User Interface to select metadata components for the Package.xml file (Org Development Model with VS Code). This is comparable to the Add/Remove Metadata Components feature in the Eclipse IDE.

6. Salesforce snippets

Snippets make programming easier by allowing developers to add repetitive code types including loops, toast messages, standard null checks, try-catch statements, and conditional expressions. Using a combination of hotkeys or the right-click menu, developers can quickly add code snippets to their programs. They are helpful for inserting entire classes or methods, but they generally include commonly used code blocks such as try-finally or if-else statements. They can be easily used while writing code in Apex and Aura Components to write code faster.

7. Salesforce SOQL Editors

With the help of this extension, VS Code now offers the same functionality as the Query Editor in the Salesforce Developer Console. Additionally, without leaving the IDE, developers may build, execute, and add to Apex SOQL queries.

8. Salesforce Dx code companion

It includes a variety of new tools and capabilities that make it easier for users to create and maintain Salesforce apps across the board. Facilitating developers, it enables them to create and deliver apps more easily, thereby enhancing their overall productivity. It also offers a new approach to manage and develop apps on the platform over their full life cycle.

It allows users to save Apex Classes, Apex Triggers, Visualforce, AuraBundles, Lightning Web Component Bundles (under preview), and ApexComponents to Salesforce Org fast and without source tracking. Additionally makes it possible to retrieve code in both DX and NonDX source formats from the salesforce unmanaged package/changesets.

9. Apex PMD

It is a free and open-source static source code analyser that generates reports on errors found in application source code. Common programming errors like unused variables and empty catch blocks are discovered by Apex PMD. By doing so, we will be able to increase the quality of our Apex code and avoid maintenance, performance, and bug issues.

10. ForceCode

You can connect to your Salesforce instance using the extension ForceCode. It also includes a number of useful tools for dealing with your code, such as the ability to run tests, evaluate the results, and view code coverage. In VS Code, it may also be seen as a one-stop shop for Salesforce development. Bulk record modifications, Execute Anonymous, and other extension-specific features are simple to use and quite useful.

Conclusion – VS Code:

We’ve gone through some of the functionalities that come standard with VS Code, as well as some unique features that can be found in the Salesforce Extension pack and marketplace. You can use these tools and features all at once or one at a time to build apps more conveniently and successfully.

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SISAR started its operation as a service based organization offering IT solutions and Managed services. Through a deep-set commitment to our clients, SISAR expanded its offering into IT consulting to ensure the highest levels of certainty and satisfaction.

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Sophie van Dam
Sophie van Dam is a data scientist with a strong analytical mindset and a passion for turning data into actionable insights. With a Ph.D. in statistics and machine learning, Sophie van has a proven track record of leveraging advanced analytical techniques to extract valuable patterns and trends from complex datasets. Her expertise includes predictive modeling, data visualization, and natural language processing. Sophie van has worked across various industries, including finance, healthcare, and e-commerce, driving data-driven decision-making and driving business growth through data-driven strategies.