The agile development method is a software development model, which is a version of an incremental developmental model. In this approach, applications are developed in rapid cycles, incrementally. This enables small incremental releases from time to time with each building on the previous functionality and enhancing it. Each such release is tested thoroughly in order to ensure the quality of the software. The agile development model is used ideally in time-critical applications.
Use of Agile development model
As we had seen above, agile methodology is best used in the development of time-critical apps. It is also effectively used:
- When there are changed to be implemented. The flexibility agile approach offers is very important. Changes can be easily and instantly implemented at a limited cost in this model based on the frequency of the increments produced.
- To implement new features which developers don’t want to lose much time for. Agile methodology can roll back and implement such changes instantly.
- Unlike other developmental methods like a waterfall, the agile model requires only limited planning to kick-start the project. The agile model assumes that the changes of the end users keep on shifting in the fast-paced IT sector. The changes can be further discussed, and the features can be added or removed based on the feedback. This enables the delivery of the finished system to the customers when they want it.
- Both the developers and the users alike enjoy more flexibility, freedom, and options when compared to the conventional and rigid way of application development sequentially. Having more options help them to take better decision on the most important aspects as to better management of data, hosting program to choose, etc. Overall, this approach ensures that a project continues to flow without any pitfalls or standstill.
Salesforce DX as an agile development platform
Whether you work as an independent developer or function as a part of a development team, the new Salesforce DX can offer a highly integrated development platform to manage the end-to-end lifecycle in an agile model more effectively. It is built to be highly flexible and open, so the developers can build together using the tools they are familiar with and by following the developmental practices they prefer.
According to the Salesforce DX approach, within a production org, the source files can be any number. You can think of custom labels, custom objects, or static resources which comprise an Org. The DX project development format may break down into big source files, which in turn makes them more digestible and manageable with version control. Say, for example, Salesforce DX can transform the custom objects and the object translations to many files and many directories.
This source-driven structure will make it easier to find the things you want to change and update. The smaller files in source control may cause only fewer conflicts with merge in the team development environment. The messy merges in conventional developmental approach are now history. Once the development is over, you can next commit all the changes back to the VCS repo, and you are ready to run the test and release.
Source-driven development approach
The building together by the shift of source of truth from org to a more innovative VCS (version control system) made it easier for the developer to track and bring in changes much effectively. It also enabled usage of collaboration technologies like Git and other test-and-build third-party tools for automation.
Salesforce CLI helps to speed up the development process across the Lightning Platform. Salesforce CLI is built around the open APIs and can easily integrate into any of the existing developer workflows. Scratch Orgs can emulate any Salesforce org with varying features within a new environment. It is much of a fully configurable, source-driven, which can be disposed of once testing and deployment are over.
The Flosum.com Salesforce DX development offers a unique experience with the use of standard and open tools like VS Code, Git, Selenium, Eclipse, etc. Developers can also easily integrate other IDEs and tools with Salesforce DX with open APIs. With the help of Managed Packaging, partners and customers can also organize the metadata and distribute applications while considering a CLI-centric, and source-driven approach for automating and managing the app lifecycle.
Use of Scratch Orgs in the development process
The unique concept of Scratch orgs can ease up the developer effort while used properly. Scratch Orgs are built from the metadata and source, which makes it easier for the developer to custom builds the apps consistently over time. One need to work only with the metadata and source for a specific project, and it is not needed to copy over the things which are not needed. As Scratch Orgs are temporary environments under Salesforce DX, one can set up a new scratch org for every package or project.
Creating scratch orgs
Once a VCS is structured, your source can be then organized into different packages for you to start a new project. You can next open the IDE or text editor of your choice and then add your source code. You can create a new scratch org once you are ready to see the changes in that Org.
On creating scratch org, you have to complete some setup tasks too. Then push all the sources from your project to scratch org, set up the permissions, and also create any test data as required.
While IDE is meant for code-based program development, scratch org can be used for declarative development. It is similar to what you may be doing in Production Org or Sandbox. However, the major difference in source-driven development model is that one synchronizes the developments you did in scratch org with the local projects. This will let you commit the changes made in Setup pages along with the changes made in the local IDE.
Agile development model using Salesforce DX has many benefits including better customer satisfaction with rapid and consistent delivery of applications. In such a developmental model, it is the people and interactions which are emphasized compared to tools and process in conventional model app development. Landing at a commonplace, the developers, testers, and customers have a chance to interact effectively with each other.