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Salesforce previews low-code, pro-code developer tools

Salesforce to release new low-code and pro-code tools for developers, as well as DevOps Center, which catalogs app dev efforts and offers a planning platform.

New Salesforce developer tools slated for summer, winter and spring platform releases include a low-code compliance tool that developers and non-developers can use, more developer-centric features, and a gathering place where users can coordinate their development efforts.

On the Salesforce low-code side, Einstein Data Detect employs AI to find data such as Social Security, credit card or driver's license numbers and other personally identifiable information (PII) protected under law.

Often, both customers and employees enter such data points into the wrong field on a form or screen. While proactive security measures can lock down PII when it's entered in the correct field, those measures can't help when data has been pasted into, for example, a free-text field, said Ryan Ellis, Salesforce's senior vice president of platform. Tools made with Einstein Data Detect can surface PII and help admins identify those issues and correct them.

"Anything that has the word 'Einstein' on it is about automation," said Gartner analyst Jason Wong. "Einstein Data Detect is one way to help with removing some of the manual steps in order to adhere to regulatory and compliance requirements."

Einstein Data Detect will be available with the upcoming summer release of the Salesforce platform. Coming next winter will be a major release, Dynamic Interactions, a series of 150 low-code application building blocks.

Unified command-line interface for pro coders

Pro-code Salesforce developers will get some new tools in upcoming Salesforce releases, too. In the coming Winter '22 release, Salesforce plans to unify disparate command-line interfaces (CLIs) from several different wings of the platform such as SFDX, which manages Salesforce core applications; Heroku; Salesforce Commerce Cloud; and MuleSoft. All of them will be accessible from one central command line and will use a common set of patterns and vernacular, Ellis said.

Salesforce unified command-line interface
Salesforce's unified CLI combines formerly separate command lines from several platforms including Heroku, SFDX and Commerce Cloud into one. Developers can run processes and install packages from a single entry point when this feature, planned for later this year, is released.

While it's a new feature, all the old command lines are built into it as well, so whatever language a developer had been using before will work with the unified CLI.

"That just makes it easier for developers to potentially take any action across the entirety of the Salesforce's capabilities with a single tool," Ellis said. "So, instead of having to learn multiple different CLIs, or script against those things in different kinds of ways, it's all the same one."

Ellis said that while CLIs had gone out of favor for a time among developers as low-code tools emerged, a few years ago, they made a comeback. Developers realized command lines remained the efficient means to perform tasks such as installing software packages or running scripts.

Also coming to Salesforce next spring will be DevOps Center, a centralized location for tracking changes to a user's Salesforce instance, apply governance to development efforts and coordinate development activity. It also will help teams launch apps and experiences faster through integration with version control systems and migrating app changes across test sandboxes. None of that will require custom code, Salesforce said.

The new Salesforce low-code and developer tools were previewed at the TrailheaDX virtual developer conference.

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