Salesforce AI Powered Code Builder

The anticipation within the Salesforce community is through the roof as Salesforce Code Builder is finally available for general use. It is a web-based integrated development environment (IDE) powered by Visual Studio Codespaces, tailored explicitly for Salesforce development.

Salesforce AI Powered Code Builder
Table of contents

Salesforce introduced Code Builder in 2022 and has been available as a beta version since then. But as of November 2023, Salesforce made Code Builder generally available. As Salesforce has again added a new open, modern, and flexible tool in the ecosystem, it is beneficial to learn about it.

In this article, we'll explore:

  • What Code Builder brings to the table
  • How to navigate its features
  • The installation process
  • The nuances distinguishing between the beta and general availability versions
  • Hutte's Visual Studio Code Extension.

What is the new Salesforce Code Builder?

At its core, Salesforce Code Builder is an online web-based development environment designed for Salesforce development. However, its integration with Microsoft's Visual Studio Code sets it apart. You may know about Microsoft Visual Studio Code. Consider the Code Builder as a web-based version of VS Code.

As the title mentions, 'AI-powered' Code Builder is powered with generative AI that can help you turn prompts into code. It uses Einstein for Developers and helps you convert natural language into code.

It also allows you to add various Developer extensions from the Open VSX marketplace. That's a whole other CRM customization experience right from the browser.

You don't have to worry about its compatibility with various Salesforce frameworks and the latest additions. The Code Builder is configured and optimized to be compatible with the latest Salesforce languages and frameworks.

Since it is a web-based IDE, development teams (onsite or remote) get consistent access to their code across any machine.

But why should you be excited about it? Let us tell you.

What can you do with Code Builder?

Salesforce Code Builder empowers the workflow of Developers, Administrators, and Architects in three significant ways.

Web-based IDE for effortless accessibility

Code Builder redefines accessibility by eliminating the complexities associated with installations and configurations. With a few clicks, you can access a web-based preloaded IDE featuring Salesforce extensions, CLI tools, and support for various programming languages.

You can also work with LWCs, SOQL queries, Apex, and more. You don't need separate installations or configurations to access all these features. In short, Code Builder is an easily customizable and accessible development environment that's available anytime, anywhere.

Required editions

Code Builder is designed to be inclusive, welcoming Developers from diverse Salesforce editions. You can use it in Lightning Experience in Enterprise, Performance, Professional, and Unlimited Editions.

There is, however, a limitation – it's not accessible in the EU Operating Zone.

Generative AI with Einstein for Developers

Einstein for Developers, now integrated into Code Builder, introduces a new dimension to development. You can use generative AI to speed up the whole code development process. As we all know, generative AI understands natural language, meaning you input prompts in human language and get functional code in output.

Beyond just speeding up coding tasks, it redefines how Developers generate, test, debug, and refactor code, offering tailored support for Salesforce languages. Einstein for Developers is designed for various Salesforce frameworks and can be accessed via an extension.

Build with flexibility and familiarity

As mentioned above, you can add various third-party extensions to the Code Builder from the Open VSX marketplace. It is an open, community-driven marketplace where you can share, use, and get various VS Code extensions. The correct set of extensions can help you create an experience supporting source-driven development and DevOps workflows.

This helps in favorable customization and flexibility, allowing you to build a personalized IDE experience aligning precisely with your workflow. Code Builder is more than just another tool you must adapt to. It's about tailoring the tool to fit seamlessly into individual development processes.

Getting your hands dirty: Installing Code Builder

Installing Code Builder is as easy as it can get. Follow the steps below:

  1. Log into your org and navigate to the "Setup" menu.
  2. Go to the quick find box and search for "Code Builder."
  3. Enable Code Builder, followed by reviewing and accepting the license agreement. This step is required to install the package. You can turn it off later. However, if Code Builder is already installed, turning off the preference restricts access to the application.
  4. Once you enable Code Builder and accept the license agreement, click "Install Package." An installer popup will launch – follow the next steps and you'll have the latest version of the Code Builder managed package.
  5. Choose "Install for All Users" and click the "Install" button.
  6. Grant approval for third-party access and click "Continue."
  7. As a final step, you will need to add and assign permissions.
Upon completion of the installation, you will receive a confirmation email. Verify the successful installation by checking the "Installed Packages Setup" page. 

If you encounter a message stating the app is taking too long to install, worry not. Click "Done," and you'll be automatically redirected to the "Installed Packages Setup" page. You'll find an entry for Code Builder confirming its installation status.

The difference between beta vs GA versions

The significant difference between the beta and GA (general availability) versions of Code Builder boils down to where you can install it in Salesforce editions.

In the beta version, you can get the Code Builder from AppExchange and set it up in any environment. On the other hand, the GA version is more selective as it is only installable in specific Salesforce editions.

A notable miss is the inability to install it in a Developer org, a common starting point for many Developers. But considering the reputation and agile nature of Salesforce, this restriction will be lifted soon.

Regarding usage limits, the beta version had a cap of 20 hours within 30 days. But now – with the GA version – there are no such limits. Code Builder is also open for all paid customers, making it more widely available.

Elevate your development experience with Hutte in Visual Studio Code for the Web

The intuitive Hutte Visual Studio Code Extension has been upgraded for seamless compatibility. The latest version is designed to integrate flawlessly with Visual Studio Code for the Web, giving you a more robust and streamlined development experience.

What this means for you:

  • Enhanced productivity and focus without the need of switching between your browser and your IDE
  • Reduced setup times
  • The freedom to code from anywhere, on any device.

The extension is open-source, so feel free to contribute to and get inspired by its code.

Dive into the updated Hutte experience within Visual Studio Code for the Web – and transform how you write code on the Salesforce platform today.

Why Code Builder matters

As a Salesforce Developer or Architect, you must use Code Builder rigorously and provide constructive feedback to Salesforce to help them improve the product. You may think of Code Builder as a luxury or an enhancement tool. But it is more of a necessity for Salesforce Developers.

Although the current development process with VS Code and its Salesforce extensions is pretty sleek, having an internet-based VS Code makes things much more manageable.

Code Builder makes your code and development environment more accessible through any machine. You get a web-based VS Code type IDE, which smoothes your development process. Just don't forget to commit to Git, as you don't want any potential data loss.