How to use SFDX without a terminal

One of the core components of SFDX is the command-line interface (CLI), which allows developers to create, manage, and deploy Salesforce applications using the terminal.

  • Published 09 May 2023
  • 9 mins read
How to use SFDX without a terminal
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Article Highlights

  • The article discusses how developers can use graphical user interfaces (GUIs) like VS Code and Salesforce’s Developer Console as alternatives to the command-line interface (CLI) for Salesforce DX (SFDX), offering features like code highlighting and autocompletion.
  • Hutte is highlighted as a tool that simplifies SFDX development without a terminal, providing a web-based UI that allows visual version control and the ability to execute complex commands without writing code.
  • While GUIs offer a more user-friendly environment, they may lack the full functionality of the CLI, potentially leading to performance issues and reduced control. The article suggests using a terminal for maximum productivity but acknowledges Hutte as a viable solution for those less familiar with CLI.
SFDX can be used without the terminal through graphical user interfaces (GUIs) such as VS Code and Salesforce's web-based Developer Console.

These GUIs provide a user-friendly interface for developers who may be less familiar with the command-line interface.

In addition, they offer additional features, such as code highlighting, autocompletion, and code snippets, that can enhance the development experience.

Some of the limitations of SFDX without a terminal include the following:

  • GUIs may not offer the full range of functionality that the CLI provides. Some tasks may still require using the CLI, and developers using a GUI may need to switch between the GUI and the CLI to perform specific actions.
  • Reduced control: GUIs may automate certain tasks or abstract away some of the underlying complexity, but this can also result in reduced control over the development process. Developers may be limited in their ability to customize certain aspects of the development environment or configure advanced settings.
  • Performance issues: GUIs can be slower than the CLI for some tasks, especially when working with larger projects or performing complex operations. This can result in longer build and deployment times, which is frustrating for developers who need to iterate quickly.
  • Using a GUI for SFDX development may require installing additional tools, such as plugins or extensions for integrated development environments (IDEs), like VS Code. This can add complexity to the development environment and increase the risk of compatibility issues.

To address these challenges, companies often use third-party Git tools, such as Hutte, to eliminate the need for CLI knowledge.

Tools like Hutte require no code, simplify functionality, maintain control, and enhance development performance.

Hutte unleashes the full potential of SFDX

Hutte simplifies SFDX without a terminal by providing a web-based user interface (UI). With Hutte, you can visually leverage the benefits of Git-based development without using the CLI, removing the barriers Git can pose.

Hutte allows visual version control of your Salesforce projects, enabling you to create and manage scratch orgs and sandboxes hassle-free.

Hutte also empowers you to access the full power of SFDX without needing to write any code. You can use custom buttons on Hutte’s web interface to execute complex multi-line commands effortlessly.

You don't need to install or learn Git as Hutte's UI already has integrated recipes on Git hosting tools, such as GitHub and Azure. Additionally, Hutte lets you view the changes you made from these hosting providers, including your pull request, in a line-by-line comparison format.

With everything generated and integrated within Hutte, there is no need to reproduce any data.

Start your free 30-day trial or check out our demo to experience how Hutte works.

Explore how you can leverage SFDX Git development visually and code-free using Hutte.

Take a scratch org from the pool

After creating an account with Hutte, you can begin by setting up a new environment using a scratch org from the pool. You can name your scratch org, which can be referenced to your issue tracking system, like Hutte’s Jira plugin.

Once you have provided a name for the org, your environment will be ready for use.
Hutte eliminates the need to share your sensitive and confidential Salesforce org credentials manually. Instead, you can easily log in with just one click and begin working on the platform.

Create new metadata and execute changes

Using Hutte, you can create new SFDX metadata, such as an Apex class, directly in your org. After adding your logic to the class becomes a new addition to your environment.

To make changes to your org, you can navigate to the “Setup” page and select “Object Manager,” where the data model resides. From there, you can open up a custom object and make any desired changes as you have access to the data model.

For instance, if you want to change a field, select “Field & Relationships.” After making your desired changes, save them and go to the “Changes” tab to view the modifications.

In this example, the changes had the following impact on the org:

  • “MyClass” was added
  • The admin profile was touched by adding a new class
  • The field change was added.

You can pull changes

At this point, you can describe your modifications and select the changes you wish to include in your committed changes. Once completed, click on “Submit.” This will initiate your SFDX pull request, and your changes will be added to Git.

Experience full functionality

While SFDX provides powerful tools for Salesforce development, using it without a terminal can have significant downsides.

The terminal provides a more efficient and flexible way to interact with SFDX, allowing for quicker execution of commands, easier navigation of file directories, and greater control over the development process.

Hutte is truly one of the best tools that we use. Product owners, Salesforce solution architects, business analysts — anyone on our team can easily and visually accomplish the tasks that would otherwise take a lot of clicks, time, and coding.

Sebastian Lechner

Product Management Director of IPfolio

Source: Hutte

Without a terminal, developers may be limited in their ability to fully leverage SFDX's capabilities, leading to a slower and more cumbersome development experience.

As such, it is recommended that developers use a terminal when working with SFDX to maximize their productivity and efficiency.

But with Hutte, anyone can work with the SFDX UI and Git, make changes, and create pull requests – regardless of their role or coding knowledge.

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Last updated: 13 Jun 2024