Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The fate of force.com IDE - what SFDC should do and will do

Was watching this preview video about Summer '13 and heard Ryan Upton (@ryanjupton) and Samantha Ready (@samantha_ready) answering the question about updates to the Force.com IDE. Their (unofficial) opinion is that given the advent of a mature Developer Console, Force.com IDE should be considered being deprecated.

I cannot be sure how reliable or serious the comment is right now, but suspect that if that becomes the official line, it'll be a problem for a lot of the users (and thus for Salesforce itself). To be able to retire an existing tool means its functionality can be better replaced by a new tool, or the functionality is simply no longer needed. I don't think anyone can claim the latter yet, so let's examine whether Developer Console can fulfill the former:

  • Is there a good option for hooking up to source management?
  • Is there a good option for managing deployment process?
  • Is there a good option to quickly switch org/environment?
Once you contemplate the answers for these questions, it's not hard to draw a conclusion.  And I'm sure there's other questions too.  

The Tooling API would be a good start for an era of some great alternatives to Force.com IDE.  But we're there yet.  Things like Sublime Text2/MavensMate alone won't get us there.

Contrary to the size and adoption might have indicated, SFDC sometimes still doesn't think as an enterprise platform should.  I hope the discussion on the Force.com IDE was among moments like that.

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