A Comprehensive Guide to Salesforce Apex

Updated 23 Aug 2022
Published 04 Aug 2022
Satyam Chaturvedi 3065 Views
Salesforce Apex

Salesforce has become the most sought-after CRM solution in the world. It has single-handedly streamlined the sales, marketing, and customer service processes.

Salesforce offers customers the much-needed flexibility of developing and marketing their applications without thinking about building the entire infrastructure.

Salesforce offers a much more convenient software as a service (SAAS) procedure, which enables organizations to manage their customer journey lifecycle without any additional expense.

Salesforce has launched Apex, an on-demand and multitenant programming language, which helps developers build next-generation business applications.

Apex has transformed the way on-demand apps are developed. In this Salesforce Apex Guide, we will help you learn about Apex, its concept, features, syntax, use cases, and more.


What is Salesforce Apex?

It is a strongly typed and object-oriented programming language available on the Salesforce platform. It is stored, compiled, and run entirely on the multi-tenant Force.com platform.

It acts like stored procedures and its syntax is very much like Java. It enables developers to associate business logic with the record-saving process. It offers in-built support for test creation and execution.

Apex enables developers to leverage Salesforce client-server interfaces and database access to build 3rd-party SaaS applications. Salesforce Apex’s development process allows you to customize pre-built applications to cater the complex business requirements.


How Does Apex Work?

Apex is completely operated via on-demand lighting platforms. The app data code is saved in the cloud, which assures easy storage and maintenance.

Apex is end-to-end compiled, stored, and run on the Lightning Platform. It allows developers to write code and store it on the platform, the end-users can utilize the interface to execute the Apex code.

Salesforce Apex Work
image source:- https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.apexcode.meta/apexcode/apex_intro_how_does_apex_work.htm

Developer Action 

Apex enables developers to write the code and save it on the app server. The app server then compiles the code using a set of instructions, which could be interpreted and acted upon by a runtime interpreter.

End-User Action

The end-users can execute the Apex code by clicking on buttons or accessing the Visualforce page. Once the application receives user actions, it responds by retrieving the compiled instructions and saving them as metadata.


Components of Salesforce Apex Platform

The Apex platform is consisting of 3 tools:

Components of Salesforce Apex Platform

1. Apex Builder 

It is an on-demand component, which offers limited features but still enables easy drag-and-drop customization. Apex Builder apps are very easy to build but must draw on business logic algorithms and predefined interface elements.

2. Apex Code

It is a full-fledged programming language used on Salesforce’s servers. Apex Code offers built-in methods to access the user data. It was launched and made available to the developers in Salesforce’s Winter 2007 edition.

3. Apex API

It is a method of retrieving data from Salesforce’s servers. It is used by external programs, such as Java apps or other 3rd party apps, that require access to data on a client’s salesforce account.

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A glimpse of Apex Development Environment

You can build Apex code in the Sandbox or the developer edition in Salesforce. However, it is recommended to develop the code in the sandbox environment and then deploy it to the production environment.

Following are the three basic tools to build the Apex code in every Salesforce edition.

  • com Developer Console
  • com IDE
  • Code Editor in the Salesforce User Interface

How are Apex applications hosted?

Apex applications do not require installation on a local PC, as they are hosted and function promptly from Salesforce’s servers.

End users can purchase required Apex apps from Salesforce AppExchange and integrate them as add-ons to their CRM solution.

The end-user can access the applications via the standard user interface. Once created, an APEX app could be published for private or public usage or could be treated as a proprietary add-on.

Prominent Features of Salesforce Apex

Here we have some important features offered by Apex for Salesforce developers and users:

Features of Salesforce Apex

1. Easy to Use 

Apex comes with java-like syntax, which is easy to understand. The learning curve for the developers is quite easy as variable declaration, loop syntax, array annotation, and conditional statement syntax are very similar to Java.

2. Strongly Typed 

It is a strongly typed language, which assures well-handled data types and user requirements. It ensures a detailed and thorough code compilation process and prevents any sort of confusion at the runtime.

3. Strong Data Integration

It offers strong support for DML exceptions and DML operations such as Insert, Delete, and Update. It can perform looping and process multiple records at one given time. All SOSL and SOQL queries could be handled with ease.

4. Automatic Upgrades

Apex is an integrated part of Salesforce; hence it is not required to upgrade it manually and separately. It upgrades automatically as a part of Salesforce. It prevents most of the upgrade-specific challenges for the developers and app owners.

5. Multitenant Environment 

Apex can function in a Multitenant Environment. The Apex runtime engine is developed to safeguard it from runaway code and control the shared resources. Any code that breaks the limits returns adequate error notifications.

6. Easy to Test

It offers an easy method to execute the unit testing. The testing process confirms complete code execution before the integration of any code changes into the platform. It provides a comprehensive test report to the developers.


What are the benefits of using Apex?

You can avail the following benefits by using employing the Salesforce Apex development process :

benefits of using Apex

1. Multitenancy

Apex works in a multitenant environment, which is a capability where a single instance of code can serve multiple tenants from a server. It enables a provider to make changes once and share them with all the tenants. It reduces the overall operating and maintenance costs.

2. Seamless Updates with Triggers 

Triggers are essential to maintain the functionality of your platform. In Apex, the Triggers can be used to perform Insert, Delete, and Update operations, or restrict operations if a certain condition is passed. Triggers can also be used for SOQL, DML, and customized Apex methods.

3. Comprehensive Built-in Support

Apex enjoys the benefits of the Salesforce ecosystem, which is known for offering numerous support features. Apex comes with plenty of features and built-in support functions that make it easy for inexperienced users to write, debug, and deploy the Apex code easily.

4. Confident Deployments

Integrating new code poses a risk of making the app unproductive if it is not validated and deployed with accuracy. Apex offers better integrating methods to test the code before deployment to mitigate any potential errors.

5. Secured Platform

Salesforce is famous for the strong security levels it maintains for its platform. Apex inherits the protective shield from the platform and ensures adequate security for applications you may develop. It also ensures your Metadata is protected from all sorts of security risks.

6. Seamless Access to Salesforce Backend

Apex let you customize and improve the overall functionality of your applications and processes by leveraging the capabilities of Salesforce’s backend.

Related: Salesforce Implementation: A Step-By-Step Guide

APEX – Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages Disadvantages
Investment in infrastructure is not needed and Salesforce offers them all. Unlike other programming languages, it is impossible to create threads in Apex.
App development is easier as developers can make changes to existing ones to suit their business requirements. Developers must always keep in mind that the app they are building should handle multiple records, as apex requests usually return many records from the database.
Offers a strong security mechanism, complete Authentication, and Authorization to ensure secured access to the apps. It cannot show the elements on the user interface.
It enables developers to access the Salesforce.com database and various other 3rd party SaaS apps. It does not allow the developers to make changes to the standard function if needed.
It offers a cost-effective solution, with fewer licensing requirements. The overall cost and effort required for app maintenance are very low. It is not possible to create temporary files in Apex.

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Apex Development Process

The following Apex Development Process is generally recommended:

  • Acquire a Developer Edition account.
  • Enhance your learning about Apex.
  • Start coding your programs in Apex.
  • Build Test cases to perform Unit testing.
  • Deploy your Apex code to a sandbox organization and execute unit tests.
  • Implement your Apex code to the Salesforce production.
  • Post-deployment, you can also make changes to your classes and triggers to an AppExchange App package.


Apex Methods – Use Cases

Apex offers developers the interactive methods to build exceptional CRM apps that provide seamless access to the Salesforce database and client-server interfaces.

It comes with numerous pre-built features and lets you incorporate 3rd party SaaS apps to enhance the level of customization.

Apex is very handy in the following business use cases :

  • Apex can be used to build integrated websites.
  • We can build apps that require complex business logic and are not supported by the workflows.
  • Apex could be used to integrate email accounts into the web apps.
  • We can develop applications that use transactional logic.
  • Where complex validation of numerous objects is required simultaneously

How Can We Help You?

We hope this comprehensive Salesforce Apex Guide must have got most of your doubts cleared. You can use Apex Development services to incorporate specialized business logic into your Salesforce CRM platform. It will certainly help you expand the customer management capabilities of your enterprise.

If you are planning to venture into Apex development, then you can get in touch with our Salesforce Apex Consultants today. Arka Softwares is a certified Salesforce development services partner.

Our expert developers are competent in implementing the Apex methods, building business processes, and custom workflows that will enhance the capabilities of your business.

FAQs- Salesforce Apex

  • What do you understand by the Apex Data types?

    Apex Data types are the classification that indicates which type of data could be stored in a variable.
    Below are the most common data types supported by Apex :
    1. Collections
    2. Primitive Data Type
    3. sObjects
    4. Enums

  • What is an Apex Object?

    An Apex object is an instance of a class, which holds the behavior and state of a specific class. The moment you create an object, the memory for the data members is allocated automatically
    Classname objectname = new Classname();
    For example:
    Class example {
    Example e = new Example();

  • What are some best practices used for Apex development?

    Here are some best practices you must adopt while coding in Apex.
    • Always bulkify Your Code
    • Always utilize SOQL for Loops
    • Evade DML/SOQL Queries in Loops
    • Avoid Hard-coded IDs
    • Unequivocally declare Sharing Model
    • Always use a Single Trigger per SObject Type

  • What are Apex Sharing rules in Salesforce?

    Sharing is a method of permitting a user or group of users to perform a set of actions on a set of records. Sharing access could be easily granted via the Lightning Platform, Salesforce user interface, or Apex programming.

  • How can we call a method in Apex?

    You can call an Apex method with given parameters. In the object, you can pass the parameter’s value to an Apex method. Here you must ensure that object’s properties must be similar to the parameters of the Apex method.

Satyam Chaturvedi

Satyam Chaturvedi is a Digital Marketing Manager at Arka Softwares, a leading app development company dealing in modern and futuristic solutions. He loves to spend his time studying the latest market insights.

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