Getting Started with Apex Development on the Salesforce Platform using the IDE

Getting Started with Apex Development on the Salesforce Platform using the IDE

Below I will describe the steps to getting started using the SFDC plugin in Eclipse to start developing custom Apex classes and Visualforce pages for Salesforce.  This guide does not focus on configuration or "click" based development.

You may prefer to use the built-in developer console instead of the Eclipse IDE.

Download and Install the Eclipse IDE

Latest version of Eclipse as of 4/25/2014:  Eclipse Standard 4.3.2 for Windows 64 bit

Download Page:

Install the Plugin for Eclipse

  1. From the top menu, Click Help > Install New Software

    Eclipse IDE install new software
    Install the Plugin

  2. Click Add
  3. Under the Add Repository message

  4. Eclipse IDE Repo Location
    Add the Plugin repo location
  5. Eclipse will download the list of all available plugins.
  6. Check the box for the IDE plugin and then click Next. IDE Plugin download
    Download the plugin for the Eclipse IDE

  7. Within the Install Details dialog, click Next.
  8. In the Review Licenses dialog, click accept to the terms then click Finish.
  9. Eclipse will then download and install the IDE and any required dependencies. After installation is complete, you will be prompted to restart the IDE. Click on Yes.
  10. Select Window > Open Perspective > Other, select and click OK

Additional info on the IDE

More in-depth info

Sign up for a salesforce developer account

You will need a developer org to begin development applications.

Read up on the platform and the Apex Language


Various Helpful Tutorials and workbooks

Online Interactive Courses

Regular Webinars host by Salesforce personnel 

More In-depth Apex Learning Resources for more Advanced Techniques

Configure your IDE environment

Select the perspective 

Open IDE perspective
Select the Perspective

Create a new Project in Eclipse

Launch the Project wizard, select File | New | Project.

  • On the first page, enter the appropriate properties for the project.  Enter the salesforce login from your developer account.

Project NameRequired. A project is associated with one organization. Project names must be unique. You can create more than one project that connects to the same organization, but they cannot have the same project name.
UsernameRequired. The username you use to log in to the organization associated with this project (“home organization”).The username associated with this connection must have the “Modify All Data” permission. Typically, this is only enabled for System Administrator users.
PasswordRequired. The password for the specified username.
Security TokenThe security token is appended to your password as an added security measure. If you are using a security token, enter the value here. For more information, see the Salesforce online help topic Setting Login Restrictions.
Get security token from salesforce
Get your security token from your Salesforce control panel

EnvironmentRequired. Choose the appropriate environment for your connection:
  • Production/Developer Edition - Choose this option if you are connecting to a production or Developer Edition organization.
  • Sandbox - Choose this option if you are connecting to a sandbox organization. Sandbox organizations have an URL that starts with test.
  • Pre-Release - Choose this option if you are connecting to a prerelease server.
  • Other (Specify) - Choose this option if you want to connect to a specific instance.

Click Finish to create the project.

Moving forward, you will want to move on to configuring your SFDC org and create some custom objects, custom settings, sites and other objects in your Salesforce org and start customizing them.  The best way to go about this is to go through the workbooks.  

List of All Downloadable Workbooks:  Developer Workbooks

How to Create a new app and custom objects:  Work through this online workbook

Intro to Sites

More on visualforce:

Software Development Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

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