Salesforce TrailblazerDX – automate the path to a future where enterprise software comes to you

Parker Harris

As Salesforce’s TrailblazerDX Developer Gathering kicks off today in San Francisco, recurring themes are automation, platform power, and making life easier for non-developers. Or as company co-founder Parker Harris puts it:

Why do it yourself if you can let the computer do it for you?

He develops his thesis:

At Salesforce, we truly see a world where enterprise software isn’t going to be something you need to proactively log into or go activate; it’s something that will come to you when it matters, thanks to the power of automation. That’s what’s so exciting and what we’re talking about this week. We think of automation as the orchestrator. It is able to attract people at specific times – when human sensitivity is needed for decision-making, or simply for approval – and as a trend [with a] huge potential. With automation, you can automate processes and workflows with little code – or you can do it with no code at all… Everyone is always looking to be more productive… and that’s the power automation.

Automation is already delivering impressive stats, according to Patrick Stokes, EVP of Salesforce Platform:

Automation is where a ton of innovation is happening and it’s where a lot of what we’re launching this week is happening…Salesforce Platform now powers over 1 trillion automations per month. It really is an incredible number. That’s about 44 billion automations that happen every day and add up to more than a trillion a month. We estimate this generates over $2 trillion in business value for our customers.

Upcoming Attractions

So what is announced today? For starters, there’s a significant expansion of Flow, Salesforce’s automation suite. The firm points out:

  • Flow in Slack to combine Slack’s collaboration capabilities with Salesforce’s low-code automation tools to “invoke rich business processes built into Flow inside Slack.” Flow in Slack will be released in beta in June, with general availability in October.
  • New Flow Actions to allow customers to initiate workflows in Salesforce Flow directly from a Tableau dashboard, which the company says allows users to “go from insights to actions and eliminate problems with switching between multiple applications to get work done.” At the same time, Flow Orchestration uses automation to simplify multi-step, multi-user processes. Stream orchestration is available today.
  • New flow integration to allow admins and developers to integrate data from any system with just a few clicks and invoke processes in any flow. Additionally, Flow RPA leverages MuleSoft’s Robotic Process Automation technology – natively integrated into Salesforce Flow – to import data or take action from legacy systems. Flow Integration is available now, while Flow RPA will follow in the second half of this year.

Stokes says:

Which makes [Flow] so special is that there is really no code, little code. It is empowering. So anyone – not just developers, but people who are actually part of the business – can come with Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, whatever Salesforce they have, and automate themselves within his company.

It’s a very powerful tool because anyone can use it… With Flow, service agents can now automatically route work between teams. Wealth managers can focus more on client outcomes by automating repetitive data entry, rather than doing it themselves sitting on the phone and typing it out. Healthcare providers can improve the patient experience by automating referral processes. And you can just go down the line for any type of industry.

Other announcements include:

  • Anypoint Code Builder, a new integrated development environment (IDE) allowing developers to build APIs and integrations with a modern user experience based on Visual Studio Code. This is touted as allowing developers to design, implement, and deploy APIs and integrations from a single environment in “days instead of weeks or months with expensive custom code.”
  • Salesforce Platform for Slack, a new toolkit that lets developers build custom Slack apps that pull key functionality — like actions, automations, and business insights — directly from Salesforce into Slack. Apex SDK for Slack will allow developers to write in Apex code they already know and automatically generate Block Kit. Salesforce says this means developers can now author for Slack by bringing context to any custom Slack UI, using Apex to retrieve Salesforce records, creating reusable views, and routing events between Salesforce and Slack. .
  • Beta availability of several Salesforce apps for Slack, including Sales Cloud for Slack, Service Cloud for Slack, and Marketing Cloud for Slack.

About the Salesforce Platform for Slack, Tamar Yehoshua, Slack Product Manager, says:

This will empower 11 million Salesforce developers to build apps in Slack. This means that they can use all existing knowledge of the Salesforce platform to create Slack apps. They can use their existing development skills that can take advantage of Salesforce authentication, UI definitions, and automation and integrate them into Slack without middleware.

As for Flow in Slack, she adds:

What Flow does in Slack is it takes the Salesforce flow and connects it with actions. In a low-code way, I can create a workflow in Salesforce which then creates a channel on Slack. So let’s say a deal status changes and you want to collaborate on that deal in a deal room in Slack. Just connect it through Salesforce Flow to automatically create a channel.

my catch

There are about 20 million Trailblazers… I’ve heard other estimates that there are about 22 million developers worldwide. So take that into account – there are almost as many Trailblazers as there are developers worldwide.

This comment from Shaun Clowes, product manager of MuleSoft, indicates the importance to Salesforce of the TrailblazerDX event this week. This week is also the first in-person gathering for this section of Salesforce Ohana since COVID kicked off, so there will no doubt be some additional buzz in the air.

Last words to Parker Harris:

We want to resolve issues quickly, which is possible with the best no-code, which I love. Do it without code if you can. Like, why write code? But we also have code tools if you need them, and capabilities to innovate without compromise. We want to deliver an amazing end-user experience and we want it to be simple and beautiful too, because they need a bit of magic, from personalized shopping to remembering which updates to paste into which system. For employees, the little moments of magic make a huge difference.