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Get your development faster with Apex Code Assistance, Lightning Previewer and PMD Support for Apex in a new release of The Welkin Suite IDE

The Welkin Suite team just finished up its large push to hand out its latest Release for Windows, “Bloom R1”, as they continue toward their vision of having a one stop IDE all Salesforce Development by giving our users new possibilities for comfortable and fast development. For those of you, who haven’t heard about The Welkin Suite yet – it is a powerful developer-friendly IDE for Salesforce development that helps increase development efficiency by automating routine tasks and supply users all the tools that they need within one tool.

So what more opportunities can you have in the Bloom R1 release? For the most part, some existing features were improved and new ones were implemented so you would have even a more comfortable development environment. By the way, some features, like the PMD support, came by means of a request from one of our users, so thank you to all the passionate developers out there for your professional input!

So let’s move on to the feature enhancements that you will notice if you want to try this IDE, namely the Code Completion, Lightning Components and Applications Previewer, built-in PMD support for Apex, and a Getting Started Guide, and briefly look at how you can benefit from using the latest version of The Welkin Suite.

The biggest and the most long-awaited improvement was the totally rewritten Code Completion, and now it covers the different types of files with Apex code, so from now on, Triggers and Anonymous Apex files will have the same level of support and Code Assistance features as regular classes.

In another part of  this release, we completely rebuilt all the underlying components, that are used for the IDE’s Code Completion, starting from the Apex grammar, through the lexer and parser, and up to the logic and visual representation of the completions list.

Other improvements what you can experience  – more context-tailored completions, as well as the removal of all items that are irrelevant to the current context suggestions, so there’s no need to recheck what’s being suggested by the IDE, or wondering if your code will compile if you use this or that completion from the list.

Also, some of the most important things for Salesforce developers are Lists and Maps, because they’re always dealing with a lot of them when they are trying to optimize their interactions with a database. So from now on, we have fully implemented support for generics in Apex – this means, that when you’re looking for methods/properties of the list itself – we will show you them, but when you’re looking for completions for the list items – we will show you completions for the generic types, but not for the List types.

We have also implemented a one-time retrieval of the Organization data about the standard objects that are available for you, and their fields once you first open the project – this ensures that we won’t miss important sObjects, and we will be providing you all of them as you develop.

We included documentation for most of the standard Apex namespaces, classes, and their members into the suggestions list. This should be very helpful for both newcomers and seasoned Salesforce developers, as in this way you won’t need to open Apex documentation to refresh something in your memory.

Lightning Components and Application previewer

The Lightning Components and Applications Previewer has a great possibility to save your time as there is no need to be switching between different windows, instead you are able to check all your Lightning changes directly in the IDE. When you open any file from a Lightning bundle, you will see the Lightning Components and Application Previewer.

This way, when you make changes in any file, in the bundle, and build them to your Salesforce Organization, all the updates will be automatically displayed in the previewer in seconds, just after a change is saved on your Org.

In the cases when you are working with a Component bundle, the IDE provides you with a possibility to specify which Lightning Application should be used for previewing the component. And if you are working with an Application bundle, it will provide you with the ability to just specify some additional URL parameters.

Plus, you are able to see the updates from your Salesforce Organization without having to edit or build files in your TWS project. All that you need to do is hit a Refresh button, for instance when getting some updated information that is loaded to an Application on a Salesforce Org, or changes from other developers.

The built-in PMD support

Our built-in support for PMD in The Welkin Suite, allows you to use different rules for automatically checking your code before you update your Apex files on your Salesforce Organization. Just select the necessary rulesets or create your own, and then configure your settings and priority; no more worries – the tool will help you to keep your Apex code clean and readable. You can configure such rulesets directly in The Welkin Suite IDE, without switching to anywhere else.

Another possibility that the IDE provides you with, is that you can create your own custom ruleset with some selected PMD rules. You can specify the ruleset properties, and select all the important options to analyze your code. Also, you can load your existing PMD rulesets and use them directly in The Welkin Suite IDE.  Also you can set up the PMD globally, or you can select a separate project and enable PMD’s analysis just for that one.

It is also cool to mention that in the frame of the implementation of the built-in PMD support, we have added a PMD Report panel. Here you will find all the issues that are found after scanning your Apex files with PMD.  You also, in the PMD report, have a convenient option to filter all the issues according to the rule’s category.

Getting Started Guide

One small but we feel great thing we did, was we implemented a convenient guide which at this time highlights over 50 features, so you have a fast and convenient way of getting up-to-speed  on the full potential of the IDE.  

The ‘Getting Started’ window contains a list of useful features, options, and tips on how to work in the IDE. Each tip has some additional short description that can be easily seen by clicking on any tip in the list. But even better though, the main information about each feature is presented in a short 10-20 seconds tutorial/overview video.

Wow, this looks like a large amount of enhancements, but yet this is not a complete list. To get more information, please watch a 30 minute recorded video of our webinar that we had a few weeks ago with highlights of the release.

Or you can simply explore all these and even more handy features by downloading a free trial version of The Welkin Suite here.

Check out how The Welkin Suite can speed up your development process and increase comfort, and share your result with us in the comments!

Thank you for attention!

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