TrailblazerDX 2022: Recap

Wow, it’s good to be back. What an event. After two years without any in-person activities, it was a surreal experience to say the least. Salesforce did an excellent job getting folks in and out of the venue, and making the whole event as well-run as we’ve all come to expect from them. The keynotes, sessions, and the concert experience (Weezer) were all very memorable, and they covered a ton of ground. There were a few stand-out items for me that I took particular note of and I’d like to discuss them here. In addition, there are currently (as of this post) 18 sessions on Salesforce+ available to view on-demand.

Platform Unification

A heavy emphasis was placed throughout the show on how Mulesoft will be used to glue together some of the recent additions to the Salesforce family (Tableau, Slack) and leverage some low-code Flow tooling, like Mulesoft Composer, to assist with those orchestrations. You could tell from the amount of air-time that this topic got, that this will be a heavy emphasis for the company in the coming years.

Mulesoft: Anypoint Code Builder

This was a big one for me. Mulesoft showed off new tooling, directly in VS Code, that will be used to develop API specifications, API flows, and will serve as a complete replacement for the aging Anypoint Studio product. It was a very, very welcome announcement for me and will make the process of building APIs on Mulesoft much more pleasant experience. There will be a beta of this later this year.

Read more here.

Salesforce Functions

Anyone who has be interested by serverless compute such as AWS Lambda or Azure Functions will immediately be interested in Salesforce Functions. This was announced a few years ago, but has made significant progress and there is already a well documented set of developer material available for it. Functions may exist in either NodeJS or Java, and have access to both Salesforce data and also Heroku data. These are a great way to bridge data from external systems, using technology you are already familiar with, into (or out of) Salesforce.

Read more here.

Event Based Architectures

Salesforce is leaning into the event-driven development model. Several mentions of the new Pub/Sub gRPC API were mentioned as the future of this style of architecture. This solution is a managed abstraction of Apache Kafka and handles all of the integration into Salesforce for the developer. If you are building software on Salesforce that previously would leverage Platform Events, Streaming API, or Change Data Capture… it is strongly recommended to use the new Pub/Sub API for that development.

Additionally, several mentions during the show were given to AWS for the new Event Relay service that sends events from Salesforce Event Bus to Amazon EventBridge. This makes it easier than ever to integrate data and functionality from AWS with your Salesforce data. Event information (such as when a record is updated, or modified) can flow from Salesforce to AWS and also back to Salesforce after processing is complete (also as event). Admins will also be able to configure this with low-code configuration in the future to better collaborate with AWS development/devops teams.

Read more on Pub/Sub API here

Read more on AWS EventBridge / Event Relay here.

DevOps Center

Long the wheelhouse of tools like Gearset, Salesforce has now entered the DevOps arena and will be making change management and deployments a first-class citizen inside the Salesforce Platform. A public beta has been confirmed for June.

 

How to Deliver an Amazing Software Demo

Having worked in software development for nearly 20 years, I’ve had a number of opportunities to speak in public (local user groups, conferences, webinars, sales engagements). The last 3 years I have worked exclusively as a solutions engineer, meaning that part of my responsibilities at work, is to actively speak to others about technology.

I decided to put together some notes I had about things I’ve learned over the years, that I feel may be useful to others looking to pursue a similar career path, or just to become more comfortable and relaxed in a public speaking environment. I tried to organize this list in a an easily digestible format, so anyone who wanted to, could reference it quickly/easily.

 

NDC Minnesota 2018 Recap

NDC Minnesota is the inaugural NDC Conference event for the United States. I’ve long followed the event online as they post most of their conference sessions on Vimeo. The event was held in the very well appointed St. Paul RiverCentre in downtown St. Paul, MN. Absolutely no complaints about the venue, the event itself, or any of the speaker presentations. I honestly was expecting a number of hang-ups since the first year for a conference is usually a learning experience but it feels as though the NDC team is really on top of everything given their past events at other locations.