The Welkin Suite Test Drive - End of Week 1

First up, a confession: I've not used it extensively. But that's down to two primary reasons:

  1. I've not been able to find a way to edit my source JavaScript files—I can edit files inside a static resource, but those I generate from others. I can open individual files by choosing File -> Open and browsing, but that's not fast.
  2. I've been mostly doing front end work, i.e. using those JavaScript source files.

So for the last week I've been editing my source JavaScript in Sublime Text, sending the 'compiled' output into a resource bundle directory that's part of my Welkin Suite project, and then switching that to build, i.e. send it to the server/cloud.

Things I Like So Far

It looks really nice, and it has some great features, but I'm hesitant to write about any of them yet because I've still only just scratched the surface.

Screen shot of the IDE in general showing the colour scheme etc.

The 'build style' of sending everything back to Salesforce at once is growing on me, though I need to use it more in anger before I make a call on that.

The Welkin Suite has some pretty sensible and easy to remember keyboard shortcuts out of the box. Command-b (I assume ctrl-b on Windows, I've not used my Windows box for dev this week) builds the project (including uploading static resource bundles as resources), and Command-. is the 'quick open', similar to Command-P in Sublime. This is a MUST for any IDE these days, combo -> type -> enter- > BAM! file is open.

It deploys super fast. Again, I've not done a lot of backend work this week, so my compiling has mostly been sending up static resources, but they're going in a few seconds, whereas Mavens Mate was often taking 20-30, if not longer in particularly bad cases. I don't know if the gif below seems slow to readers, but do remember this is from Australia, where all of Salesforce is slower than you might be used to.


Animation showing a build time of around 4 seconds

Things I'm Not So Keen On

  • Not being able to add all of my JavaScript source files (this is the last time I'll mention this).
  • Not having Vim style input. I was expecting this after last week, and it does hurt to use a plain editor having used Vim style almost exclusively for so long.

I'm going to give The Welkin Suite another few weeks at least, especially due to a short holiday break, so I'm far form a verdict and I'm aware that I've not listed a lot of details yet. Hopefully in the next two weeks I'll be doing more 'traditional' Salesforce development and will have a good reason to test drive some of the other features in the IDE.

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