Using Developer Edition Orgs to Blaze New Trails


I want you to remember back in the day when you were in school. How many notebooks did you have? Personally, I had one for each subject. Some had pages and pages of notes in them. From bulleted lists to doodles, to missing pages- each had its own unique purpose. They helped me sketch out ideas.

So how many Developer Edition orgs do you have?

While I was on the road recently for our Lighting Now tours I found that many Salesforce Admins didn’t have any. And for the first few years that I was an admin, I didn’t have any as well. Mostly because I didn’t know why I needed one or that they existed. I want to take this opportunity to change that. To free your creative spirit and spur your curiosity!

Developer Edition orgs are like scratch pads

Developer Edition (often referred to as a “DE org”) is a fully-featured development environment with limits on data and users. Developer Edition is used for:

  • Trailhead – Salesforce’s free and fun online learning tool will have you log into your DE org or create one for you when you complete challenges.
  • Development and Testing – If you don’t have a sandbox (a copy of your Salesforce production organization), you can use Developer Edition to isolate development and testing. You can also use your DE org to test drive some AppExchange apps and components.
  • ISVs – Independent Software Vendors use DE orgs to create managed packages, which may then be released as apps on the AppExchange.
  • Developer Previews – Sometimes we release new functionality to the Developer Edition before other editions, so you can practice with pre-release features, pilots, or features available for purchase in your production environment.
  • Fun – You can have more than one Developer Edition and they never expire. so use one whenever you want to mess around and try something new.

Developer Edition orgs let you be creative!

As I learn Salesforce (yes, I am always learning) I find it beneficial to have a DE org to try stuff out in and to think outside the business box. When you only have a production org (what your company pays for) and a sandbox (a copy of that production org) you tend to think of app building only within the constraints of what you company does. I had some big breakthroughs in learning when I tried building apps in a DE org. For instance, you can read about the Top Gear app I created for myself while binge-watching episodes over the winter.

It can be intimidating at first to learn Salesforce when all you have is a production org. That’s why Trailhead is so great at helping you get hands on by completing challenges in a Developer Edition org.

It’s time to poke the bear

Learning with Trailhead is a great way to build foundational skills and get hands on. But what if you have an idea and want to try something out? Or learn about a new feature that you want to play with? Sign up for a DE org. In fact, as I write this I have over 35 different orgs. You probably don’t need that many – to be honest.

Ever wondered what different customizations look like in Path? Try it out in a DE org.
Or have you ever tried hitting the number of limits on Favorites in Lightning? Try it out in a DE org.
What about building an app to manage all of the times you changed a baby’s diaper? Try it out in a DE org.

Tips for signing up for a DE org

If you go to the Developer Edition sign up page, I want to give you a couple tips that I have found when signing up for a DE org that will make your life easier.

  1. Email: Use an email address you have easy access to. I’ve even gone so far as to open a new email address account (Gmail, etc.) just for my DE orgs. That way all the email alerts, etc. go there and it makes managing them easy.
  2. Username: Your username doesn’t have to be the email you use. It just needs to be in the form of an email address- something@something.something so it needs to include an @ symbol and a (.).
    What I have found super useful is to make the username relevant to what I am building or testing- like writing the subject name on the cover of the notebook. I like to make the username obvious to what I was building or testing. So I use firstname.lastname@releasename.month

Ok. It’s blue skies and green meadows in front of you as you blaze your trail! What cool app are you building in your developer org? Share on Twitter using #MyLightningApp and you may be selected to receive some mystery swag!

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