Every year, Salesforce hosts TrailblazerDX, a conference for developers. This event is always filled with fun and content-rich talks for developers, consultants, and architects who work with modern enterprises to simplify their business processes by providing the ultimate experience to their customers at every stage of their journey. The Salesforce TrailblazerDX conference focuses on the development aspect for not only Salesforce but other technologies in its ecosystem like MuleSoft, Slack, and Tableau.
In this blog, I’ll cover a few of the big announcements that were made during the 2022 TrailblazerDX conference, including new products around Customer 360 and give an overview of a few of my favorite talks.
SFDC, Slack, MuleSoft, and Tableau Unifying Innovations
Salesforce unveiled several products that will seamlessly integrate into the Salesforce portfolio of technologies. One of those products is Salesforce Flow. Salesforce Flow is used to build process automation in Salesforce that works with almost every Salesforce product. This product can now tap into Slack, MuleSoft, and Tableau to provide a unified business process experience. For example, a customized Slack app or a button in the Tableau dashboard can trigger a business process flow that is residing and running in Salesforce.
Anypoint Code Builder
Anypoint Code Builder is an integrated development environment (IDE) built on top of Visual Studio Code. This helps create MuleSoft-based applications with improved developer productivity and provides the necessary tools and features to design, develop and deploy applications from scratch. This will be generally available in the second half of 2022.
Universal API Management in Anypoint Platform
This is a collection of products like Anypoint Flex Gateway, API Manager, and Anypoint API Governance that contribute towards achieving API management and Governance capabilities. This applies to APIs written in other technologies, not just MuleSoft.
There were several technical sessions throughout the Salesforce TrailblazerDX conference. The technical sessions included topics like building apps in Salesforce, building integrations with MuleSoft, and using analytics with Tableau, which all contribute towards having robust customer 360 views.
Here’s a summary of some of the sessions that I was excited about:
Dataweave For Apex by Kevin Poorman and Chuck Liddell
Data transformations are crucial in integrating systems and facilitating communications between several disparate systems. Dataweave is a powerful functional-oriented programming language designed specifically for data transformations in the MuleSoft world. It is very easy to write and understand as it natively provides constructs to transform data from one format to another. Apex on the other hand, is a powerful object-oriented programming language that allows developers to create applications on the Salesforce platform to customize for any client-specific needs.
Dataweave can now be used natively in Apex to perform any simple to complex data transformations. For example, in Apex we may end up writing several lines of code to parse CSV data and transform it to JSON while this can be achieved in Dataweave with just a line. See example below.
%dw 2.0 input payload application/csv output application/json --- payload
These kinds of snippets can be invoked directly from Apex methods for an easy data transformation experience. You can find several examples of that here.
Distributed Tracing With MuleSoft APIs by Manik Magar
Distributed tracing is the capability to track a service request that spans across multiple systems or applications in a distributed environment. OpenTelemetry (OTEL) is a standard to achieve distributed tracing. It provides a collection of tools, APIs, and SDKs to instrument applications, generate telemetry data, and export them to any OTEL-supported monitoring tool to analyze the behavior and performance.
MuleSoft APIs are often part of a distributed environment and tracing helps teams to understand and troubleshoot their systems easily when an unexpected event or an error occurs in their application network. Crowdsourced OTEL project provides agents that instruments popular programming languages like Java, Go, etc based applications to generate telemetry data out of them, but it doesn’t provide any for MuleSoft based applications as of 5/8/2022. This session unveiled an open-source agent that instruments MuleSoft-based applications and provides constructs to export them to any OTEL-supported monitoring tools. Go to this GitHub repo to learn more about the extension and how to use it. Also, to learn more about OpenTelemetry and its compatibility with MuleSoft, see this article.
Integrate Your Path To Net Zero With MuleSoft by Nisha Sharma
Environmental sustainability has been a popular topic these days. In my opinion, every responsible individual and organization must think and contribute towards building a sustainable Net Zero emissions future. As per this recent executive order, every organization in the US must transform their businesses to transition to Net-Zero. This means they need to reimagine their entire business processes to build a sustainable future.
Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud helps businesses track, visualize all the direct and indirect emissions data organization-wide, and help set targets and execution plans in achieving a net-zero future. How does the data reach SFDC Net Zero Cloud? Well, that's the challenge. In order to track emissions data, we need to tap into the businesses like energy providers to unlock usage data from them. MuleSoft plays an integral role in unlocking data from systems, orchestrating them, and powering dashboards in the Net Zero Cloud.
This was one of the interesting sessions that I attended and I realized an interesting set of use cases on how MuleSoft could be used to create a sustainable environment.
Apart from these kinds of informative and inspiring sessions, there were several interactive booths to walk around and understand some cutting-edge technologies that were built around Salesforce and its ecosystem of technologies.
As I primarily work on Mulesoft-based solutions for the enterprise use cases, this conference opened up my mind to think a bit more about enterprise challenges at a high level and think about solving them using not only MuleSoft but with the entire Salesforce ecosystem of technologies and products.
If you’re interested in learning more about the topics covered at the 2022 Salesforce TrailblazerDX conference, reach out to me on LinkedIn. I’d love to connect!