You know that thing, when inspiration hits, and you just want to build something cool? Well that happened to me whilst attending a recent London Salesforce developer group. And the output… Clicks not Passwords; a truly cross-platform App Tray utility for logging on to Salesforce organisations.
But let’s rewind. Before the DUG agenda was even set, I was already excited about the possibilities and potential of Salesforce DX. I’d seen online talks and read blog posts about Salesforce’s new set of tools and principles, shifting to a more modern, standard approach to development practices. These include aligning to a Source Code is the Truth mentality, as well as the release of supporting tools to aid this. Additionally, following the GA of desktop support for MobileCaddy, it’ll be no surprise that I’m also a big fan of Electron (and web tech in general).
Lightning struck (see what I did there? ) during the meetup, whilst Wade Wegner was giving his excellent demo and talk on Salesforce DX, and in particular how it’s CLI includes the capability to create aliases for your orgs (dev, sandbox, scratch, and production). Included in this alias-management is the secure storage of authentication information, that is then available to the CLI, enabling simple commands to launch browser tabs to specific orgs without the need to enter usernames or passwords. Brilliant, right? But what if you’re not comfortable with the command line? The answer… Clicks not Passwords. Whilst potentially not an issue for some folk within the Salesforce ecosystem, there will certainly be some admins and devs that will certainly benefit from this; I have personally seen at least a couple of our partners, who were building tablet apps for Salesforce, having to juggle and manage many dev orgs and multiple scratch orgs for single projects.
Anywhoo… that night, after returning from the DUG, I poured myself a dram of Tincup whisky and coded away for less than hour. That’s not a long time at all, but building on top of Open Source projects like NodeJS and Electron, and the SFDX CLI, I was able to run up an app on my developer machine that enabled me to list my current SFDX aliased orgs, and then click on each to open them… all without needing to remember usernames or passwords. And the beauty of using web technologies and the SFDX CLI meant that not only could I run this on my Ubuntu Linux laptop, but I could also run it on my Windows desktop, and my Mac… all from a single code base. This stack is similar to that used in creating our offline-supporting desktop Salesforce apps, so I had some experience with it already.
The project can be found at this open repo, and PRs are most certainly welcome (thanks to Mick Wheeler and Frank Hart who have already contributed).
Holy moly! That’s pretty sweet, @toddhalfpenny! Looks like it’ll be a sweet #SalesforceDX tool! https://t.co/8sObB4oHVg
— Wade Wegner (@WadeWegner) March 7, 2017
The roadmap for the project includes linking to pre-built distributables for leading OSs, along with further org management (addition, hiding, ordering, etc), and I’m sure this will grow as the SFDX CLI and other tools advance.
So if you’re on the DX pilot go and grab Clicks not Passwords right now, and if you’re not then sign up for the pilot.
Also, thanks to MobileCaddy, the back catalogue of London DUG talks is available at the meetup’s YouTube channel.