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IDE Apex Support

I'd like to start a discussion on what IDE support there is going to be.   It took me a long time to get the eclipse working for the S-Controls and it was almost life-changing when I did.  What a joy it was being able to edit my companies S-Controls in a convenient manner.

So, some initial questions:

 - Have the SalesForce development team planned for the use of IDEs.  I read through the (marketting) descriptions of how wonderful the new world of Apex will be, and I think I remember the seeing the acronym dotted around.

 - Will SalesForce be championing a particular IDE
    - will it be an extension of the current Eclipse plug-in?

 - Will IDE support be available during the beta phase?

 - As we have a full description of the new Apex language - what functionality might we expect in any IDEs sanctioned by SalesForce:  syntax highlighters, checkers, documentation...#

 - Is any of the wonderful SalesForce developer community out there planning on doing anything along these lines?
Right now we've got an editor working in Eclipse, and we will most likely make that available with the beta.  Our hope is that work will be augmented by partners and developers who bulid their own tools, or extend the Eclipse plugin (its BSD open source).

The good news is that we are developing the plug in as we've been developing the language, so we have been able to add APIs to enable advanced features like line level compile errors and maybe even syntax completion, etc.
Mike LeachMike Leach
This is an interesting topic. I'm still digesting and reflecting on the material presented at ADN, but I have a few initial thoughts on IDE integration.

Visual Studio.NET:
+ Would be nice to register a PLSOQL file type extension in VS.NET and perhaps create some bootstrap templates.

+ Creating a global setting in VS.NET for registering an API profile user.

+ Hook into the OnSave event in PLSOQL files in VS.NET and compile via the 8.0 web service API.

.NET Portal Toolkit:
+ Add a web-based script editor that basically does all of the above.

+ Hierarchically categorize Apex packages in the portal for use in AJAX binding (early syntax validation in Portal Explorer IDE)

This is a green field stuff. Lot's of opportunity for new ideas here.

Great job on 8.0 and putting together ADN!