When I moved into Salesforce development having been primarily a PHP developer I was thrilled to learn that the Force.com IDE was an eclipse plugin as I already used eclipse for development. It has for many years served its purpose well, with only a few hiccups every now and again, that is until a few years ago when I moved to a Mac and lost autocomplete functionality and more recently when I upgraded the IDE version and lost the correct syntax highlighting! Well if you have ever experienced similar then keep reading as there is an excellent alternative to Eclipse!
Sublime Text 3 is the equivalent to eclipse in that it allows multiple plugins and therefore supports multiple languages, for example I use it for PHP development now as well as Salesforce development. Version 3 is currently in beta but this is the version I am using and have had no issues to date. The trial version of Sublime Text has no enforced time limit and therefore can be used in theory without paying for it, however you do receive a pop up every now and again asking you to buy a licence which to be honest is worth it. The licence is $70 per user and as it’s per user it can be installed on multiple machines and operating systems without the need for additional licences.
Key core features include split editing, distraction free mode, GoTo Anything, Instant Project Switch and Customize Anything. With 100’s of plugins available for use with Sublime Text you really can tailor it to your needs.
Mavensmate is an open source plugin for Sublime Text 3 and aims to replicate and extend the functionality of the Force.com IDE which in my opinion it does fantastically as its written by Force.com Developers.
MavensMate uses the Salesforce.com Partner, Metadata, and Tooling APIs to create a rich user experience in a beautiful looking user interface. With features such as code assist autocomplete, project management, syntax highlighting, Metadata subscription, Debug logging and compiling on Save options this is more than a viable alternative to the eclipse IDE.
It supports the creation of Apex scripts and allows you to run them via the Execute Anonymous and return the debug log. It also allows you run your apex tests from within the IDE, and when ready deploy the project metadata to different orgs.
I have only been using this setup for a short while but have had no issues and at the moment I see no reason to return to eclipse and the Force.com IDE. If you want to try out Mavensmate then follow the directions below for installation instructions.
- OSX (10.8+)
- Windows (Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8)
- Linux (Ubuntu 14)
- Sublime Text 3: Download
- Sublime Text Package Control must be installed: https://sublime.wbond.net/installation
Via Sublime Text Package Control
- Open Sublime Text 3 (Sublime Text 2 no longer supported)
Package Control: Install Packagecommand
- Search for