I'm new to Salesforce development but am an experienced programmer, and am trying to scope out potential costs for building an app. I'm seeing a lot of things I don't understand when researching Salesforce development, and I'm aware of the steep learning curve.

I'm looking to build some functionality for a client's SalesForce account, which is an existing paid account (Lightning Enterprise), and may include some custom programming. Is there any costs associated with being a developer? Or will the client's Lightning Enterprise account provide everything I need?

If I custom built a (non-paid) app specifically for one account, which may also have an external website that integrates via the Salesfore API, am I correct in assuming there's no additional charges from Salesforce for development of this app or using it in the existing account?

2 Answers 2


Welcome to the community, your question could go deep but broadly speaking no there are no significant additional costs to being a salesforce developer. You should be able to do all of your development in one of your clients sandbox environments which are provided as part of their enterprise licence.


You should sign up for a developer edition yourself for playing around with proof of concepts & learning the platform, which is a completely free environment for you to play around with. You can sign up for this at the developer website https://developer.salesforce.com/ which has a raft of materials that you will be interested in such as the REST/SOAP API documentation from the looks of your question.

You can write code directly in the cloud in what they call the "developer console" but you should probably download VS code & the salesforce extensions https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=salesforce.salesforcedx-vscode. There are other paid IDE's out there i.e. Illuminated Cloud 2 on Intellij but vs-code is more than sufficient.

There are a bunch of good resources out there for learning the platform including guided learning at http://trailhead.salesforce.com/

Some good books if you are serious

Dan Appleman - Advanced Apex Programming

Jitendra Zaa / Anshul Verma - Apex Design Patterns


You can get a free Developer Edition organization by going to developerforce.com, then clicking on the Sign Up button. It never expires as long as you continue to use it. You can create a package in this DE org that your client can install, also at no cost. The only time you have to pay as a developer is when you get into the ISV sphere (posting an AppExchange app). Alternatively, your client might have a "sandbox" you can do work in, and they can publish those changes to production. This would already be covered by their account, assuming they have sandboxes. In other words, aside from whatever time you put in to building this project, there are no fees that you, the developer, would need to pay to salesforce.com to be a developer.

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