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We want to migrate from Force.com IDE to VScode. I have some questions around this.

  1. Can we use metadata format (src folder) with vscode, if yes than how? if not then,
  2. Would migrating to source format will have any effect on our existing packaging org, also
  3. With eclipse IDE we have ZIP editor plugin added, by help of it we can edit JS files which are in static resource, Is there any similar tool available with VScode.
  4. Performance wise is it better than eclipse force.com IDE?

Note: We don't want to use scratch orgs and SFDX feature yet but just want to take the benefit of features provided by vscode-salesforce extension.

  • If you are open to using a different IDE, I can strongly recommend IntelliJ IDEA and Illuminated Cloud. This has excellent support for static resources using a feature called "static resource bundles" - this lets you store the ZIP as a folder with files in it within your version control, just like SFDX does. It also handles namespaces well allowing you to map them for deployment to dev orgs with developer-specific namespaces. – Phil W Apr 3 at 7:27
  • @PhilW It is paid IDE i think, right? I don't think "they" would agree on a paid IDE. – Mr.Frodo Apr 3 at 7:32
  • Yes, it costs money. It is more than worth the expense. You get excellent JavaScript editing and debugging support directly from the IDE, Illuminated Cloud is fast - you only get slowed down by the communications to your org when performing certain operations (so by your network and the performance of your org itself) - it has excellent auto-completion, refactoring, source navigation and offline debug support. And it lets you use either metadata format or SFDX format. I would recommend you download the trial versions of both IDEA and IC2 and give it a go. Verify the benefits then fight for it. – Phil W Apr 3 at 7:37
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    On the VSCode vs Illuminated Cloud question, we have people using both, and they are both way better than the old Eclipse IDE. – Keith C Apr 3 at 8:38
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Well, right now experts from Salesforce don't recommend to migrate large projects into the new SFDX folder structure, nevertheless it's recommended to migrate to VS Code as IDE.

  1. So yes, it's possible to use the same src folder format in VS Code. My preferred work mode is enabling the Salesforce Extension Pack and using one of the many extensions available on the market to work with the old project structure. I like to use the ForceCode extension.
  2. That way of develop won't have impact on your org, since the way you are deploying is the same than before
  3. For ZIP editor, I haven't got info at the moment, but surely you can achieve some plugin of the market for that purpose. VS Code has a big community behind it.
  4. Eclipse is an expensive tool in terms of performance. VS Code is lighter and in terms of shorcuts, development tools, functionalities, extensions, flexibility, git integration, etc. is much better than eclipse.

Hope it helps a bit!

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    Could you please provide links to discussions/articles substantiating your opening statement? – Phil W Apr 3 at 7:30
  • Thanks for the extension. It is really helpful. – Mr.Frodo Apr 13 at 12:50
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Can we use metadata format (src folder) with vscode, if yes than how?

You can, but that means dealing with a package.xml and stuff that you've been dealing with, and using terminal commands or writing your own extension(s). VS Code is an IDE, but depends on SFDX for its commands, which do not all have an GUI option yet. So, you could develop in src, but you'd have to:

sfdx force:mdapi:deploy -d src -e true -l RunLocalTests 

See the online help for additional options and preferences you can use.

Would migrating to source format will have any effect on our existing packaging org, also

No. Your components in the packaging org would remain the same as far as your managed package is concerned. You need to migrate to source format if you want to use VS Code GUI commands.

With eclipse IDE we have ZIP editor plugin added, by help of it we can edit JS files which are in static resource, Is there any similar tool available with VScode.

In source format, static resource ZIPs are automatically expanded on your local computer and zipped upon using force:source:deploy or force:source:push. There's no need for any extra extensions aside from the Salesforce Extensions Bundle.

Performance wise is it better than eclipse force.com IDE?

The performance is best when you use source format (mdapi tends to be far slower than force:source:deploy/force:source:push), and you can optimize your repository into packages/versions. If you can use force:source commands, you'll get far better performance than Force.com IDE or any other non-DX-based IDE.

  • Thanks for detailed answer. It really improved my understanding. – Mr.Frodo Apr 13 at 12:51

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