Salesforce Apex Programming language created the proprietary language known as Apex. It is an object-oriented, highly typed-programming language that enables programmers to perform flow and transaction control statements alongside calls to the API on the platform server. In this article, we will discuss apex programming, its benefits, and its features and will understand various core concepts related to apex.

What is Apex Programming?

Strongly typed object-oriented programming language Apex enables developers to run flow and transaction control statements in tandem with API requests on Salesforce servers. Apex enables developers to apply business logic to the majority of system events, including button clicks, related record updates, and Visualforce pages, using syntax that resembles Java and functions like database stored procedures. Web service requests and triggers on objects can both start Apex code.

What is an Apex class?

A class serves as a blueprint from which new objects can be made. A class's instances are objects. This is how the class is often defined. The Apex class is also like the Java class. The basis or blueprint from which Apex objects are built is an Apex class. Classes are made up of other classes, variables, exception kinds, user-defined methods, and static initialization code.

For instance, the class InvoiceProcessor specifies the class that contains each and every method as well as actions applied to an invoice. This class will represent a single invoice that is now in context if you wish to create an instance of it.

What is Trigger?

You may execute custom actions before or after events to records in Salesforce, such as insertions, changes, or deletions, thanks to apex triggers. Apex offers trigger support for managing records, just the way database systems do.

How Does Apex Work?

On the Lightning Platform, Apex is totally on-demand. End users initiate the execution of the Apex code through the user interface, which developers build and save to the platform.

On the Lightning Platform, Apex is totally built, saved, and executed.

how does apex works

When a developer creates and saves Apex code to the platform, the platform application server first converts the code into a set of abstract instructions that the Apex runtime interpreter can understand. Then, the instructions are saved as metadata.

The platform application server pulls the built instructions from the metadata and transmits them through the runtime interpreter before providing the output when an end user initiates the execution of Apex, possibly by clicking a button or browsing a Visualforce page. The end user doesn't notice any delays in response time compared to regular platform requests.

When can we use Apex programming?

The prebuilt Salesforce applications offer robust CRM capabilities. Salesforce also gives you the choice to modify the ready-made applications to fit your needs. However, it's possible that your organization has complex business processes that the existing functionality can't accommodate. In this case, the Lightning Platform provides a variety of choices for qualified administrators and developers to add custom functionality.

Understanding Apex Core Concepts

Variable Declaration:

Local variables are declared using syntax similar to Java. Multiple variables can be declared and initialized in a single sentence, just like in Java.

SOQL Query:

To search the Salesforce data of your company for specific data, use the Salesforce Object Query Language (SOQL). The SELECT statement in the popular Structured Query Language (SQL) is comparable to SOQL, however, SOQL is made exclusively for Salesforce data.


Apex supports five types of procedural loops.
These types of procedural loops are supported:
do {statement} while (Boolean condition);
while (Boolean condition) statements;
for (initialization; Boolean exit condition; increment) statements;
for (variable: array or set) statements;
for (variable : [inline soql query]) statements;

Flow Control Statements:

If-else clauses, switch clauses, and loops are all available in Apex to manage the execution of code. In general, statements are carried out line by line and in the order they appear.

DML Statement:

DML refers to the procedures used to accomplish operations such as inserting, updating, deleting, upserting, restoring records, combining records, or converting leads.

Data Types in Apex:

Each variable and expression in Apex has a specific data type, such as sObject, primitive, or enum.
An ID, Double, Long, Date, Datetime, String, Integer, Boolean primitive.

Primitive Data Types

With the exception of a few situations where a higher-precision Decimal type is used, Apex uses the same basic data types as SOAP API. The passing of values applies to all primitive data types.


Lists, sets, or maps can all be collections in Apex.


Standard or customized objects known as Sobjects are used to hold record data in the database. The programmatic representation of these SObjects is also represented by the SObject data type in Apex.


An enum is an abstract data type whose values can only be one of a limited number of predefined identifiers. You can create your own enum and Apex includes built-in enums like LoggingLevel.

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Object refers to a class instance. In relation to Salesforce, an object can be a class or it can also be created using sObject.


The basis or blueprint from which Apex objects are built is an Apex class. Classes are made up of other classes, variables, exception kinds, user-defined methods, and static initialization code.

Keywords In Apex

1. With Sharing Keyword:

You can instruct a class to take into account the sharing policies for the current user by using the sharing keyword. This keyword must be explicitly set for the class because Apex code executes in a system context.

2. Without Sharing Keyword:

To ensure that the sharing restrictions for the current user are not applied, use the without sharing keyword when declaring a class.

3. Class:

The basis or blueprint from which Apex objects are built is an Apex class. Classes are made up of other classes, variables, exception kinds, user-defined methods, and static initialization code.

4. Virtual:

With this keyword, a class or method that supports extensions and overrides is defined. Unless the class or method has been specified as virtual, you cannot override a method with the override keyword.

5. Abstract:

Between inheritance and an interface is something called an abstract class. A child class extends a parent class under inheritance, and both classes have complete implementations.

6. Interfaces:

An interface is similar to a class in which none of the methods have been implemented; while each method's signature is there, its body is not.

7. Extends:

A class can be extended to offer more customized behavior. All the methods and attributes of a class that extends another class are inherited.

8. Implements:

An interface is similar to a class in which none of the methods have been implemented; while each method's signature is there, its body is not.

9. This:

The current instance of the class in which this keyword is present can be represented using dot notation without the usage of parenthesis. In order to access instance variables and methods, use this keyword in this form.

10. Static:

A static method serves as a convenience method and never relies on an instance member variable's value. A static method can't access the instance member variable values of its class because it is only connected to a class.

11. Final:

Final variables can only receive a value once, either during the variable declaration process. It needs to have value in one of these two places.

12. Super:

Classes that extend from virtual or abstract classes may utilize the super keyword. You can override constructors and methods from the parent class by using the super keyword.

13. Transient:

A field on a Visualforce page that is only required during a page request but shouldn't be included in the page's view state and would consume too many system resources to be computed repeatedly during a request is a typical use case for the transitory keyword.

14. Return:

The return keyword in Apex is used to quickly halt the processing of the corresponding statement's statements.

15. Null:

If the provided String is blank, empty ("), or null, Apex's isBlank method in the String class will return true; otherwise, it will return false.

16. Global:

This indicates that the method or variable is accessible to all Apex codes, not just that of the same application. Any method that needs to be referred to outside of the application, whether via the SOAP API or by other Apex code, should utilize this access modifier.

17. Public:

This class is declared to be visible in your application or namespace via the public access modifier.

Apex Tools

Illuminated Cloud:

JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA is home to the potent Salesforce development tool Illuminated Cloud. With the specific goal of giving Salesforce developers access to the full feature set of contemporary Java IDEs, Illuminated Cloud was created and put into operation.

Contemporary IDE capabilities like Illuminated Cloud significantly streamline the development and deployment of Apex, Visualforce, Lightning, and other Salesforce information types. It supports Salesforce DX initiatives as well as conventional projects. It also has live templates and intelligent context-sensitive code completion


When some of Apex America's colleagues began using Google Workspace products to improve the efficiency and collaboration of their work, Apex America first came into touch with Google resources. Work teams were already collaborating heavily when the organization installed the Google Cloud solution, so they fully took use of all that Google Cloud has to offer.

The development team especially loved how simple Google Cloud is to utilize because it allowed them to work twice as quickly. The sales staff believes it is essential to inform clients that they are now collaborating with Google.

Different tools for writing code in APEX:

Developer Console:

  • Many of your development duties can be aided by the Developer Console.
  • Debugging and Troubleshooting: A practical selection of tools is available in the Developer Console for quickly finding logical problems.
  • View Logs: To view a list of logs, click the Logs tab.
  • Set and View Checkpoints in Apex Code: Set checkpoints in the Developer Console to locate the error's origin.

Editing and Navigating Source Code:

  • You can browse, open, edit, and produce source code files using the Developer Console.
  • Packages for Your Organization to Browse
  • Examine and Change Apex Classes and Triggers
  • Examine and Change Lightning Components
  • View and modify Visualforce components and pages.
  • Make use of the source code editor
  • Format the code files.

Testing and Validating Performance:

  • The Developer Console provides a number of tools for performance analysis and code testing
  • Test Apex Code: Run Apex tests, such as unit tests, functional tests, regression tests, and other types of tests, using the Developer Console to assess code coverage.
  • Inspect Logs for Performance Issues: The Developer Console's Log Inspector is a context-sensitive execution viewer.
  • Executing SOQL and SOSL Queries: For administering SOQL and SOSL queries, the Developer Console offers a straightforward user interface.

Salesforce Extensions for Visual Studio Code:

This extension pack adds support for Salesforce platform development to the flexible, lightweight VS Code editor. These tools offer functionality for dealing with Apex, Aura components, Visualforce, and development orgs (scratch orgs, sandbox orgs, and DE orgs).


  • Ensure you have these prerequisites before configuring Salesforce Extensions for VS Code.
  • Salesforce CLI
  • A Salesforce DX project
  • Java Platform, Standard Edition Development Kit

Flow of Actions

When a developer saves the code and when a user executes an action that calls the Apex code, two sequences of events occur as shown below.

Developer Action:

When a developer creates and saves Apex code to the platform application server, the platform application server first converts the code into a set of instructions that the Apex runtime interpreter can comprehend, and then those directives are saved as metadata.

End User Action:

The platform application server pulls the built instructions from the metadata and sends them through the runtime interpreter before providing the output when an end user activates Apex by clicking a button or viewing a Visualforce page. The end user does not notice any variations in response time from the typical application platform request.

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Apex Environments:

  • There are various settings for creating Apex code:
  • Apex can be used in a sandbox, production org, and developer org.
  • Since live users are accessing the system while we are developing, our data may become unstable and our application may get corrupted, hence we are unable to do so in our production org.
  • Instead, we use the sandbox or developer edition for all of our development work.

Why is the Developer Console used?

In order to build, test, and debug applications for your Salesforce org, you can use an integrated development environment called the Developer Console. Activate the Developer Console. The Developer Console may be accessed from Salesforce Classic or Lightning Experience with just a few clicks.
Many of your development duties can be aided by the Developer Console. You can run a SOQL query or a SOSL search on the data in your organization using the Query Editor in the Developer Console. Data can be retrieved from a single object or several linked objects in the database using a SOQL query.

How to open the Developer Console in Salesforce?

Follow the respective steps to open Developer Console −
Step 1: Go to Name, then go to Developer Console.
Step 2 : A window similar to the one in the accompanying screenshot will open after clicking "Developer Console."

how to open the developer console in salesforce

Understanding Salesforce Developer Console Interface: A selection of helpful tools for programming, fixing bugs, and testing apps are available in the Developer Console.

developer console

These parts make up the Developer Console:

Workspace with a tab for each open item
Logs, Tests, and Problems panel

Capabilities of apex:

  • DML requests are used to create, update, and remove records.
  • Statements for SOSL or SOQL inline for record retrieval.
  • Control structures containing loops that facilitate batch processing.
  • A record-locking syntax that avoids conflicts between record updates.
  • Individual public API calls.
  • Emails are sent and received.
  • Integrations using XML requests and responses or web services.
  • Warnings and errors to stop the modification of objects that Apex references.

Features of apex:


DML procedures including INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, as well as DML Exception handling, are supported by Apex natively.

Java-like syntax and easy to use:

Because Apex employs a syntax similar to Java, it is simple to use. For instance, conditional statements, loop syntax, and variable declaration.

Strongly Integrated With Data:

Apex is built to simultaneously perform numerous queries and DML expressions because it is data-focused. On the database, it issues numerous transaction statements.

Strongly Typed:

Strongly typed languages include Apex. It employs direct references to schema objects like sObject, and any faulty references that are erased or are of the incorrect data type immediately fail.

Multitenant Environment:

A multitenant environment is used to run Apex. In order to prevent runaway code from monopolizing shared resources, the Apex runtime engine is built to be extremely vigilant against it.

Upgrades Automatically:

In conjunction with Salesforce versions, Apex gets improved. It doesn't require manual upgrading. 

Easy Testing:

Apex includes built-in support for unit test design and execution, as well as test results that show the percentage of your code that is covered and which areas of your code could use some efficiency improvements.

Advantages of Apex as a Programming Language:

  • Extremely quick prototype and delivery
  • Very straightforward development paradigm
  • Eliminates the need to become involved in matters not directly related to the project design (such as connection pooling etc).
  • Few moving parts make maintenance simple.
  • Extremely rapid change implementation
  • Large scale
  • Since everything "lives" in the database, it is simpler to build efficient and reusable code.

Disadvantages of Apex as a Programming Language

  • Data and business logic must be located on the same tier.
  • On a local server, deployment is more difficult. Many steps must be taken needs Oracle RDBMS; as a result, it cannot be used with other RDBMS platforms. Although at first glance this may appear to be a drawback, Oracle databases are the best. The availability of RDBMS and Oracle RDBMS close integration encourages the development of dependable, high-performing apps.
  • It's difficult to print well. No built-in report printing option. More flexibility is needed, especially for the way reports are displayed on mobile devices.

Difference between traditional code & Apex programming:

A conventional code can instruct the machine to perform any action and is completely flexible.
Apex is controlled and is limited to what the system permits.

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When a user needs to apply intricate business logic to rows of data being saved by any means, Apex should be your go-to option. Additional web services API capability must be developed in order to expose logic to Salesforce or other external apps.

He must use an external Web service and handle the outcomes. Incoming or outgoing emails require handling in ways that go beyond declarative functionality.

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As a content writer at HKR trainings, I deliver content on various technologies. I hold my graduation degree in Information technology. I am passionate about helping people understand technology-related content through my easily digestible content. My writings include Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Python, Salesforce, Servicenow and etc.