Apex is an object-oriented programming language designed specifically for the Salesforce platform. Moreover, the Microsoft-endorsed platform empowers developers to create software as a service (SaaS) applications integrating with Salesforce’s customer relationship management (CRM) system.

With syntax similar to Java and the ability to define business logic like database stored procedures, Apex allows developers to add custom functionality to many Salesforce system events, such as button clicks, related record changes, and Visualforce pages.

How Does Apex Work?

Apex is a cloud-based language that runs entirely on Salesforce’s Lightning platform. All Apex code is stored on the cloud, eliminating the need for developers to maintain local copies.

When developers write and save code in Salesforce, the platform first compiles the code into instructions that the Apex runtime engine can execute. These compiled instructions are saved as metadata.

When end users trigger the execution of Apex code, Salesforce retrieves the precompiled instructions from metadata and sends them to the Apex runtime interpreter. The runtime executes the instructions and returns results to the user.

For developers and end users, working with Apex is as simple as working with any native Salesforce platform application. Apex’s cloud-based nature removes developers’ overhead and provides a seamless execution workflow for end users.

Features of Apex:

Below are the common features that Apex offers:

  1. Easy to Use: ​Apex is easy to use as it employs Java-like syntax. It relies on simple loop syntax, object and array annotation, block and conditional statement syntax, similar to Java, which is relatively easy to understand and code.
  2. Integrated: ​The programming language supports DML operations like Insert, Delete, Update, and DML exception handling. Additionally, it supports SOQL and SOSL query handling and returns a set of subject records.
  3. Strongly Typed and Rigorous:​ It is a strongly typed language where the user needs to define every variable’s data type, eliminating any confusion when compiling.
  4. Multitenant Environment: ​Like other lighting platforms, it runs in a multitenant environment. It prevents monopolizing shared resources, and any code violating the limit fails with easy-to-understand error messages.
  5. Automatic Upgrade: Apex is upgraded as part of Salesforce releases, so it will not require manual upgrades.
  6. Easy to Test: ​With built-in support to create and run the unit test. The test results are incorporated so that users know the amount of code covered. In addition, it confirms the execution of the code before any platform upgrades.

Beneficial Points of Apex:

Apex can be beneficial for businesses in the following ways:

  • With Apex, there is no need to purchase infrastructure or hire dedicated IT staff. The platform runs its code automatically without additional overhead.
  • Using the platform is cost-effective and relatively easy to maintain compared to licensing full-stack software. The monthly Salesforce subscription cost is less than traditional software licensing.
  • The applications are secure, authenticated, and accessible, providing a convenient experience that customers appreciate.
  • For developers, building apps on Salesforce with this programming language is straightforward to manage. Existing platform features and apps can be leveraged and extended.
  • The programming language developers can utilize Salesforce’s backend database to integrate with other third-party SaaS products. This demonstrates how SaaS solutions can work together, with the programming language as the integration glue.

Shortcomings of Apex:

  • Unlike certain programming languages, Apex does not allow developers to create threads.
  • Standard Salesforce functionality cannot be altered by the developers if needed.
  • Temporary files cannot be created with the programming language code.
  • Its applications and programs need to be designed to process multiple records efficiently.
  • The user interface does not display its elements.


In conclusion, the rapid pace of development in the adoption of Salesforce has made Apex a popular programming language. It provides businesses with a feature-rich platform to securely build scalable and integrated applications.

Developers can tap into Apex’s capabilities using recommended best practices and available development tools. This allows them to customize innovative solutions on the Salesforce platform aligned to each business’s unique requirements.

Lastly, with Apex, companies can use Salesforce to solve business challenges through customized applications.