Writing your first program in Apex

Salesforce is a powerful cloud-based CRM platform used by businesses of all sizes to manage their customer interactions, sales processes, and marketing campaigns. One of the key features of Salesforce is its ability to be customized and extended through the use of the Apex programming language. In this blog, we'll explore what Apex is, how it's used in Salesforce, and provide an example of a "Hello World" program in Apex.

What is Apex?

Apex is a proprietary programming language used by the Salesforce platform. It's an object-oriented language similar to Java and C# and is used to write business logic, custom workflows, and to interact with Salesforce data. Apex code can be executed on the Salesforce platform in several different contexts, including triggers, batch processes, and scheduled jobs.

How is Apex Used in Salesforce?

Apex is used extensively in Salesforce for customizing and extending the platform's functionality. Here are some of the most common use cases for Apex:

  • Custom Triggers: Apex triggers are used to execute code in response to specific events, such as when a record is created or updated. Triggers can be used to enforce business rules, validate data, or to update related records.
  • Custom Controllers: Apex controllers are used to create custom user interfaces that interact with Salesforce data. Controllers can be used to create custom pages, dashboards, and reports.
  • Batch Processes: Apex batch processes are used to process large amounts of data in Salesforce. Batch processes can be used to update records, create new records, or to perform other data-intensive operations.
  • Integration: Apex can be used to integrate Salesforce with other systems, such as external databases, web services, or messaging systems.

Hello World Program in Apex

Now that we understand what Apex is and how it's used in Salesforce, let's take a look at a simple "Hello World" program in Apex. In this example, we'll create an Apex class that simply outputs the message "Hello World" to the console. Here are the steps we'll follow:

  • Open the Developer Console

    To get started, open the Developer Console in Salesforce. This can be done by clicking on the gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen and selecting "Developer Console" from the dropdown menu.
  • Create a New Apex Class

    In the Developer Console, click on the "File" menu and select "New" > "Apex Class". This will open a new file in the code editor.
  • Write the "Hello World" Code

    In the code editor, enter the following code:

    code editor

This code defines a new Apex class called "HelloWorld" with a single method called "main". The method uses the System.debug() method to output the message "Hello World" to the console.

4. Save and Run the Code

Once you've written the code, save the file by clicking on the "File" menu and selecting "Save". To run the code, click on the "Debug" menu and select "Open Execute Anonymous Window". In the window that appears, enter the following code:

Anonymous Window

This code calls the "main" method of the "HelloWorld" class and outputs the message "Hello World" to the console.


Apex is a powerful programming language used to customize and extend the Salesforce platform. With Apex, developers can create custom triggers, controllers, and batch processes to automate business processes and interact with Salesforce data. By learning the basics of Apex, developers can unlock the full potential of the Salesforce platform and create custom solutions tailored to their business needs.