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A Guide for Newcomers to the Apex Programming Language in Salesforce Intro to APEX


As soon as we hear the term APEX, one think that strikes everyone is What is the meaning APEX? The literal meaning of APEX is the highest point of achievement. This term was chosen by salesforce to depict their intention for designing a world class language. Apex is as Java for Salesforce and Salesforce is the best cloud-based customer relationship management platform. You can also gain a competitive advantage by utilizing the cloud and also become career ready by enrolling in cloud computing courses

Apex is a strongly typed, object-oriented programming language that enables developers to execute flow and transaction control statements on Salesforce servers in conjunction with requests to the API. Apex is a part of Salesforce and was developed by Salesforce. Apex is a programming language that allows developers to apply business logic to most system events, such as button clicks, related record updates, and Visualforce pages. Salesforce Apex's syntax is similar to that of Java, and its functionality is similar to that of database stored procedures. Salesforce Apex programming can be kicked off by requests made to Web services or by triggers placed on objects. To learn more about APEX, enroll in online Salesforce training.

What is APEX?

Apex is a programming language that operates similarly to database stored procedures and employs syntax that is similar to Java. Apex makes it possible for developers to incorporate business logic into system events, such as the clicking of buttons, the updating of associated records, and the display of Visualforce pages. As a language, APEX is having following Functionality:

1. Hosted: Hosted means that the Apex code is stored, compiled, and run on the server that makes up the Lightning Platform.

2. Object Oriented: Apex allows for inheritance, classes, and interfaces in its applications.

3. Strongly Typed: Apex is strongly typed, and it validates references to objects when the program is being compiled.

4. Multitenant : Apex is conscious of its multitenant environment, and as a result, it takes precautions to prevent runaway code by enforcing restrictions. These limits prevent code from monopolizing shared resources and hence serve as an effective safeguard.

5. Integrated With The Database: Integrated with the database, which makes it easy to retrieve and modify record information. Apex allows for direct access to records and the fields associated with those records, as well as the provision of statements and query languages for the purpose of manipulating those records.

6. Data Focused: Apex's primary focus is on data, and it offers transactional access to the database, which enables users to revert previous actions.

7. Easy-to-Use: Apex is simple to use since it is built on idioms that are common in Java.

8. Easy to Test: Apex is simple to test since it has built-in support for the creation and execution of unit tests, as well as code coverage. Before performing any platform upgrades, Salesforce runs through all of its unit tests to guarantee that all of its customers' bespoke Apex code functions as intended.

9. Versioned: Your unique Apex code can be stored and used with any of the available API versions. 

Refer to our comprehensive guide on introduction to Apex class in Salesforce for beginners for application development.

Features of APEX:

1. Easy to Use: Apex's syntax is similar to Java's, so it's not difficult to learn how to use it, and it's also not difficult to write code in Apex's environment. The syntax for simple loops, blocks, and conditional statements, as well as object and array annotation, are all used in Salesforce Apex, just as they are in Java.

2. Integrated: Apex offers support for DML operations such as inserting data, deleting data, updating data, and resolving DML exceptions. In addition to this, it has capability for looping, which enables the processing of several records simultaneously. In addition, it is capable of accepting queries written in SOQL and SOSL, both of which return a collection of topic records.

3. Strongly Typed and Rigorous: Because Apex is a highly typed language, it is necessary for the user to define the data type of each variable. This ensures that there is no room for ambiguity during the compilation process.

4. Multitenant Environment: Apex, much like other lighting platforms, operates in a multitenant environment. This implies that there is only a single instance of Apex running on the server, but it supports several tenants.

5. Versioned: You have the option of saving your Apex code against a variety of different API versions. Because of this, you are able to keep the behavior.

6. Easy to Test: Apex includes support for automatically creating and running unit tests in its core functionality. It provides the user with the test result so that they may determine how much of the code has been tested. In addition to this, it ensures that the entirety of the code is executed prior to the installation of any platform upgrades.

Working Structure of APEX:

As may be seen in the following graphic, Apex's operations are completely driven by customer demand.

The APEX platform works in the following flow:

Developer Action: When a developer writes and saves Apex code to the platform, the platform application server first compiles the code into a set of instructions that can be understood by the Apex runtime interpreter, and then saves those instructions as metadata. When a developer writes and saves Apex code to the platform, the platform application server also saves the instructions as metadata.

End User Action: When an end-user performs an action that causes Apex to be executed, such as clicking a button or browsing a Visualforce page, the platform application server will obtain the compiled instructions from the metadata, process them with the runtime interpreter, and then provide the result. The end user does not notice any changes in the amount of time it takes to carry out the request as compared to the typical application platform.

Due to the fact that Apex is Salesforce.com's proprietary programming language, it does not support all of the capabilities that are available in conventional programming languages. The following is a list of capabilities that cannot be supported by Apex:

1. It is unable to display the components of the User Interface.

2. You are unable to make any changes to the functionality that is given by SFDC by default, and it is also not feasible to stop the execution of the default functionality.

3. The creation of many threads is likewise impossible in this language, despite the fact that it is conceivable in other languages.

APEX Language Highlights:

Apex, much like other object-oriented programming languages, has support for a variety of language constructs, including the following:

  • Classes, interfaces, properties, and collections (including arrays).
  • Object and array notation.
  • Expressions, variables, and constants.
  • Conditional statements (if-then-else) and control flow statements (for loops and while loops).
  • Cloud development using Apex, which stores its code, compiles it, and runs it all on the cloud.
  • Triggers, which are analogous to the triggers that are found in database management systems.
  • Database statements that provide you the ability to make direct calls to the database, as well as query languages that allow you to search and query data.
  • Transactions and rollbacks.
  • The global access modifier, which is more lenient than the public access modifier and enables access across all applications and namespaces.
  • The versioning of user-specific code.

Data Types in APEX:

Because the Apex programming language is tightly typed, each variable that is declared in Apex must specify the data type that it will accept. Each and every one of the apex variables starts out as a null value. It is usually advised that a developer makes sure that the variables are given the appropriate values by following this best practice. If not, using such variables will result in exceptions of the "null pointer" type or any other type that has not been handled.

The following varieties of data are supported by Apex:

  • Primitive (Integer, Double, Long, Date, Datetime, String, ID, or Boolean)
  • Collections (Lists, Sets and Maps) 
  • sObject
  • Enums
  • Classes, Objects and Interfaces 

Primitive Data Types: Primitive data types are a subset of data types that are used as the foundation for the construction of all other data kinds. To be more specific, it frequently refers to the limited set of data representations that are utilized by a specific processor and that all built programs are required to utilize. These are:

  • Integer:A number of 32 bits that does not have any decimal places included in it. This has a value range that goes all the way up to 2,147,483,647, with a minimum of -2,147,483,648 and a maximum of 2,147,483,647.
  • Boolean: This variable's value could be true, false, or null at any given time. In programming, a variable of this kind can frequently serve the purpose of a flag, indicating whether or not a particular condition has been satisfied or not.
  • Date: The date is represented by this type of variable. This is incapable of storing the time and can only save the date. In order to store the date in addition to the current time, we will have to put it in a DateTime variable.
  • Long: This is a number of 64 bits that does not have a decimal point. This is what we turn to when we require a more extensive range of values than what the Integer type offers.
  • Object: We are free to refer to this as any data type that Apex is capable of handling. For instance, the Class variable can represent an instance of the class it is associated with, the sObject generic type is also an object, and specific object types such as Account are also instances of the Object class.
  • String: Any collection of characters enclosed in single quotes is referred to as a string. The number of characters that can be used is not restricted in any way. At this point, the number of characters will be decided based on the size of the heap. This prevents the Apex program from amassing an excessive amount of power and resources, hence preventing it from becoming unmanageably massive. To become more proficient in string class, refer to what is Apex string class in Salesforce.
  • Time: This variable is responsible for storing the current time that has been specified. It is always best practice to declare this variable using the system static method.
  • Blob: A collection of binary data that is kept in the form of an object is referred to as a Blob. When we want to store the attachment in a variable inside of salesforce, we will utilize this. The attachments are consolidated into a single object by use of this data type. We can use the toString function to turn the blob into a string, or we can use the valueOf method for the same purpose. Both of these techniques are available to us.
  • sObject: This is a unique data type that can be used in Salesforce. It comprises fields that are analogous to columns in SQL and operates in a manner that is analogous to a table in SQL. Standard and custom sObjects are the two distinct varieties available.
  • Enum: An enum is a special kind of abstract data that can only contain one value out of a limited number of predetermined identifiers. When defining an Enum, you can make use of the keyword "Enum." In Salesforce, an enum can function in place of any other data type.

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Apex is a proprietary language developed by salesforce and thus, has almost every aspect required for ease of use by the end user. It extensively cover data types which are at time not available in modern day programming language. It also simplifies the process of relationship management. Master the basic to advanced concepts of salesforce from industry leader, by enrolling in our online Salesforce training course.

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