One of the most requested features of the Developer Program is the ability to choose the version of a developer instance that one gets assigned. The current state of affairs is that you request an instance, are assigned a random one from the available instances. If you choose you can upgrade from there but it is difficult to go downwards once you do that. Some people want specific versions of an instance to match the training documentation they have, or to match production at their workplace or a client.
As of today, you can now do exactly this. You request an instance as you do currently, either from the button on the sidebar or from Manage -> Instance in the navigation bar. You’ll now be presented with a dialog that asks you which version you want to request. There is text in the dialog that suggests that if you don’t have a reason otherwise, Helsinki is your best bet. However if you have a desire for Fuji or Geneva you can certainly choose whichever you want/need.
Once you click the version, your request will begin being processed. After a few seconds, you will be presented with the page that shows you information about your instance including it’s name, URL, and the temporary password. NOTE: log in to the instance immediately with that password. You’ll be asked to change it on first login, and please keep a record of that. Pretty much every day I get requests from people who get through this process without knowing what their password is. Make my life easier, keep up with the password. If you don’t, you can reset it from the Actions dropdown on the Manage -> Instance page.
If you have a instance currently and you want a different version. here is what you do. If it is a higher version, you can upgrade your currently assigned instance. Included in this release is the ability to upgrade specifically to Geneva or Helsinki. Previously, the only option you had was to upgrade from what you had to Helsinki, now you can do either if you are starting from a Fuji instance.
If you want an instance that is a lower version from what you have currently assigned, you will first release your current instance. This means you will have no more access to it, so please backup anything you want to keep via update sets, integration with Git and/or data exports. Once you release, that instance will be wiped and is no longer yours. There will be a 15 minute waiting period, and then you can request a new instance. Using the steps above, select the exact version you want and you’ll be assigned an instance of that version.
On this post you’ll see screenshots of the results of two requests I made. I first picked the Fuji version then I turned around, released it and requested specifically a Geneva version. At this point the power is in your hands. As the text of the dialog says, if you aren’t sure then you should request Helsinki. However, if you have a reason for wanting another you can now go to it.
Do be aware, this allows you to pick lettered versions, or selectively upgrade to lettered versions. It does not allow you to select patch level within those families. That is maintained across all developer instances and is outside of control of the individual developers. All developer instances of a given lettered version are at the same patch level, and they will all upgrade at once (give or take some processing time), managed at the program level.
This should help solve some of the issues of developers wanting to get an instance of specific versions, or especially when that need changes over time. And don’t forget, there is a version selector on the Developer Portal that controls what you see. Whether you are looking at training courses, documentation or API docs, look at the lower right corner of the website and you’ll see that version selector. If you are ever looking at a context other than what you want, you always have the option to change it there. Flip it to the version you want, and all docs on the site will reflect that.
Hopefully this release will make it easier for people. Happy developing, developers!