7 Things You Need to Know About Salesforce Deployments
Understanding Salesforce deployments from every angle makes it easier to put together a repeatable and comprehensive approach to this critical phase of the DevOps pipeline.
Why It Matters: Unchecked errors and unoptimized processes create data security concerns while also reducing productivity and increasing the overall cost of every DevOps project.
- Failed deployments can lead to system downtime, affecting productivity for users who rely on Salesforce for their daily tasks.
- The time spent identifying, troubleshooting, and rectifying deployment failures adds to the cost of an outage.
Here are 7 things every developer and administrator needs to understand about Salesforce deployments:
- Metadata Is Everywhere
- Automated Testing Is Essential
- Change Management Saves Time and Money
- Data Security Needs Constant Attention
- AI Requires Guardrails
- Documentation Helps Compliance
- There’s Always Room for Growth
1. Metadata Is Everywhere
It’s easy to focus on code health, metrics, and system data—and for good reason! However, these aren’t the only types of data impacting your Salesforce deployments.
Metadata exists behind every function of your DevOps pipeline to describe how a piece of data operates as well as prescriptive information about how the data itself was created.
Salesforce relies on metadata to define the configuration of an org. Various components, such as custom objects, fields, Apex code, workflows, and more, constitute this metadata, which is essential to comprehend before deployment.
2. Automated Testing Is Essential
Manual processes can be clunky, time-consuming, and prone to errors. Our team members are our strongest asset for accomplishing DevOps goals, but it’s best to automate repetitive tasks like testing to free them up for more intensive tasks.
Thoroughly test changes before deployment. Writing and running unit tests, as well as integration tests, is crucial to verify that modifications won’t negatively impact existing functionalities.
Automating these tasks ensures they will be performed quickly with reliable results. Testing up front saves headaches down the road.
3. Change Management Saves Time and Money
Multi-developer teams need to have a series of processes to safeguard a DevOps project. Two developers working on the same piece of code can lead to bugs, contradictory code, and data security vulnerabilities. Having a robust change management process to document and track changes is critical for a streamlined Salesforce deployment.
This includes version control, change request tracking, and approval workflows to ensure proper handling of modifications before deployment.
Properly managing these changes enables larger teams to produce updates and applications at a much quicker rate without sacrificing quality.
4. Data Security Needs Constant Attention
Data security threats continue to evolve. And if you aren’t doing everything you can to keep your Salesforce environment secure, you aren’t doing enough. The quality of applications and updates that come out of your DevOps pipeline will either help or hurt your security efforts.
An optimized Salesforce deployment strategy will produce more secure applications and updates by avoiding the introduction of bugs and errors into live environments.
This is one of the reasons automated testing is so important. These safeguards impact a lot more than simply the success of an application.
5. AI Requires Guardrails
Artificial intelligence is being incorporated into just about every phase of the application development life cycle. And while these tools have the potential to drastically increase the productivity of DevOps teams, they also come with some inherent risks.
Using artificial intelligence will necessitate the use of automated testing tools like static code analysis to avoid introducing unseen vulnerabilities into your Salesforce deployments.
We recently hosted a webinar that digs into everything you need to know about these emerging technologies. Check it out here.
6. Documentation Helps Compliance
Understanding what’s going on in your Salesforce DevOps pipeline will help improve your deployments, along with other important considerations. A reliable CI/CD suite will offer dashboards and reports so you can keep track of successes and failures for future improvements.
Document all changes and communicate effectively among team members involved in the deployment process. Clear documentation helps everyone understand the purpose and impact of changes.
This documentation is crucial to being able to prove compliance with data security regulations in the event of an audit.
7. There’s Always Room for Growth
Your organization’s needs are going to change and expand over time. Your approach to DevOps and Salesforce deployments needs to grow alongside your organization. Analyzing your current processes for potential improvements is critical to seeing the best results.
After deployment, monitor the system for any anomalies or errors. Conduct post-deployment activities like user training, support readiness, and performance monitoring to ensure a smooth transition.
Salesforce deployments require a lot of attention to ensure you are always getting the desired results from your efforts. These efforts will need to be adjusted over time, and that’s only possibly when you pay attention and remain committed to being flexible in your approach.
The first step to guarding against a problem is to understand it. Only then can you put the proper systems in place to reduce your chances of experiencing these problems.
Check out our blog, Understanding Common Salesforce Deployment Problems, to learn more about what to watch out for in your Salesforce DevOps pipeline.
What are the different types of Salesforce deployments?
Salesforce deployments refer to the various methods of transferring changes made in a sandbox or development environment to the production instance. The different types include Change Sets, Salesforce CLI, Metadata API, and third-party deployment tools. Change Sets, a point-and-click tool within Salesforce, allows admins to select specific components for deployment between environments. Salesforce CLI provides a command-line interface for scripting deployments and automating tasks. Metadata API enables programmatic access to metadata, facilitating the retrieval, deployment, and manipulation of configurations. Additionally, third-party tools and integrations offer extended functionalities, aiding in complex deployments and continuous integration workflows to streamline and automate the deployment process.
How can you roll back changes after a failed Salesforce deployment?
Rolling back changes following a failed Salesforce deployment involves several steps. First, identify the exact cause of the deployment failure by reviewing error logs and diagnostic information. Utilize features within deployment tools that might allow for automatic rollback. In instances where an automated rollback isn’t possible, manually reverse the changes made during deployment. This could include deactivating components, restoring data from backups, or adjusting configurations. Subsequently, thoroughly test the system to ensure it functions correctly after the rollback, verifying that it’s reverted to its pre-deployment state.