8 Essential DevOps Tools for Salesforce
Salesforce was originally built as a CRM. However, the last decade or so has seen the platform become widely accepted as a reliable development platform. Salesforce’s origination as a CRM means that the development platform can be optimized with the help of a few intentional tools.
DevOps tools for Salesforce can increase velocity, improve data security, and create higher quality code.
Large development projects in the Salesforce environment can grow large, and therefore confusing. There’s a lot to track and many opportunities for mistakes. Processes can become complicated. Considerations aren’t paid the attention they deserve, and the end result is wasteful habits and redundant work.
The need for new software updates and applications is matched by the need for the process used to create these products to be economical. Businesses rely on these processes to provide better services to their end users with the goal of turning a profit.
DevOps tools for Salesforce are designed to assist with this goal. Utilizing the proper tools helps provide a favorable outcome through optimizing the development pipeline.
Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) are essential aspects of an Automated Release Management system.
These powerful tools automate tedious tasks and free developers up to do what they do best—develop.
CI is the development process where the code is integrated automatically from multiple developers into a single software release. And CD is the process to get all types of changes—such as features, configurations, and bug fixes—into production at any time with the correct approvals.
These salesforce DevOps tools allow for effortless product updates while improving the time to market and overall return on investment. Best of all, they offer a more satisfying user and team member experience.
2. Version Control
Version Control (VC) is a critical component of a successful DevOps strategy and that foundation of effective team-based development.
The goal of VC is to manage software revisions and updates over time.
It does this by tracking each update to the source code with a time stamp as well as a signifier for each person that makes a change.
Regular backups of the code are created that can be integrated should an accidental overwrite negatively impact the code repository. VC organizes the project into a clear file structure to enable branching, effective merging, and providing updates on team progress.
3. Test Automation
Development projects include a series of interconnected functions working toward a greater goal. So how do you know if these various aspects are working together properly? You have to test them.
Automating these tests provides a complete view of your project and alerts you to any potential issues.
Waiting until deployment for such testing can leave you with a large amount of material to sort through to address the problem. Taking care of these issues as early as possible will help streamline the process and reduce costs.
Test automation accelerates this testing process through the integration of test scripts. Teams are enabled to collaborate on these scripts and manage test cases which reduces cycle times and eliminate errors.
4. Data Backup
Data disasters are unfortunately common. DevOps teams without the proper safeguards can lose access to essential system data, setting their projects back and costing large sums of money.
A data backup is critical to maintaining operations and adhering to any applicable government regulations.
Salesforce provides a backup solution, but there are much better options available. Salesforce’s backup is expensive, slow, and reactive. An effective data backup plan is proactive—ready to jump into action the moment it’s needed.
Data backups are one of the most important tools for Salesforce development. The ability to fall back upon a contemporary repository of system data provides a variety of important benefits.
5. Data Recovery
However, a reliable backup is only the first step in recovering after a data disaster. You also need the ability to quickly and completely recover this essential system information.
Salesforce’s native backup tool does not provide a recovery option.
Data backups must work in conjunction with a recovery functionality to provide the benefits that are expected by users.
A scalable data recovery solution allows DevOps teams a series of options to tailor the service to their needs. Do you need a complete data recovery? Or is speed of restoration more important? Options such as these are indispensable when addressing a massive data loss event.
6. Static Code Analysis
High quality code creates the best applications and updates. This will impact every aspect of the deployment and the resulting functionality seen by your end users. Implementing testing capabilities will go a long way to catch any errors, but the ability to find these errors in real time will reduce the impact on your team.
Static code analysis alerts developers the moment a coding error is written, allowing them to fix these issues as they move through the project the first time.
Reliable code structures promote speed, security, and adherence to regulatory standards.
7. Importing/Exporting Data
There will occasionally be instances where data—and metadata—will need to be moved from one database to another. Moving these files manually will be exhausting and incredibly time-consuming, as their numbers can grow quite large.
Automating the process of importing and exporting system data makes the process of moving millions of records across multiple environments very easy.
Administrators and developers can migrate complex records, enabling their teams to build and test across the Salesforce release cycle. These migrations and processes can be scheduled so you never miss an opportunity to streamline operations.
8. Sandbox Management
Development sandboxes allow developers to execute programs or files in a testing environment that doesn’t affect the general system. Large development teams might have multiple sandboxes spread throughout multiple locations. And large amounts of sandboxes can create complications that are difficult to track and manage.
Sandbox Management enables development teams to synchronize releases between multiple sandboxes in numerous locations.
Changes are analyzed after every cycle and configurations are aligned. These versions can be compared, and backups can be automatically triggered.
DevOps is the combination of development and operations considerations throughout the dev pipeline. Take this another step forward and incorporate data security considerations throughout the pipline for DevSecOps.
Salesforce DevOps tools are automated tools that help improve the quality, speed, and consistency of your updates and applications. This includes CI/CD, static code analysis, version control, and more.
This will differ for every instance. Some will be able to do a total overhaul with new DevOps tools and some will have to go piece by piece. The most important aspect is changing the way you look at your development pipeline and facilitate communication between all applicable team members.