Assessing Your Salesforce DevOps Practices
Developing new updates and applications in Salesforce is a great way to address the evolving needs of your customers while remaining competitive within your industry. The methods and tools used to achieve these goals will impact your levels of success.
A Salesforce development pipeline that isn’t optimized and streamlined won’t provide the intended results and can result in lost revenue over time.
DevOps aims to create the most beneficial development pipeline possible. There are a variety of tools and processes that will assist you as you perfect your efforts. However, many companies either aren’t utilizing the appropriate tools or simply aren’t aware of them.
DevOps for Salesforce is more like a journey than a light switch. Companies can choose to integrate certain aspects of DevOps tooling to address their current needs. And as their needs and expectations grow, so can their approach to their Salesforce development pipeline.
Are you analyzing your current practices and looking for potential improvements? Are you aware of all the possibilities that a mature Salesforce DevOps pipeline can offer?
1. Streamlining Integration/Deployment
Multi-developer teams can run into a lot of issues, especially if the team is spread throughout a variety of geographical locations. This will involve combining the efforts of multiple people into a singular data repository. However, this process will often lead to code overwrites, unstable structures, and unchecked errors.
Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery/deployment (CD) automate the process of moving code from production to deployment.
Manual integrations and deployments run the risk of missing critical coding errors that impact end user functionality as well as data security. Are you automating these critical processes, or do you have a dedicated team member performing these checks?
Utilizing automation will be a running theme throughout the different sections of this article. CI/CD are essential tools in DevOps for Salesforce.
2. Quality Testing
The only way to ensure proper functionality upon release is to test every line of code. Improper code opens the application or update up to a variety of negative consequences. At best, bad code will create a poor experience for your end user. At worst, bad code will open users up to cyberattacks and data loss events.
Testing must be integrated throughout the various stages of DevOps for Salesforce.
The amount of testing you need for your particular environment will vary depending on the size of your releases, the number of developers working on a single project, and the data security requirements of your industry.
Are you utilizing these essential testing tools to verify the proper functionality of your projects?
3. Sandbox Management
There are options for how your DevOps team trains, writes, and tests new lines of code. Working within the shared repository is a risky way for teams to address these issues. However, it is a frequent method employed by teams that don’t have much experience or businesses that haven’t properly supported the infrastructure of their DevOps teams.
Sandboxes provide a risk-free environment for development teams to write and test new lines of code separate from the shared repository.
Sandbox management streamlines the use of these essential aspects of DevOps for Salesforce.
Is your team utilizing separate coding environments to reduce overwrites, provide realistic training environments, and increase productivity? If not, the addition of sandboxes could expand the potential of your DevOps processes.
4. Data Security Measures
It’s very easy to focus on the quality of products produced by a DevOps pipeline. However, that is only one of the concerns that should dictate the processes and tools you use to produce development releases.
Data security measures need to be incorporated into every step throughout your Salesforce DevOps pipeline.
Rates of cybercrime nearly doubled in 2020 compared to the previous year. The need for data security has never been higher. Assess your potential security risks and work to shore them up as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Are you utilizing tools such as data backup and recovery to protect your system against data loss events? These tools will not only increase your security, they can also keep your company in line with government data protection regulations.
5. Metadata Management
There are many kinds of data that will impact the success of your DevOps practices for Salesforce. One such set of data will be your system’s metadata—often described as “data about data.”
Your metadata dictates how various functions operate and needs to be protected as diligently as other sets of data.
There are many uses for metadata which is why it needs to be protected.
Are you making the most of your metadata and ensuring that it is properly cared for? Backing this information up will help you quickly return to operations after a data loss event and reduce the amount of redundant work for your team members.
Proper metadata management solidifies data relationships, protects sensitive information, and supports proper functionality of your Salesforce environment.
6. Adherence to Best Practices
The tools you use in DevOps for Salesforce have a massive impact on the success of your development efforts. However, that is only half of your operations. You also need to consider the actions of the team members making use of those tools.
Unifying the methods and processes used by your team members will create repeatable and predictable results.
Properly communicating a few best practices to your team members will improve productivity and support data security measures. The best practices that will most benefit your particular DevOps for Salesforce needs will vary from one environment to the next. Here are some examples of best practices that can benefit your DevOps efforts:
- Maintain updated user permissions
- Run frequent system audits
- Keep lines of communication open between teams
- Backup your data and institute restore functionality
- Utilize Sandboxes
- Implement as much automation as possible
DevOps for Salesforce will involve different tools and methods between particular instances. However, frequently assessing your needs and your methods can provide a roadmap to improve your DevOps efforts. Revisit these considerations from time to time to see if there are ways you can further optimize and streamline your DevOps efforts.