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Do I Need a Salesforce Release Management Tool?

Deploying new updates can be very difficult because of the inherent complexity of these releases. There are often numerous dependencies between the various objects that can misfire should a small error exist in a line code.

Salesforce has become extremely popular due to its intuitive interface. The point-and-click functionality has opened the world of development up to a wider range of people than ever before. This has translated into increased capabilities for many companies, a reduction in overhead costs, and more frequent releases.

And while Salesforce makes the production aspect of this process easier than many other development platforms, there are still challenges that users need to overcome.

Coding on a computer_AutoRABITDeployment is a very tricky—and very important—aspect of the overall development process.

Failed deployments create a potentially harmful situation for users as well as the company itself. Security issues can arise. Loss of access frustrates employees and customers. And these failures can come as a result of even a small mistake.

Release management is the process of organizing and overseeing the various aspects of a development cycle.

Testing new updates before they go live, integrating changes into the code repository, and releasing development projects are all aspects of release management.

So how do you know if you need the services of a release management tool for your Salesforce instance? What benefits can you expect? And what aspects of the Salesforce platform need additional support?

We’ll explore the various parts of a Salesforce release management tool so you can make an informed decision.

How Do You Know If Release Management Is Right for Your Business?

There are a lot of different factors that go into a release management plan that works best for your company. The first step is to consider the frequency and breadth of your current release cycle.

How complex are your development projects? How often do you release updates?

Entry-Level

Many businesses that make very small updates that don’t have drastic impact on service might not consider deployment much of an issue at all—moving from development directly into production.

A baseline of record-keeping for deployments and updates will help companies to track their progress and provide insight as to how to plan for the future.

Basic

Companies with multiple development orgs or more complex projects should utilize a release management tool for quality controls, testing, and integration tracking.

These processes will often involve moving pieces of code around, making changes, and reintegrating them back into the repository.

Failure to verify the validity of these changes can lead to broken deployments, repetitive work, and wasted labor hours.

Proper planning through the help of a release management tool keeps the project on track and reduces end-stage issues.

Woman coding on a computer in front of a window_AutoRABIT

Advanced

Larger projects are going to involve more users, intricate developments, and multiple environments for both testing and developing.

These projects absolutely need the help of a release management tool to move everything through the various stages in a cohesive and complete manner.

Release management will help align the efforts of multiple team members to avoid overwrites and conflicting code integrations. Scheduled testing and multiple deployments are likely necessary and can be beneficially arranged with the help of a release management tool.

Benefits of Salesforce Release Management

A typical Salesforce development pipeline can have multiple projects in production at one time. Large teams across various departments work toward a common goal—a successful release.

Release management applies to every aspect of this process and provides a variety of benefits.

Streamlined Development Process

Errors can occur when multiple developers are working on a singular project. Version control and CodeScan quality checks assist developers ensure that each commit to the shared repository is beneficial and productive.

Shorter Time to Market

A streamlined process increases speed. It’s important for a business to remain competitive in their industry, and an ability to quickly introduce updates, applications, and other software products puts them ahead of their competition.

Increased Collaboration

DevSecOps requires the efforts of teams across multiple departments. Release management outlines a process to be followed so all team members are aware of what is happening throughout the development cycle.

More Successful Releases

Optimizing the development process with quality checks and faster operations leads to an increased number of successful releases. Failed releases are the result of unchecked errors and improper methods—release management aims to eliminate these potential outcomes.

Salesforce Release Management Best Practices

Release management systems are going to have varying effectiveness depending on the practices employed by a company.

Man using computer_AutoRABITThese practices will need to be adjusted to best fit your specific needs, but there are some overarching considerations that need to be taken into account.

Aim for Minimal User Impact

The goal of many development projects is to introduce a product that improves customer experience. Minimizing downtime due to updates contributes to the overall success of this goal. Continuous testing and quality controls are important to successful deployments that avoid negatively impacting the end user.
Create New Objects Instead of Modifying Existing Objects

Reliable and stable applications create the best experience for your users. Modifying existing objects can create the opportunity for the introduction of errors and bugs to the general makeup of the application. Creating new objects to replace existing objects will give you a better chance at providing reliable updates.

Automate Whenever Possible

You don’t want to sacrifice quality for speed. Automating various aspects of your DevSecOps processes allows you to maintain an emphasis on both. Automated Release Management assists with quality checks, integration, reporting, and more.

Differentiate Between Continuous Deployment and Continuous Delivery

Automated Release Management streamlines the transition between development stages and production.

Continuous Delivery will send projects to production after receiving the appropriate approvals, while Continuous Deployment removes the approval step and sends projects straight to production.

Consider which of these options works best for your development processes and utilize them to increase the speed of your production cycle.

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