Do I Really Need Salesforce Version Control?
DevOps pipelines will vary in size, execution, and approach for every business. Your needs are not the same as those of your competition. And because of this, every DevOps pipeline needs to take stock of their current processes and needs to find new tools and methods to fulfill their objectives.
Incorporating a Salesforce version control tool is an essential aspect of source code management, and likely a great help toward accomplishing your DevOps goals.
There are a variety of DevOps tools at your disposal such as CI/CD, data loaders, sandbox management, and more. How can you be sure you stand to benefit from utilizing one or more of these tools?
Speak to your team members. Analyze any available reporting. Educate yourself on your options. The more information you have to work with, the more confident you can be in your decision. A great way to start this process is to be honest with yourself and ask some questions.
Here are 7 questions to help you learn more about your Salesforce version control needs:
1. Do You Utilize a Multi Developer Team?
One way to accomplish a faster release cycle is to increase the amount of people working on your DevOps projects. Multi developer teams are a great way to increase production. More creative and skilled workers lead to innovation. However, this also presents a series of challenges.
Multiple team members working on a singular project run the risk of overwriting existing lines of code or introducing updates that don’t align with the main repository.
Salesforce version control offers a failsafe for instances of overwrites or improper updates. It creates copies of each version of the code commit to allow your team to revert to previous versions should an error occur. This makes it much easier to locate and fix bugs in the code.
2. Are Your File Servers Stable?
Your file servers offer a way for your development team to share and work on singular projects in a centralized location. These servers run the risk of becoming corrupted should the structure of these servers become compromised. Proper alignment of your team’s efforts helps avoid these issues so everyone can access the files they need to complete their tasks.
Salesforce version control maintains a shared, updated data repository for your development projects.
This helps streamline the process through allowing your team members to work through the various aspects of a project without worrying about interfering with other developers. Collaboration is a major aspect of a streamlined DevOps pipeline and Salesforce version control enables these efforts.
3. Have You Had Testing Issues?
The testing stage of your DevOps pipeline is an important aspect of guaranteeing a successful deployment. However, these efforts can become difficult when there are a large number of errors to weed through. Setting your team up with a workable branching strategy, effective merging, and updates on issues during the code writing stage reduces issues in later testing stages.
Bugs and errors become more costly and difficult to fix the later they are found. Version control works to minimize these errors to set up later stages for success.
Version control works to keep all changes to main code repository in sync with each other. This reduces the number of errors moving to the testing stage, setting your deployments up early for success.
4. Are Deployments a Challenge?
Speaking of deployments, this is the stage that often experiences fail points. Every stage leading up to deployment needs to work in conjunction with the next in order to achieve a successful deployment. Even deployments that don’t completely fail are liable to have bugs and errors, which is known as “technical debt.”
Ensuring strong code either through a static code analysis tool or Salesforce version control increases your deployment success rate.
Sourcing powerful DevOps tools like these are a great way to improve your deployments. Companies that have difficulties at this stage simply aren’t putting in the proper work beforehand. Skilled and knowledgeable team members are a large part of this, but management can help enable these individuals by providing specialized tools like version control.
5. Is Accountability a Priority?
Multi developer teams are likely to have a few members that aren’t as knowledgeable as the others. Finding frequent mistakes and attributing them to an individual is a great way to help that developer grow and improve future projects. However, this isn’t possible unless you are able to track which updates are performed by whom.
Salesforce version control tracks each update to the source code with a time stamp and personal marker.
Not only does this allow you to recognize who is doing what, it also means all changes can be compared, restored, and merged. This flexibility is essential to maximize your DevOps efforts and provides more flexibility for each project.
6. Are You Maximizing Your Team Members’ Efforts?
Talented developers aren’t going to produce their best work unless they have an infrastructure of support from both management as well as the tools they use. There are a variety of DevOps tools to help perfect code once it’s written, but this doesn’t help the early stages of writing the code.
Fail safes, accountability, and proper organization through version control helps Salesforce developers produce the best possible products.
Taking care of your team members fosters a better working environment and is likely to retain talent longer, and even attract better applicants in the future.
7. Is Your DevOps Pipeline Optimized?
Combining a tool like Salesforce version control with other DevOps tools such as static code analysis, continuous integration, continuous delivery, and data backup and recovery creates a streamlined system. These tools work together to create benefits that add up to more than the sum of their parts. A synergistic infrastructure helps your team create applications and updates that are sure to impress your end users.
Be intentional about the tools you incorporate into your Salesforce DevOps pipeline. Every instance is different but there are overarching benefits that apply to everybody. Improved collaboration, reduced errors, and maximized efforts are all made possible through utilizing Salesforce version control tools.