Top 10 Benefits of Automated Release Management
There are a wide variety of approaches to Salesforce DevOps. These differences will have a lot to do with the size of your team, your expectations, and the industry in which you operate. However, the largest impact on your Salesforce DevOps approach will come from the tools you use throughout the development pipeline.
Automated release management is an essential aspect of every DevOps strategy.
Release management is the process of planning and working through the application development pipeline. This includes everything from the earliest preparation stages, development, testing, deployment, and continued monitoring after release.
The automated aspect comes from the tools used to address these various stages such as CI/CD, automated release management, version control, and more.
So why would a DevOps team take the time to source and implement these various tools?
Here are the top 10 benefits of automated release management in Salesforce:
1. Higher Release Velocity
More releases per year means more opportunity to solidify your environment and offerings. Manual processes are slow and subject to re-working if they aren’t performed properly the first time. Expediting these processes through automation is the best way to get more projects to the finish line over the course of a year.
Automated release management drastically increases your ability to produce and release applications and updates.
Enabling your team with automation allows them to increase productivity without extra strain.
2. Drastic Reduction of Errors
Bugs and errors are the number one enemy of software development. Avoiding failed deployments and buggy releases not only keeps your costs low, but it also creates a better experience for your end user.
Test automation is critical to catching unavoidable flaws that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Tools like static code analysis provide essential barriers between coding errors and your end users. The results are stronger updates and happier customers.
3. Increased Data Security
Threats to your Salesforce data can come from a wide variety of angles—cyberattacks, accidental deletions, even natural disasters can lead to outages and data loss. We can’t afford to leave any potential vulnerability unaddressed, which includes within software releases.
Stable updates and applications are fortified against breaches by not opening backdoors through bugs and errors.
Automated release management includes tools like CI/CD strengthen testing processes, shoring up potential areas of attack before they are sent to production.
4. Enhanced Esteem Within Your Industry
Consistent, high-quality releases position you as a leader in your industry. Customers—along with competitors—are going to stay abreast of your offerings if you are recognized for an ability to regularly produce innovations.
Automated DevOps tools provide the help your team needs to ensure each release is secure and functions as it is intended.
Increasing your visibility in the industry keeps you top of mind for prospects and attracts top talent when you have open positions.
5. Consistent Releases
A main part of achieving higher esteem in your industry is consistency. One failed application or update can cause people to look at your offerings in a new, negative light.
High quality releases should be a goal for every Salesforce DevOps pipeline to maintain your good standing in the market.
People are prone to making mistakes. This is unavoidable. However, implementing automated processes will catch these mistakes so you can trust the reliability of your projects.
6. Improved ROI
Reducing cost and maximizing returns is probably the most basic tenet of business. And the best way to do this in a dev pipeline is to reduce the number of touchpoints for each project.
Bugs and errors found in later stages of the development lifecycle are more difficult, time-consuming, and therefore more expensive to fix.
Test automation helps catch these errors as soon as possible so your team members don’t have to waste time re-working existing code.
7. Stronger Insights
Dashboards and reports are available with a complete automated release management system. Finding bottlenecks and potential weak points in your pipeline is the only way to make beneficial changes in future projects.
Salesforce DevOps is a journey, not a destination. We should always be striving to find new ways to approach our development strategy.
The insights gained from release management reports provide a better roadmap for improving your efforts.
8. Reliable Environment
Your Salesforce environment is unique. There are specific metadata relationships, plugins, and configurations that your team has grown to rely upon.
Migrating data into new sandboxes and production orgs creates an experience your team is comfortable with, so they are always able to properly address their tasks.
A data loader is an important aspect of automated release management that helps multi-developer teams work through projects simultaneously.
9. Scalable Solutions Grow Along with You
Automated release management includes the utilization of a suite of tools such as CI/CD, version control, data loader, sandbox management, and more. However, every DevOps pipeline isn’t going to need every single one of these tools—at least not right away.
The tools associated with automated release management can be added along your journey toward DevOps maturity to address needs as they emerge.
Scaling your operations along with your needs keeps your costs manageable while also providing you options as you experience growth.
10. Better Experience for Team Members
We mentioned earlier how recognition within your industry can attract high quality team members. Offering a smooth work environment through enabling team members with automated tools also helps with employee retention.
Team members are more likely to enjoy their work when they aren’t bogged down with repetitive tasks that can be automated.
Automated release management offers a series of benefits that expand over time. Utilizing automation has become a non-negotiable aspect of a Salesforce DevOps strategy.
Release management is a strategy for managing the Salesforce DevOps lifecycle with a goal of improving collaboration and streamlining processes to achieve more successful deployments and a higher release velocity.
- Continuous integration
- Continuous deployment/delivery
- Data loader
- Version control
- Sandbox management
- Static code analysis
Getting started with automated release management will take some planning to see the greatest results. Read our blog that outlines everything you need to consider.