What You Need to Know About Salesforce Continuous Delivery
Salesforce continues to grow in popularity for developing applications and updates. The ease of use has opened the world of software development up to more people, leading more companies to trust their software needs to the Salesforce platform.
However, not all Salesforce DevOps pipelines yield the same results. The tools your team uses has a huge impact on productivity, security, and overall quality of the end result.
Continuous delivery is a popular tool to support Salesforce DevOps efforts. However, with the range of tools available, many people are unclear on what continuous delivery actually is and what it has to offer.
We thought we’d explore the specifics of continuous delivery to clear up any confusion.
We’ll dig into these essential considerations for Salesforce continuous delivery:
What Is Salesforce Continuous Delivery?
A DevOps pipeline is a combination of efforts from various teams to address necessary issues to create a software update. The project is planned, developed, tested, integrated, deployed, produced, and finally monitored.
Salesforce continuous delivery is the automated process of getting all types of changes (features, configurations, bug fixes, etc.) into production after receiving the proper approvals.
The absence of a continuous delivery tool means the processes associated with moving a development project into production will all need to be performed manually. This includes:
- Testing the functionality and stability of the project
- Preparing DevOps projects for approval
- Moving the lines of code from development into production
These processes can take a very long time when performed manually. The burden on your team will slow down your release cycle and even lead to critical mistakes—manually addressing these issues is simply more error prone than automated processes.
Is Continuous Delivery Right for You?
Salesforce continuous delivery is a powerful automated tool, but it isn’t going to be perfect for every DevOps pipeline. There is an associated overhead cost that will need to be offset by the benefits of this powerful technology.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to see if Salesforce continuous delivery is a match for your needs.
How may releases do you have planned?
Very small DevOps teams that don’t produce more than a couple small projects each year might not need to make use of continuous delivery. However, those that rely on frequent updates will see benefits that outweigh the costs.
How big is your team?
Dev teams are likely to combine the efforts of multiple people. Streamlined DevOps teams aren’t going to have extra team members that can sacrifice their time. Optimizing your operations means making the best use of everyone’s time, and that’s much easier when automation is utilized.
Are you subject to regulatory guidelines?
Government regulations on industries like the financial industry or the medical industry means you must be very careful about how updates and applications are designed. These will require the approvals necessitated by continuous delivery. However, companies not covered by regulations can make use of continuous deployment, which is similar but without the approval step.
Benefits of Salesforce Continuous Delivery
No DevOps tool would be worth implementing if the benefits didn’t offset the cost of the tool itself. And if you’ve gone through the previous section and determined your DevOps strategy could use some help, you’ll need to know what these benefits could be.
The general benefits can be split into two types of value:
- Technical Value: Continuous delivery helps teams meet their specific requirements through enhancing the quality of code produced, the speed at which it can be delivered to production, and overall efficiency of these processes.
- Business Value: Continuous delivery equips teams with the necessary tools to create automated software lifecycles through enhanced communication and elimination of repetitive tasks—which also reduces labor costs.
These value types can be seen in a variety of potential benefits:
- Faster time to market
- Lower production costs
- Low risk releases
- Increased job satisfaction for team members
- Consistently high-quality products
The Connection with Continuous Integration
Continuous integration is another automated service that greatly increases the efficiency of your Salesforce DevOps pipeline. It is also frequently paired with continuous delivery because their services complement each other and increase the quality of the final product.
Continuous integration is the developmental process where code is integrated automatically from multiple developers into a single software release.
This also works well with other common DevOps tools such as version control, in which developers branch off the main code repository to safely work on updates without impacting the product as a whole. These multiple sources will need to be combined back into the main repository, and that’s where continuous integration comes in.
Combining the power of Salesforce continuous delivery and continuous integration streamlines the testing and integration phases of the DevOps lifecycle.
Continuous Delivery Best Practices
Salesforce continuous delivery is an automated tool, but there needs to be some preparation and upkeep to see the greatest benefits. Keep these considerations in mind when preparing to implement continuous delivery and as you move forward using it.
Adjust DevOps Planning to Include Continuous Deployment
Setting up a DevOps pipeline to integrate automation will take a little planning. Adjusting current methods to utilize a tool like Salesforce continuous integration could include considerations such as adjusting team member responsibilities and updating expectations.
Utilize Continuous Integration
We’ve already discussed how continuous integration supports continuous delivery. Be sure to find a powerful tool that supports both functionalities.
Identify Testing and Approval Needs
Testing and approvals are essential aspects of Salesforce continuous delivery. Set your standards and prepare for the first utilization to eliminate any surprises or questions.
Analyze Successes to Establish Repeatable Processes
Your DevOps pipeline should always be evolving. Repeated processes will increase efficiency, but there is a lot to gain from analyzing your methods to accentuate successes and find areas for improvement.
Finding the Right Continuous Delivery Tool
Continuous delivery isn’t the only DevOps tool that can improve your Salesforce environment. There are a variety of options such as static code analysis, data loaders, and backup and recovery tools.
The ability to source all of these tools in a singular location ensures they work together smoothly and cleanly, while guaranteeing all of your bases are covered. Find a unified DevSecOps platform like the AutoRABIT platform to see the greatest returns on your Salesforce development pipeline.