Developing apps in the Salesforce environment is slightly different from software development in the real world. That’s because apps in the Salesforce environment are tightly bound to the confines of the Salesforce ecosystem and the Salesforce DevOps Center seeks to excite the system a bit further.
The good news is that many developers are happy to work within the restrictive environment. However, a few explorative developers are often pushing the boundaries as they seek to adopt the best possible development practices from the greater world of software development. These developers will now find themselves at an exciting intersection known as DevOps for Salesforce or just Salesforce DevOps.
DevOps for Salesforce is a move to introduce the broader principles of software Development and Operations (DevOps) when building apps in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Remember that the ecosystem is not just the Salesforce company or brand. Salesforce – the ecosystem – comprises a vast community of developers and vendors. While they are primarily responsible for building Salesforce applications, the apps are supposed to be enterprise-grade, capable of seamlessly integrating with other apps outside Salesforce’s boundaries.
Developing such apps on the Salesforce platform has not been easy in the past. For instance, achieving continuous integration has been a monumental challenge, as has been automated testing and keeping track of dependencies.
Salesforce DevOps Center is the central application that will provide an improved developer experience. This includes providing solutions for continuous integration (CI) issues and continuous delivery (CD) challenges.
It emphasizes the importance of the early phases of the development process and involves using version control to store, create, and push code into the production environment. The new environment also recognizes the need for automation and makes a declarative approach to application deployment.
In general, the new development environment makes it easier to manage changes, collaborate with team members, and ensure synchronization. The other vital benefits step from CI and CD.
The DevOps’ integrated experience revolves around the concept of Work Item, which functions as a “ticket.” This is where the requirements for the changes to be made are defined. As such, changes are tracked against the Work Item. As the development process moves through the Planning to Development, Review, Testing, and finally Release, you can easily
According to a recent update from Salesforce in regards to the Salesforce DevOps Center, you can easily launch a development environment (developer sandbox if you wish) from the Work Item. This sandbox is synchronized with the source from an area in the source control repository. This way, you can always check to ensure that you’re developing against the latest trends.
Another key benefit the new Salesforce DevOps Center environment brings to admins is continuous integration (CI). The reason CI is so important is that it enables healthy management of environments. It looks at the differences between a sandbox and production Salesforce Org and allows admins to push changes by reconciling these differences.
This is a more declarative approach to managing development environments, and infinitely more efficient than pushing changes in code to a destination org.
The process is also rather straightforward. Salesforce CI uses metadata to identify differences in Orgs. You can deploy every daily, weekly, or even monthly, depending on your needs. You can also deploy on commit. The CI tool quickly identifies new changes and deploys them while leaving old code untouched. Standard metadata include “last modified date” and “created by.”
Finally, the new development and operations environment allows for immediate and continuous delivery, which is what admins want since continuous delivery means on-time deployments. You can enable re-deployment of the entire codebase or choose to deploy only new code incrementally.
Whichever approach you choose, CD in the Salesforce DevOps environment gives the admin full control over permissions. Admins, for instance, can decide whether or not to allow developers to deploy only to Orgs that they own.
Moreover, during deployment, errors and conflicts are likely to surface, especially where the organization opts to deploy incrementally. Whenever these conflicts occur, you need to find solutions that facilitate quick remediation. In case such a solution isn’t readily available, the new platform allows you to roll back any recent developments.
Before the DevOps platform’s arrival, tracking and managing changes was a hectic process in the Salesforce development environment. Often, you’d be forced to use Change Sets to move changes from the sandbox to production. This was not only a complicated process but also time-consuming.
The new development and operations environment available in the Salesforce DevOps Center simplifies change management, significantly improving the development process in general. You can now track changes automatically in the background as you continue with the development process. When you also consider the new solutions for Continuous Integration (CD) and Continuous Delivery (CD), Salesforce becomes a much more attractive development environment.