Salesforce is a well-known leader in CRM software, with popular solutions including Health Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing Cloud, to name a few. However, depending on an organization’s requirements, there is almost always a need for custom development to build and enhance specific business cases. Many organizations now have Salesforce DevOps teams to support these development and architecture needs – to improve collaboration and enhance the release of Salesforce applications.
Salesforce Developers and Architects design processes to move custom development forward. Once development is complete, DevOps helps to ensure CI/CD is implemented, providing secure releases from one environment to another, and then into production by the end users utilizing the Salesforce system.
Salesforce DevOps Pitfalls
Until recently, Salesforce and DevOps weren’t necessarily linked together. Salesforce teams have basic tools at their disposal, but in many cases, native tools are not as advanced as other tools available in the software delivery industry. Ultimately, DevOps has become a necessity in Salesforce to effectively and efficiently deliver new Salesforce applications and custom-built offerings to meet growing business needs.
Any Salesforce team, especially one new to DevOps, faces common pitfalls and limitations in terms of Salesforce-native tools. As Salesforce DevOps becomes more widely adopted, it’s inevitable that teams will need to understand these challenges to integrate the proper tools to accomplish their desired objectives.
Common pitfalls include:
- Lack of version control: Most native tools in Salesforce don’t have version control. Without version control, the speed at which teams can work is seriously compromised. Git tends to be the standard for Salesforce version control. However, Salesforce teams generally do not have as much experience with version control.
- Limited or nonexistent backup and rollback: Without metadata backup, there are major limitations. While most experts recommend a third-party backup, some businesses rely on the native tools that will export to a local machine – a method that is neither secure nor reliable.
- Insights into the deployment: Salesforce-native tools do not offer reporting on deployment. Insights are valuable to DevOps because they provide an option to retrospect the releases and improve efficiency.
- No static code analysis: According to industry best practices, it is ideal to scan the source code and review the results to incorporate changes. Salesforce doesn’t have out-of-the-box integration for these static code analyzers.
Impact on Salesforce DevOps Teams
These challenges impact the time and efficiency of Salesforce DevOps teams. Without a clear-cut DevOps tool for managing deployments, the timeline for getting to production will always be extended. Furthermore, without proper reports and insights, Salesforce DevOps teams lack visibility into exactly what they can improve in the future. Rather than making informed decisions for improvement, the delivery process involves a lot of guesswork.
The challenges can also impact compliance. For example, developers may have to take a metadata backup on a local machine, which is not typically advised from a security perspective, but is the standard process in Salesforce.
DevOps tools help Salesforce teams overcome each of these challenges. Further, when tools, processes, and culture align, Salesforce DevOps teams get the results they need. A technology stack can step in for many of the native tool shortfalls and there are a number of options available.
Ultimately, Salesforce teams today need to apply DevOps – with the tools that will automatically support version control, metadata backup, rollback options and insights, and static code analysis. With these factors managed, the team can enable CI/CD, ensuring that the Salesforce applications are delivered both quickly and securely.