In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, Salesforce has emerged as a leading CRM platform, driving organizations to seek streamlined DevOps solutions. Salesforce DevOps Center has been introduced by Salesforce as a comprehensive platform for Salesforce development and deployment. In this article, we will explore Salesforce DevOps Center, delving into who should be using the Salesforce DevOps Center, benefits of the platform, as well as shortcomings. We’ll discuss how the Salesforce DevOps center fits into the market and if it iss the right choice for your organization’s specific needs.
What is Salesforce DevOps Center?
Salesforce DevOps Center Beta is a new way of managing and releasing Salesforce changes that do not rely on change sets, currently available for free from Salesforce (potential plans might include to charge for more advanced features in the future).
DevOps Center is designed to work for “hybrid” teams, such as teams made up of developers across the low-code → pro-code continuum. With features like version control, CI/CD, and release management, Salesforce DevOps Center helps organizations to enhance productivity and accelerate time-to-market for their Salesforce applications.
Salesforce DevOps Center Core Features
Salesforce DevOps Center supports org-based development, not package-based development. Its sole integration is GitHub - creating a source of truth for code changes, and helping users to manage branches and orchestrate changes between source control branches and orgs. However, because DevOps Center only handles metadata, configuration data changes aren’t supported.
You can think of the Salesforce DevOps Center as a project management tool to drive changes through a deployment pipeline with the metadata management source control.
Salesforce DevOps Center features:
- Organize your work: Objects can be used to track and deploy the associated changes.
- Track changes automatically: Changes in development environments are tracked as they are made (including metadata)
- Integrate with GitHub
- Deploy changes with clicks: You can create a visual representation of your deployment pipeline, then click to deploy changes from one stage to the next.
- Use basic release pipelines
- Source control
Who is Salesforce DevOps Center For?
DevOps Center is a good solution for simple release management use cases. Since Salesforce DevOps Center supports org-based development, organizations at the beginning of their Salesforce software development journeyman be in the market for this solution.These teams may be currently using change sets made up of customizations, features, and components packaged together, and transferring changes from one Salesforce environment to another.
For these organizations, the Salesforce DevOps Center may be a natural progression into the world of DevOps, as it not only allows for low code developers to contribute, it also comes at no cost.
Your organization may be a potential fit for Salesforce DevOps Center if:
- Your team has 3-5 users (developers, release managers, admins)
- You have little to $0 budget
- You are doing one sprint at a time
- Your only integration will be GitHub
If this sounds like your organization, then Salesforce DevOps Center may work well for you! DevOps maturity level is the main indicator of what type of DevOps solution will be the best fit for your team’s needs. The Salesforce DevOps Center can provide an elevated experience from change sets that may help speed up your release process with source control, pipelines, and tracking.
What if we use another source control system besides Git?
Because Salesforce DevOps Center only integrates with Git, if your developers are using another source control system (e.g. BitBucket) and you are interested in using DevOps Center, they will need to change to GitHub or wait until a later release of DevOps Center. Using two different source control systems can be a recipe for disaster so be sure not to make this mistake!
It is also important to note that it can be time consuming and costly to implement new DevOps solutions - and the more mature your process, the more difficult a migration to a new solution will be. Down the line, once you outgrow your current solution you will have more data, more processes, and more code to migrate to a new solution.
What if my organization has a more mature DevOps process?
There are many other tools in the market for varying levels of DevOps maturity. Organizations frequently outgrow tools such as change sets or the DevOps Center, or decide to do away with Git-based tools which can stifle the Salesforce DevOps process as they were not built specifically for the complexities of Salesforce development..
Your organization may not be a good fit for the Salesforce DevOps Center if:
- Your organization has multiple production orgs
- You use parallel development
- You are committing major or minor releases
- There are complexities to your orgs such as CPQ, managed packages, etc.
- You use other Development tools outside of GitHub
What are my options if my organization has outgrown the Salesforce DevOps Center?
If your organization has already, or will increase in number of users, sprints or budget in the near future, alternative tooling will be the best option for your team.
DevSecOps solutions such as Flosum are full-fledged platforms that support both org and package based development. Flosum has key features needed for maturing DevOps teams and shifting “left” for security teams. It also introduces the ability to easily backup data, rollback changes, and migrate data or seed sandboxes.
For an expanding team, as the DevOps process becomes more complicated, communication between developers and admins will only take a team so far. Features such as overwrite protection, ability to see potential code conflicts, and metadata across workstreams also become a necessity. Teams may want a native tool that is built specifically to support the way that developers build on Salesforce, eliminating many unnecessary measures and processes. Integrations with all leading DevOps tools such as Jira, Git, Azure, Veeva, Service Now and so many more are available with this solution as well.
Salesforce DevOps Center is a great platform to allow novice development teams or teams using changesets to take a step toward bettering their Salesforce development and deployment processes. While it offers basic features for collaboration, version control and release management, it is essential to consider the specific needs of your organization when evaluating Salesforce DevOps solutions. Flosum provides a tool for more mature DevOps teams with a more complicated process.
By carefully assessing the unique requirements and preferences of your organization, you can choose the Salesforce DevOps tool that best aligns with your goals, driving Salesforce DevOps excellence and ensuring success in today's competitive landscape. If you are in the process of evaluating DevOps solutions for your organization, download the eBook, "How to Evaluate a DevOps Solution".