WHAT ARE MERGE CONFLICTS
Merge conflicts often occur when working with version control systems, and understanding how they work and how to resolve them is essential for successful Salesforce release management. Merge conflicts in Salesforce can cause problems for your rollouts and data backup and recovery, and need to be addressed quickly and thoroughly to ensure that your Salesforce security solution isn't compromised. At a conceptual level, a merge conflict occurs when two independent branches of code or data are different enough that when merged, the system cannot automatically decide which version will be the definitive version. Usually this happens when two users are editing the same file at the same time and subsequently try to merge their work. More concretely, merge conflicts involve version control systems such as Git, which have features to both track and revert changes. If two users make changes to the same line of code in a file in different places, this can cause a conflict. A version conflict can also occur when the same line of code is modified by two parties, or if one contributer has deleted an entire file that another user was working on. When a conflict occurs, your version control systems will prompt you to resolve the issue. This is where the Salesforce release management team's expertise comes in. How your Salesforce team handles the conflicts will be key in resolving the issue. There are a few methods you can use to resolve merge conflicts. The manual, line-by-line approach involves fixing each individual conflict, either by re-writing conflicting sections, or picking and choosing which version of the code to keep in each instance. There are also some automated tools that can be used, though these are more geared towards smaller scale operations. Ultimately, preventing merge conflicts from occurring in the first place is the best solution. This requires foresight and planning, as well as making sure you have protocols in place to ensure that multiple users aren't working on the same files at the same time. Merge conflicts are an unfortunate reality of working with version control systems, but when handled properly they need not be a hindrance to your Salesforce release management, backup and recovery, and security solutions. Keeping your protocols up-to-date and communicating between teams is the best way to ensure that conflicts are avoided and the release can proceed with minimal disruption.