SalesforceDX is changing the way developers build on the Salesforce platform, but there are better alternatives

The goal with Salesforce DX is to be able to entirely automate the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD) processes. However, given the steep learning curve, Salesforce DX is primarily used by advanced developers. There is a need for a powerful native Salesforce DevOps solution that aligns with Salesforce DX to offer ease of access to features within SFDX to Salesforce administrators and no-code or low-code developers so they too can embrace the new development process with best practices, take advantage of full CI/CD automation. Here’s what makes Salesforce DX such a potent tool in release management and how you can leverage its potential to deliver continuously with a modern Salesforce developer experience.

What is Salesforce DX?

Salesforce DX is a way for developers to manage and develop apps throughout their entire lifecycle. It aims to help developers and development teams keep up with the fast-changing business and market needs by providing an integrated, end-to-end lifecycle designed for high-performance agile development. Salesforce DX is a set of tools and features that improve the efficiency of development during the application lifecycle. It addresses common challenges faced by developers, allowing them to manage the source of truth and lifecycle for the org. With its accessible and useful tools, development teams can easily work with command-line interfaces (CLIs) or integrated development environments (IDEs).

Core Component of Salesforce DX

  • Source Driven Development

SFDX allows you to use any collaboration technology across the team, code, configuration, and metadata. This allows you to leverage modern collaboration technologies such as Git to version control everything across your team – your code, your org configuration, and your metadata.

  • Scratch Orgs

Scratch orgs ensure version control as the source of truth. These are temporary are source-driven and disposable deployments of Salesforce code which can be used to drive development, testing, and continuous integration. Instead of creating a custom environment or using sandboxes, you can quickly create a dedicated scratch org to test your code and, once you’ve validated your changes, you can use your own continuous integration tools to immediately test and promote your code. As soon as your tests are passing, you can merge your branch, build packages, and deploy to a staging sandbox for final testing.

  • CI/CD

CI/CD facilitates automated testing and continuous integration which improves quality and time to market.

  • Managed Packaging

Using Salesforce DX, it is possible to organize metadata and distribute apps by adopting a source-driven, CLI-centric approach. This further helps automate and manage the end-to-end lifecycle and deliver apps in a modern and efficient manner.

Why CIOs love Salesforce DX?

By shifting the source of truth from Org to Version Control System (VCS), Salesforce DX control allows CIOs to implement more agile release management. Salesforce DX helps CIOs reduce the complexity of Salesforce development/testing/release management of applications for better ROI from investment in the Salesforce platform. This translates into higher utilization of the platform, improvement in the release quality, significant savings on the development costs, and faster time to market by faster deployments to leverage today’s dynamic landscape. That’s not all – besides these there are a lot many more ways that Salesforce DX has a positive impact on the Salesforce development process:

  • Faster innovation and greater collaboration
  • Facilitates automated testing and continuous integration
  • Packaging into the development life cycle
  • Metadata organization is easier
  • A local workspace is set up for the developer
  • Modern Agile Development
  • Open technology
  • Makes release cycles more efficient and agile

Should CIOs consider Salesforce DX alternatives?

But Salesforce DX also has certain flaws and a major challenge is the steep learning curve that makes it difficult for conventional Salesforce teams to familiarize themselves with the technology. This often leads to silos within the development team and a gap between those who know how to use SFDX and those who don’t. Similarly, troubleshooting often seems a difficult task for Salesforce admins as SFDX needs heavy line commands and instructions.

Therefore, there is a need for an equally robust all-in-one solution that is well-aligned to build on the strengths of Salesforce DX and expand its ability through the right set of collaborative tools, one that provides for cloud governance, compliance, and security.

This is the one principle that guides everything we do at Flosum to cement our customers’ success and experience in managing their Salesforce investment. Flosum is the only native release management solution for Salesforce that integrates with Salesforce DX.

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“Flosum is the best native release management tool that you will fall in love with. I have gained confidence in my role and has given me the ability to view release management from a whole different perspective.”

Faizan Ali

Faizan Ali
Salesforce Consultant at Turnitin