Flosum: The superlative solution for Release Management
Many customers who haven’t seen our solution ask us: “Why do we need another product for managing Salesforce deployments?”
The answer is:
Most customers who use Salesforce ChangeSets or Ant migration tool from Salesforce are not satisfied with the tools. Even if we put all the piecemeal tools in the marketplace, they won’t provide the complete solution for release management. Compare Salesforce to other enterprise-class applications such as Oracle and SAP. They offer out-of-the-box, comprehensive solutions for managing end-to-end deployment, improving governance and compliance as well as managing the complete lifecycle of the application.
Release Management is the Achilles’ heel for the Salesforce platform and Flosum closes that gap.
If you take all the solutions in the marketplace and combine them together, they don’t provide an enterprise-class solution for change management.
Flosum not only provides the complete release management solution for the Salesforce platform, but it also aligns very well with the spirit of the Salesforce platform. Flosum is completely built on the Salesforce platform. The typical users of Flosum — developers, release managers, business analysts — do not have to learn another platform since Flosum is completely built on the Salesforce platform. Flosum combines proven, industrial strength change management processes with the modern cloud platform to aid developers in delivering more business value.
This blog highlights some of the benefits of using Flosum compared to the native solutions such as Change Sets and Salesforce Migration tool:
- Complete solution: Salesforce Changesets do not support all metadata types. So, if you need to migrate custom fields, validation rules, field-level security, you have to do so manually. This manual work leads to a lot of errors and lack of governance. Flosum supports all metadata types out of the box.
- Flexible solution: Salesforce Changesets work only with affiliated organizations. For example, you cannot apply Changesets between organizations from two different productions streams. However, Flosum is very flexible. You can use it to sync any two different organizations irrespective of their ownership and position in the application delivery chain.
- Declarative solution: Flosum is a “clicks, not code” approach to release management. There is no need to download jar files, set up proxies or run complex UNIX commands to push the changes from one organization to another organization. Any person who can do basic configuration in Salesforce can fully use Flosum. Flosum is not only made for the geeky developers but also for the business analysts, managers and non-technical people.
- Governance and auditing: Flosum automatically tracks all the changes to an organization. Flosum tracks only the changes to an organization, who made those changes and when those changes were made. Flosum will automatically track if the changes are applied to production without testing them in other stages or QA environments.
- Reduce deployment time: Flosum helps to reduce deployment time by using many different techniques. For example, using Flosum developers can apply the least amount of changes to the next organization in the application delivery chain. This is contrary to the suggestion from Salesforce which entails deploying all the dependent components; however, this is completely in line with the release management best practices. Proper release management dictates that the least amount of code should be deployed.
- Specific to Salesforce: Flosum is made specifically for Salesforce. Flosum understands the architecture of Salesforce, governor limits, sandbox nuances, metadata APIs, tooling APIs, etc. Flosum is specifically designed to handle release management challenges. For example, other solutions do not help in migrating field-level security or objects-level permissions changes. Flosum can automate such deployments.
- Extensible and configurable solution: Flosum is built on the Salesforce platform to handle the challenges for the Salesforce platform. Flosum can be extended as well as configured just like any other application built on the Salesforce platform. For example, many customers have extended the Flosum application for managing the sandboxes. They create new objects and attributes to capture the use of a given sandbox, the owner of the sandbox, as well as the latest date for that sandbox. This helps customers make the most use of the sandbox environment.
- Compare orgs: Many developers have a need to compare different organizations when they want to migrate code from one organization to another organization. However, developers don’t have any tools to find out the differences between the various organizations. They use a hit-and-trial method to create the change manifest. The changes are deployed in an ad hoc manner and the developers keep trying until they are able to successfully figure out the right amount of code that should be included in the package. Flosum automates all of these activities. Flosum can automatically create a comparison of two different organizations at the click of a button.
- Team collaboration: Flosum is a social change management solution. Developers and other members can communicate using the Flosum solution. Instead of asking each other mundane questions, they can collaborate and exchange ideas for higher yield activities.
- Integrated version control system: Flosum has a complete and integrated version control system. Using Flosum, developers can create different branches for the various features as well as environment builds. Flosum automatically keeps tracks of all the various changes in the Salesforce environments as well.
- From idea to deployment: As part of its release management solution, Flosum provides a full integration with Salesforce’s Agile Accelerator application that can track the latest requirements from the business partners. Using the integration with the Agile Accelerator, customers have an end-to-end solution to capture the input from previous teams and track it all the way until that particular feature is delivered in the production organization.
Here is a quick summary of the various options:
|Changesets||Ant Migration tool||Flosum|
|Support for all metadata types|
|Works with all organizations|
|Built-in Governance and Auditing|
|Helps reduce deployment time|
|Helps with Governor limits|
|Eliminates Handoffs between developers|
|Integrated Version Control System|
Flosum is complete release management solution in-a-box for the Salesforce platform, built on the Salesforce platform. Just like any other cloud solution, your organization can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Flosum is the recommended solution by many Salesforce employees, system integrators as well as current customers who use Flosum.