Why ClickDeploy Is the Best Version Control for Your Enterprise Team
Without version control, Salesforce DevOps teams are vulnerable to issues that can halt release progress for days.
While many teams acknowledge that version control is the solution for avoiding issues like overwriting, they face an uphill battle when trying to implement an effective Salesforce change management process.
What Is Version Control?
In DevOps, version control is a system that stores and tracks changes to projects over time. Version control systems have two main components:
- A repository
- A working copy
The repository stores edits as versions — importantly, the repository stores only the update versions. The working copy is each developer’s personal copy of relevant files.
Version control manages the flow between repositories and working copies. The system helps teams work faster, enhances cooperation, and allows teams to roll back to earlier versions when the need arises.
Types of Version Control
Version control systems are either centralized or distributed.
Centralized version control uses one repository, while distributed systems have a central repository and several distributed repositories that correspond to working copies. In a distributed system, each user has their own version control system; team members have access to their individual repositories and can only access the work of other team members when it becomes available in the central repository.
Enterprise DevOps teams usually opt for distributed version control systems, as they allow for large teams to collaborate and contribute to a faster overall process.
Version Control Issues With Salesforce Tools
Often times, enterprise teams forgo version control because of the way Salesforce is structured and how it functions. Teams that utilize Salesforce change sets deploy directly from Sandbox to Production. This method exposes teams to a host of potential project-halting problems.
Salesforce limitations become a severe issue for large teams with several developers and admins for several key reasons:
- Developers can overwrite previous versions of code.
- Once code is pushed, it’s difficult to roll back.
- Teams can’t view changes between versions.
- Collaboration is inherently challenging.
- The debugging process is manual and cumbersome.
Luckily, there are ways to work around these challenges while still taking advantage of the positive aspects of Salesforce.
Using Git for Version Control
Many enterprise development teams opt for a manual git workflow, which gives them some version control functionality. With git, a developer pushes the code to a git repository from the same local machine holding their code.
Developers must follow the manual process precisely and routinely to reap much-needed source control benefits. Still, using git, especially combined with tools like Bitbucket, GitLab, and other GitHub collaboration tools, is a big leap forward when it comes to version control.
Using ClickDeploy Automation for Version Control
ClickDeploy adds automation to git processes. The platform empowers enterprise teams to have better control over changes by automatically moving them into a GitHub repository.
GitHub has become one of the most popular Salesforce tools for version control because it adds several useful features to the Salesforce deployment process. It tracks changes throughout projects, including who made changes as well as why and when they made them. Integration with Azure also adds centralization and access from the cloud.
With ClickDeploy integration:
- GitHub is the single source of truth for your production’s metadata.
- Integrated CI automatically deploys metadata from GitHub to production, enforcing GitHub as the source of truth.
- Users cannot make changes directly in production.
- There is no need for XML or ANT scripts.
Branching With Incremental Builds
Distributed version control systems like GitHub allow teams to create “branches” of the main project “trunk,” so changes can be tested without affecting the original project. As branches successfully go through testing and verification, they merge back with the main project. For enterprise DevOps teams, this branching ability adds a great deal of speed and stability to the process because multiple coders can work simultaneously without worrying about overwriting code and dependency issues.
ClickDeploy further enhances branching capabilities by offering a variety of options for teams to choose from for deploying metadata. For enterprise DevOps teams, the incremental build method is a great choice.
Incremental builds are challenging to manage with other Salesforce tools, but a breeze with ClickDeploy.
The ClickDeploy incremental build option deploys only user changes and is simple to rollback. This option commits to the Salesforce org any time there is a change or commit to the base branch. It enforces the git branch as the source of truth without deploying the enter batch when developers commit incremental changes.
The highly collaborative modern DevOps approach presents version control challenges for large enterprise teams. While it is useful to have developers, admins, and other employees working alongside one another, the Salesforce change process is difficult to understand for less technical team members.
Enterprise teams often experience source control issues because of the technical nature of the Salesforce platform. The typical change set process involves several aspects that are typically not practical for admins:
- Reversing click configurations back into code
- Editing XML files
- Learning git commands
- Handling conflicts
Some teams rely on scripts and plug-ins like Ant and Jenkins. While these approaches may be simple for developers, less technically minded users may struggle to use them appropriately.
Enterprise DevOps teams have two options for mitigating the differences in tech skills across the team: investing in training or finding a new way to collaborate.
Technical training is expensive, time-consuming, and guides employees toward roles they were not hired to perform. When new employees come onboard, training has to begin anew. Large enterprise DevOps teams struggle to keep up with this cycle.
ClickDeploy takes the pain out of manual and highly technical processes through an intuitive, clickable UI. ClickDeploy users don’t need coding skills or a technical mindset to participate in the Salesforce deployment process.
ClickDeploy Takes the Pain Out of Version Control
ClickDeploy offers enterprise-grade release management with integrated, automated features to help teams develop better processes, including better Salesforce change management, version control, and continuous delivery practices.
Learn more about how ClickDeploy can simplify and streamline Salesforce deployments. Sign up for a free three-week trial! All you need to get started is your Salesforce login credentials.