Over the last few years, the number of companies using Salesforce has grown exponentially. According to a report published by International Data Corporation (IDC), the IT behemoth’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are used by nearly 23% of companies across the world. This is more than the total number of organizations using CRM solutions offered by Salesforce’s 4 main competitors viz. SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and Adobe.
Companies using this immensely popular CRM system are increasingly using DevOps to enhance their orgs. The novel software development philosophy enables the businesses to ensure hassle-free collaboration between various teams involved in the upgrade — development, IT operations, Quality Assurance (QA) and data security. DevOps calls for extensive use of automation, and this leads to a significant reduction of manual efforts (and thereby, errors) in the Salesforce upgrade. The result — a software product of excellent quality.
One of the key elements in a Salesforce DevOps project (or for that matter, any DevOps initiative) is Continuous Integration (CI) / Continuous Deployment (CD). Today, we’ll see what CI/CD is and how it facilitates a rapid upgrade of your Salesforce org in a flawless manner.
What Is CI/CD?
CI/CD is a process of automating deployments that allows you to integrate and deliver changes in small, frequent releases in a continuous manner instead of a single, huge release. CI involves creating an automated framework that enables your development team or Salesforce administrators to push changes to your org instantaneously. The objective of CI is to facilitate a robust, automated method for developing, packaging and testing modifications to your Salesforce org.
In a vast majority of cases, teams working on a Salesforce DevOps project work in several environments, apart from production; these include development and testing environments. CD allows you to automatically push modifications made to the code to these environments.
A typical CI/CD process involves utilization of a tool such as Git, SVN and so on to ensure effective source control and a CI server such as Jenkins or Travis. It’s important to remember automation of testing is a vital component of CI. When you intend to submit a modification, an automated test is executed to determine whether the modification can be deployed safely, and if it passes, you can deploy the modification automatically to the target environment.
Let’s now proceed to examine how CI/CD enables companies to deploy enhancements to their Salesforce org, rapidly, with high levels of efficacy.
How CI/CD Helps You Deploy Upgrades to Your Salesforce System Fast, Without Hassles?
Facilitates Smaller Changes to the Code
CI/CD enables integration of small pieces of code at a time. This results in the modifications to the code being simpler to deal with compared to large parts of code, leading to fewer problems.
As seen earlier, CI/CD facilitates continuous automated testing; this allows you to test small chunks of code immediately after they are pushed to the code repository, empowering your development team to identify an issue before a lot of work is done subsequently. This goes a long way in helping you avoid costly, time-consuming rework. No wonder, effective implementation of CI/CD helps your organization deploy enhancements to its Salesforce system quickly.
Enables Effective Isolation of Faults
Fault isolation is a proven system design technique that helps limit the negative consequences of an error, significantly reducing the likelihood of damage and helps make maintenance of systems easy and highly cost-effective.
You can enable your team to detect and isolate faults fast, with high levels of efficiency, by implementing CI/CD. Fault isolation involves continuous system monitoring, identifying faults as soon as they happen and determining the location of the faults. A well-designed fault isolation mechanism reduces the impact of errors in the system; your team can prevent unexpected system breakdowns and other serious problems by isolating the problems much before they can result in a major loss.
Helps Reduce Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR)
MTTR is a measure of the maintainability of components in your system that can be repaired. It indicates the average time taken to fix a faulty component. In other words, it allows you to track the quantum of time expended for recovering from a system failure.
CI/CD helps you to cut MTTR in a big way. This is because modifications to the code are smaller and problems can be detected and isolated quickly, with minimal effort. It allows you to ensure the risk of system failures is minimized and resolve problems fast. It’s a proven best practice to use system monitoring applications; the novel tools help you detect and rectify issues in a timely fashion and maintain a comprehensive log of problems encountered.
Ensures a Significantly Smaller Backlog of Defects
Staying on with resolution of issues, incorporation of CI/CD into your company’s Salesforce system enhancement project allows you to keep the number non-critical defects in the backlog to a bare minimum. These minor issues are identified before they reach the production environment and resolved by the time a release is rolled out.
Early resolution of non-critical defects provides manifold benefits – your development team can spend more time and energy on coming up with solutions to bigger issues and enhancing the system. Likewise, your QA personnel will be able to focus on detecting major defects before rolling out a release. Needless to say, the quality of the upgrade will be very high.
As you can see, by incorporating CI/CD into your Salesforce DevOps program, you can enhance your org very effectively while ensuring perfect quality of the upgrade. At Solunus, we work with you to make the best use of CI/CD to help you add new features to your Salesforce system fast, with high efficacy. Our team of experts has gained rich experience serving companies of all sizes across the industry spectrum. This, coupled with our meticulous approach to understand the specific needs of your business helps us deliver the perfect solution to meet your dynamic requirements very effectively.
Solunus is a leading Salesforce consulting company, based in Dallas, TX, USA. Our proven ‘needs-first’ approach coupled with our unrivaled expertise of the Salesforce platform enables us to provide the perfect solution to help you deliver delightful services to customers and achieve rapid growth.