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Salesforce DevOps – Common CI/CD Challenges and Their Solutions

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Phani Madhav Chegu,

November 18, 2022

Salesforce DevOps – Common CI/CD Challenges and Their Solutions

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We all know Salesforce facilitates continuous innovation at scale, empowering businesses to meet their rapidly-evolving requirements efficaciously and ensure good growth. The business needs of a fast-growing firm evolve quickly; this makes the ability to enhance the capabilities of its Salesforce system rapidly with little disruption to its operations extremely important.

Several companies are adopting DevOps, a set of novel practices that allows smooth coordination between the teams involved in upgrading the features of a Salesforce org viz. development, IT operations, quality assurance and information safety. DevOps uses automation to shorten development life cycles in a big way, thereby enabling organizations to cater to their dynamic needs with high efficacy.

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A Salesforce DevOps project involves the use of various proven methods to facilitate seamless enhancements to an org. Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment/Delivery (CD) are the most extensively used methods. Today, we will examine commonly-faced challenges in executing Salesforce CI/CD and how they can be overcome.

Key Challenges in Implementing Salesforce CI/CD

Challenge 1: Most Low-code Salesforce Developers Are Not Well-versed in Using Version Control Tools

Version control tools are used extensively in a Salesforce DevOps project (or for that matter, any DevOps project) to perform CI/CD. Users of most version control tools require at least some proficiency in coding to make the best use of these applications. This doesn’t pose problems in a vast majority of DevOps projects, as developers working on these projects have good programming skills.

But, when it comes to Salesforce, the people developing new features for their orgs are primarily system administrators and business users who are accustomed to working in a low-code environment and lack proper coding abilities. The inability to code effectively also impacts their ability to use Salesforce metadata made up of Extensible Markup Language (XML) packets, as they are not able to make necessary changes to the packets.

How Can This Problem Be Resolved?

You need to use version-controlling applications that your Salesforce users and administrators find easy. Training them on GitHub (a widely-used version-controlling tool) and XML is highly advisable. You can also consider enabling the source tracking feature in sandboxes; the feature will help programmers in your team assist non-technical users to handle changes effectively.

Challenge 2: No Proper Mechanism to Facilitate Seamless Exchange of Information

Many companies using Salesforce DevOps services assume information will flow smoothly across the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). However, in most cases, information is seldom exchanged in a hassle-free manner. This prevents developers from coordinating with each other effectively, often resulting in redundancies and lower efficiencies.

How Can This Problem Be Resolved?

It is essential to set up a well-designed system that allows different development teams to communicate with each other efficaciously, at regular intervals. You also need to ensure complete visibility in the tasks assigned to each of your teams and the progress made by them. For instance, if three teams A, B and C are developing 3 features independent of each other, Team A must know what Team B and Team C are working on. Likewise, Team B must be fully aware of the features being developed by Team A and Team C. Similarly; Team C must be fully aware of the work being performed by the other two teams.

Challenge 3: Serious Problems Caused by Inherently-defective Code

We’re all aware new features added to a Salesforce org work as desired only when the underlying code is devoid of defects. Unfortunately, most companies don’t focus adequately on ensuring good quality of the code, resulting in errors. While it is true that no developer can create code completely free of defects, many organizations fail to test the code thoroughly to ensure it is of high quality.

How Can This Problem Be Resolved?

You must develop a solid framework to test the code comprehensively. It is highly advisable to ensure the tests designed to validate the code go beyond the mandatory 75% coverage prescribed by Salesforce. Most organizations don’t test code properly due to time and budget constraints. This problem can be overcome by using AI-enabled automated tools, which help produce defect-free code with minimal effort and expenditure.

Challenge 4: Ineffective Management of Software Releases

A dedicated release management team plays a key role in ensuring effective execution of CI/CD initiatives, resulting in the success of a Salesforce DevOps project. However, most companies don’t realize the need to appoint a team exclusively for managing releases; instead, they appoint senior developers to handle all activities pertaining to releases. This puts a lot of pressure on developers, as they need to constantly communicate with the leads of development, testing and product management teams. Many times, developers assigned the task of managing releases end up neither focusing properly on software development nor being able to handle releases effectively.

How Can This Problem Be Resolved?

Companies must understand release management is a complex process and it takes much more than mere technical acumen to ensure a successful software release. They need to appoint a dedicated team comprising experienced people with knowledge of development lifecycle and leadership skills. They must manage interdependencies between various teams efficiently and effectively oversee the activities performed in different environments with high efficacy. This is especially true in the case of large organizations, where the work of multiple teams needs to be coordinated effectively to produce the desired results without time and cost overruns.

Thus, the above-listed problems involved in execution of CI/CD tasks of a Salesforce DevOps project can be resolved effectively ensuring successful completion of the project. At Solunus, we’ve worked with organizations of all sizes in diverse industries to implement Salesforce DevOps with high levels of efficacy. Our unrivaled expertise of the Salesforce platform and a proven ‘business-requirements-first’ approach enable us to deliver the best ROI on your DevOps initiative.

Hope you liked this post. How do you overcome the challenges of executing CI/CD tasks to complete your Salesforce DevOps program efficiently? We’d love to know.

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About Solunus

Solunus is a dedicated Salesforce partner organization, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Our unrelenting focus on comprehending the unique needs of our clients coupled with our unrivaled expertise of the Salesforce platform enables us to deliver the perfect solutions that create the best value for IT and business analytics firms.