Embracing Salesforce DevOps

Posted on October 23, 2023

Salesforce DevOps

Salesforce DevOps is the most discussed & wanted feature by all organizations that use Salesforce CRM. But have you ever wondered what is the right product and how to judge if that is the best fit? In this article, we will explore various DevOps offerings that are available, their advantages and disadvantages & what is best for you.

As of today, some of the most popular Salesforce DevOps products are:

  1. Copado
  2. Salesforce DevOps Center
  3. Gearset

Apart from these products, there is also an option to implement DevOps with traditional version control systems like Azure, Github, Bitbucket and even Jenkins. If you are wondering why products other than those listed above are not featured in this blog, well it’s not a coincidence rather it’s a fact.

1. Copado

Copado has been a game changer in the salesforce DevOps space. Copado is built natively in Salesforce and hence offers all compliance, security and regulatory policies that Salesforce guarantees.

Aspect Observation
Price Very High (similar to Salesforce user licensing model)
Best Suited For Medium & Enterprise organizations
User Friendliness Excellent
Platform Built on Force.com Platform
Learning Materials Available on Copado Academy (similar to how Salesforce works)
Credentials Copado has its certifications (similar to how Salesforce operates)
Features Pipelines, Environment Sync, User Stories, Quality Gates, Copado CLI
Maintenance As Copado is a managed package, it needs to be upgraded when new updates are available
Need for a DevOps Team Yes. Even though you get all these features, you need a qualified DevOps team to help teams manage releases & help resolve conflicts
Ability to extend the basic functionality Yes. As this is a managed package, you can develop custom functionality on top of the objects Copado provides
Support Copado has an excellent customer support (similar to Salesforce)

As you can spot easily, Copado adopts the Salesforce business style and thus every aspect of Copado is very similar to Salesforce.

What are the benefits of using Copado?

What are the pain points of using Copado?

Words of Wisdom: Copado might not be the best for Startups and Small Businesses when you are on the journey to stabilize your business towards profit making. Once you become a Medium/Large Enterprise, Copado will not feel expensive and hence it will look promising to your business.

Understanding the pros and cons of Copado will help you better prepare for what you are about to adopt. It’s not a wrong thing for a product to have cons. Nobody is perfect but it is encouraging to see Copado is mitigating these issues in their product roadmap and maturing ahead. This is precisely why Copado is one hell of a competition in the Salesforce DevOps space.

2. Gearset

Gearset is a deployment solution for teams to compare, choose and deploy metadata across Salesforce orgs. A better way to say is ‘Change Sets on steroids’. Thus, it is not a pure DevOps product. So, why are we talking about Gearset when it is not a DevOps product?

Look at the value proposition. Gearset is best suited for teams who want to accelerate the deployment process.

Anyone who talks about DevOps is usually referring to automating deployments to salesforce org/environments. This part of automating deployments is just one aspect of DevOps and is called DevOps Developer Services. Gearset caters to the DevOps Developer Services layer of End-to-end DevOps offerings and that is why it is not a pure DevOps solution.

Aspect Observation
Price Low
Best Suited For Small & Medium Scale organizations
User Friendliness Good
Platform Built out of Salesforce (it connects to Salesforce via OAuth)
Learning Materials Free of cost. Product Documentation & guide is available on their website
Credentials None
Features Deployment, Sandbox Seeding, Backup, Automate Release, Support for CPQ, Revenue Cloud and Industries Cloud
Maintenance Product and its features are maintained by Gearset. You have to maintain what you customize in Gearset.
Need for a DevOps Team No
Ability to extend the basic functionality No
Support Mostly product documentation web page will have answers. On-call support is average.

What are the benefits of using Gearset?

What are the pain points of using Gearset?

Words of Wisdom: If you looking to accelerate Continuos Delivery across your Salesforce org, then Gearset is a good choice.

3. Salesforce DevOps Center

Salesforce DevOps Center (Salesforce’s solution to DevOps) is a strong contender for all DevOps products and solutions out there. Even though this product is at its early stage and considering the speed of innovation at Salesforce, Salesforce DevOps Center will evolve soon to replace all other products like Gearset and Copado.

Aspect Observation
Price Zero
Best Suited For Small, Medium and Large Scale organizations
User Friendliness Excellent
Platform Natively available in Salesforce platform
Learning Materials Trailhead (free of cost)
Credentials None as of now
Features Pipeline, Environment Sync, Git-based Version Control, User Stories, Release Management & Bundling
Maintenance Product and its features are maintained by Salesforce. You have to maintain what you customize.
Need for a DevOps Team No
Ability to extend the basic functionality None
Support Standard Salesforce Support used for Salesforce customers

Setting up the Salesforce DevOps Center is very easy and requires very little technical know-how to do so.

What are the benefits of using Salesforce DevOps Center?

What are the pain points of using Salesforce DevOps Center?

Words of Wisdom: Do not underestimate the power of the Salesforce DevOps Center. It will evolve as the king of Salesforce DevOps and rule out every other product in the market very soon.

4. Traditional YAML Pipelines

If you are an organization that uses Azure/Github/Bitbucket for other tech stacks and still uses Salesforce for CRM needs, leveraging YAML pipelines in your existing Version Control system might be a good choice. The reason we said “might be” is because with Salesforce DevOps Center natively being offered free out of the box in the Salesforce CRM, you can leverage Salesforce DevOps Center for Salesforce CRM-related development & enhancements and use traditional YAML pipelines for other tech stacks. This technique reduces the need to set up a full-fledged DevOps setup in YAML for Salesforce.

Aspect Observation
Price Depends on whether you have in-house expertise or not
Best Suited For Small, Medium and Large Scale organizations
User Friendliness Developer friendly. Not for admins or business users
Platform Pipeline features are available natively on the Version Control System
Learning Materials Have to depend on community blogs/posts, YouTube videos, etc
Credentials None
Features Any feature can be developed, provided the right experts work on it
Maintenance Very Low
Need for a DevOps Team Yes
Ability to extend the basic functionality Highly Extensible
Support Your own DevOps Team should support this

YAML Pipeline is not a full DevOps setup. It will only bring CI/CD (which means validation & deployment across Salesforce org by still maintaining a history of changes in branches existing in Version Control Systems). You definitely can add more jobs and steps in your YAML pipeline to add code analysis, linting, automation tests, etc.

Getting this done in YAML for Salesforce is a bit different from how you do code validation & deployment for C#, Java, and NodeJS projects. Apps developed on programming languages like C#, Java, NodeJS, etc all have compilers locally on your machine. But for Salesforce, no apex code or out-of-the-box configuration can be compiled locally. It all has to be saved/compiled on the cloud platform directly. Therefore, the approach fully changes.

This is why having the right experts to do this setup is very important. We have heard stories of organizations where their app teams who successfully developed pipelines for React-based projects were asked to do Salesforce pipelines and they entirely screwed it up. Right experts mean Senior Architects/Leads/Organizations specialized in Salesforce Cloud with rich experience in DevOps.

What are the benefits of using Traditional YAML Pipelines?

What are the pain points of using Traditional YAML Pipelines?

Verdict


Hope you found this post useful and insightful. Please let us know your thoughts/suggestions/questions via comments. If you want to get in touch with us, please send us an email to info@bitmoq.com

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