Strategical Salesforce Release Management Process

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Salesforce Release Management is basically a process to manage various versions of Salesforce. It involves complete release management cycle which includes the process of managing, planning, controlling and scheduling a software developed by the third party. It may also include testing and deploying the release of software or any Salesforce app. This complete process involves many steps and is a pretty clumsy task. Many iterations are involved in the complete process. A software can be made perfect after many successive iterations and industries are using many practices for this complete process which include CI building, sandbox management and metadata management.

Strategical Salesforce Release Management Process

A Brief Introduction to Release Management

Every software application can have more than one version. Through any new version the development team tries to improve the earlier version of that particular software. In Salesforce there is a complete process which includes several steps. To manage the deployment is considered as the most difficult aspect of Salesforce platform. It consists of complex functionality and has a direct impact on the business process.

Complex functionality of this platform makes the complete process error-prone and labor intensive. For larger organizations the process is really clumsy. The development teams can manage their releases through thethird-party tools through which they can have a  platform to manage the risk, improve cost efficiency and increase the success rate.

Salesforce Deployment Challenges

Through its click and user interface Salesforce has availed its platform for all the developers. The developers from all over the world can use this platform and deploy their application. Salesforce development teams are benefiting from its easy to use interface and increasing their productivity as well. There are many things associated with this platform which are simple and easy to use except one aspect and it is deployment.

In any software project lifecycle deployment is the most crucial stage. When the new features are launched by the development team, there are many ways in which the process can go wrong. So with a huge number of objects and dependencies, it becomes complex to deploy the software and it can even cause failure.

How the organizations manage Software Deployment?

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There are many ways through which the organizations manage their software releases. Here are listed a few of them:

  • No Deployment
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For some organizations deployment is not a problem at all as they develop and use the product in their own environment. In this way they can work in a quick and efficient way. They may not need any separate team for managing development and deployment. If they want to keep the deployment cost to a minimum then still they can use their own infrastructure and environment for deployment.

The major risk involved in this process is that as the employees use the software directly to the business process can have adirect impact on any change done during the complete release cycle. Here the team must be certain that any change done in the software will not affect the organization’s business process. Moreover in this process there can also be overwriting of the processes if there is more than one team member who can make changes in the software.

  • Sandbox like Environment Manager

If the software has its existing users then through the Sandbox like environment manager, every developer can work in his own environment. After every change the developer can review the change and ensure that changes would not cause any problem. Since it’s a manual processs , its very crucial as chances of committing mistakes are very high.

  • com migration platform or tool

Through Salesforce’s Force.com migration tool the deployment process can become quite easy. The user can easily control and automate the process and the artifacts can be easily reused and recorded. As GUI involve manual process so it may be error-prone and may take much time. It may involve many iterations.

Importance of Release Management

Through release management a framework is provided with which the user can control the changes even from one Salesforce organization to another. Through deployment management users can control the deployment from one Salesforce organization to another easily. Through release management the complete process of deployment can be managed which includes integration testing, user acceptance testing, production and release management and the organization can easily enable organizational control along with complete deployment management process.

It is quite easier to develop an application for Salesforce platform. A number of tools can be used to manage and deploy various versions of the applications, including Force.com and changesets like migration tools. These deployment tools may be sufficient for some small organizations but for the larger organizations it may not be sufficient. As the organizations grow in size and complexity then these tools may become insufficient.

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How to find Right Option for You?

In any release management there are a number of factors which affect the complete process of thebudget, team size and complexity of organizational processes. The three most popular release management methods used by organizations are: None, Basic and Integrated.

Smaller organizations may work with the No Release Management approach. In this process they can skip the two steps that are UAT and testing and the software can be simply deployed between production and developer sandbox. This complete process may involve many iterations and can keep the cost tominimum and in this way the associated risk is is also reduced.

The teams which work with Basic release management approach may use integration testing and source control. In his process code duplication can be avoided as enough structure is provided through this. Even the teams can review some code and testing of the product.

The teams with a number of members may work under “integrated release management” approach. In this approach various teams can track and merge the changes from various branches and ensure the successful release. The current release management can be easily provided to the teams.

Various Beneficial Steps Offered by Third Party Tools

The third party tools can streamline the release management process. Even they can enhance the team barriers to entry and can enhance the team collaboration and offer magnitude order which may improve the time spent on deployment. Following steps are involved in release management process:

  • Schedule and Automate
  • Test
  • Monitor
  • Share and Control
  • Source Control
  • Access Anywhere
  • Design Security

Final Words

We have tried to cover all the challenges and Salesforce deployment steps in this blog. Salesforce provides release management tools and the user can easily benefit from it if they are from small organizations. Large size teams can face challenges which can again be resolved through a strategical deployment process. As per the size of the organization third party tools could be used.

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