Major Challenges in SF DevOps and Solutions offered by Salesforce DX

Major Challenges in SF DevOps and Solutions offered by Salesforce DX
Major Challenges in SF DevOps and Solutions offered by Salesforce DX

Salesforce is evolving continuously as one of the top-line CRM platform, which is now capable of application development too with Salesforce DX and DevOps development strategies. However, the new users onto Salesforce many face different challenges related to:

  • Declarative development approach.
  • Testing automation
  • Continuous integration
  • Continuous Delivery
  • Org scaffolding
  • Tracking all the dependencies,
  • The IDEs to be used etc.

However, the reassuring fact is that the global community around SF DevOps is very active with several community project contributions to tackle each of the user challenges.

Many such community projects are based on integrated open-source development environments as MavesMate, Force Code, Welkins Suite, etc. There are many community projects also as automation using ANT scripts,.xml generation, deployment, etc. Salesforce providers also take some initiative to tackle the challenges in CI and testing automation through the Salesforce DX development suite.

Salesforce DX puts forth an easier way for the developer org through Scratch orgs. Scratch org creation and set up is much comfortable for the developers on the DX suite. You can also easily find the CLI commands needed by referring to the official docs. Salesforce DX will also let the developers work independently.

DevOps is smarter with Salesforce DX

SF DX (Salesforce Developer Experience) is a unique set of tools for the developers to improve their development quality, how they prepare test cases, and the release packages. It also offers a few streamlined processes while providing better control and flexibility throughout the SDLC.

The core of any DX DevOps project is scratch orgs, which is fully configurable, source-driven, and disposable environments which can help with rapid development and testing automation. Even though these are useful on their own, it was not so until the discovery of the GitLab pipelines, which unleashed the true power of scratch orgs. By setting up various tasks running on the virtual machines of GitLab, we can automatically validate and deploy codes.

With various tests performed at different steps of the development process, real-time testing automation becomes crucial. Testing is done while the code is pushed into the repo, on merging the requests created, approved, updated, and also running tests based on daily schedules. By doing it properly, we will be able to detect any possible regression or bugs. With this real-time approach, we can catch the bugs at the first point when these are easy to squash and limit the chances of them getting into the customer environment and create harm.

As these all run through the automated tasks at the protected branches of Gitlab, developers can focus more on their core responsibilities throughout the DevOps process to better control the when, how, and who updates the apps. Those days are far gone when all the destructive and unintentional changes get into the code and damage the entire packaged fields.

Automation using Salesforce DX

In the latest DX release from Salesforce, you can enjoy the benefits of SF DevOps in the App cloud. This will help developers and tester to build and manage various Salesforce applications with a new approach. Using DX, developers can have a better SDLC to follow. Salesforce DX has also proven out to be a wonderful platform with solid results in increased productivity and quality.

Previously, Salesforce did not have a VCS (version control system) in-built, but this shortcoming is resolved in the DX suite. With an add-on version control system, developers on Salesforce DX can now better manage the auditing process and also effectively take care of the disaster management process if needed. Salesforce DX also enables the developers to build custom applications and release them on the go without maximum possible features in the minimal possible period.

Salesforce DX is built using all the best available features of Heroku Flow also contributes to many new enhancements and helps developers to use tools more effectively. It features many tools that help to push the metadata operations and also to retrieve these from the org. Salesforce DX also helps the DevOps developers to leverage the best possible features of Heroku Flow. This will ensure delivering the application pipelines more effectively and to integrate it for better workflow restructuring.

Putting all these together, Salesforce DX enables a better development process by synchronizing all the manual action developers do and also by automating the functions and features to ensure easier workflow.

Best use of Scratch orgs

Effectively using Scratch Orgs will help to avoid any issues developers face in the conventional application development process. By getting the assistance of Scratch orgs, one can now build new orgs more quickly and configure using JSON commands. It may also fit the already existing workflow, which the developers are family with and can also branch features easily to create a personalized Scratch org for the development and deployment of applications. These Scratch Orgs can be deleted later once the development is completed.

Appropriate management of Scratch orgs will help the users to automate the development and testing process using CLI commands. At the end of development, there may be a well customized Salesforce environment that will help code or metadata to be built or removed on the choice of the developers. All things combined; Scratch Orgs in Salesforce DX DevOps environment will help to accelerate the entire workflow.

Salesforce managing DevOps challenges

Throughout the times from its release, Salesforce developers were facing many challenges testing, Salesforce Orgscaffolding, continuous integrations, and handling dependencies, etc. However, the new Salesforce DX came out with many practical solutions for these challenges with the assistance of a huge Salesforce community.

Continuous integration: CI is a crucial thing in the fast-paced development environments to release applications to quickly changing markets. With this need, the developers used to face a lot of challenges in sharing many scripts and repositories. It had to be done multiple times in old development practices. However, with Salesforce DX supporting CLI-based application development and with the support of developer environments like Circle, Travis, or Jenkins, they can now fully eradicate the scope of regression.

Also, development is source driven on Salesforce DX, and it also features data load and test run automation, which all help to save a lot of time and resources in the development process.