The Growing Significance of DevOps in Salesforce

December 11, 2019 Roarke Lynch

As a Global Strategic Salesforce partner, Appirio has witnessed the evolution of Salesforce from the very start. Over the last several years, we have been eagerly watching Salesforce revitalize the experience for developers through Salesforce DX. Seeing these changes and the increasing role of DevOps at Salesforce, our team took to the floor of Dreamforce 2019 to share our approach to Salesforce development, including lessons learned, innovation strategy, and insights from thought leaders.  

Appirio DX Dreamforce 2019 Roarke Lynch Trailhead Twitter Livestream

We connected with hundreds of attendees across roles and geographies, ranging from developers to VPs. After returning to the office and collecting our observations, here are our big takeaways from the conference:  

DevOps is gaining steam in the Salesforce ecosystem. 

Salesforce’s investment in the developer experience has opened the platform to some of the most powerful trends in software development today, including DevOps. The maturity of the Salesforce DX initiative has reached a tipping point, and the ecosystem is taking notice. Companies inside and outside of the Salesforce ecosystem are shifting their mindset from just ‘release management’ to DevOps because it enables them to innovate faster without sacrificing trust in the applications they’re building. Beyond faster and lower risk development, DevOps brings a plethora of organizational culture benefits, such as increased transparency, better communication, and unified objectives.  

Parallelism and governance are major pain points for organizations.  

We agree. Managing parallel workstreams is at the heart of high-performance computing. But companies are still struggling with how to manage this process. Governance also continues to be an issue. Organizations find it challenging to align business strategy and goals with IT processes and methodologies.

Sandbox-based, whole-org development is still king.  

Sandbox-based development will continue to have a role in Salesforce DevOps for years to some. Scratch orgs will be a key factor to companies moving toward modular architectures and increased parallelism.  

Capturing current state and moving it into version control may be the biggest gap in the eco-system right now.  

In DevOps, the challenge is not in managing version control but rather how to adopt version control as the source of truth. The real challenge is how do you get everything in your current org captured as code—this is the first step in adopting a true DevOps methodology.  

Tooling was a popular topic.  

Organizations are eager to learn how they can engage in DevOps with the top available tools or their current tools. One of the great things about DevOps is that it can be flexible. This means the process and tooling can be customized to your organization. At Appirio, our DevOps solution includes recommended tooling for many aspects of development, but you can mix and match based on your needs. The main consideration with tooling is ease of use. You lose development productivity if your tools are too complicated. For successful DevOps adoption, keep it simple. 

Automated quality control and testing accelerate the process.  

Combine version control with continuous integration / continuous delivery, or CICD, and the acceleration really takes hold. Quality control gates, including static code analysis, security reviews, and event automated UI testing, make sure high-quality code moves toward production. Automated deployments remove the manual labor from releases. 

Have questions? Want to discuss DevOps with our delivery experts? Fill in our contact form to get started. 

About the Author

Roarke Lynch

Roarke Lynch is Director of DevOps and Appirio Labs for Appirio’s Products and Innovation team. He is 8x Salesforce certified and has been developing and integrating on the Salesforce platform for over eight years. Roarke is from the Washington D.C. area and now lives with his wife in Houston, TX. In his spare time, you’ll find him chasing his one-year-old, fostering kittens, or geeking out over math, science, and economic innovations.

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