Toolboxes vs. Swiss Army Knives

August 13, 2020 Roarke Lynch

Earlier in this series, we discussed the various functional pieces in your DevOps stack: version control, CICD, developer tools, and testing tools. As you adopt and mature your Salesforce DevOps practices you’ll need to provide one or more tools to manage these processes.

For smaller operations, there are several all-in-one options in the market that can meet your needs, but to work in enterprise you often need to adopt a more flexible toolchain to maintain speed, quality, and scale. To be more flexible, your stack needs an open architecture.

How Open Architectures Shift Culture

An open architecture for DevOps means you are able to share the stack with other software development practices within your organization. Beyond the obvious economies of scale, this implies, you also set the expectation that developing for Salesforce will be no more difficult than development for any other platform. Sharing tools and practices is key to achieving rapid, safe innovation for your orgs.

Benefit From Aggressive Competition

The marketplace for DevOps tools is very active. Companies big and small are developing new, innovative approaches to building, testing, and delivering better software every day. When you adopt a Salesforce DevOps architecture that can adopt many of these new tools, you will benefit significantly in the long run. You don’t need to wait for good ideas and tools to reach the Salesforce ecosystem. When you see the next GitLab revolutionizing development, just use GitLab. Don’t wait until someone else makes ‘GitLab for Salesforce.’

Don’t Get Boxed In With Narrow, Focused Tools

Smaller all-in-one DevOps tools can leave you land-locked with no versatility or scalability. This makes sense for a small business that doesn't necessarily need a lot of versatility. An enterprise, however, may find this a limited solution that quickly becomes an unnecessary restraint on growth. When you identify tooling or packages or development requirements that don’t fit the model you are left with two poor choices. First, you can burn a lot of energy trying to develop a hack or workaround. Or you just accept the tools’ limited capabilities and hope for improvements in the next release.

Pile of Swiss Army Knives

Enabling enterprise DevOps through open architectures and flexible tooling is a foundational principle for Appirio DX. It gives you maximum versatility, flexibility, and scalability - while letting you use the tools that you want to use.

Appirio DX doesn’t replace any piece of your DevOps stack. It isn’t a version control tool or a CICD tool. It is the connective tissue that enables you to treat Salesforce as you would any other piece of software to achieve rapid rates of innovation. Appirio DX is your toolbox: you can mix-and-match the specific tools you want - to work on any project. Competing tools are like a swiss army knife - useful, but you wouldn’t want to build a house with it.

In our next blog, we’ll look at the foundation of your new architecture - the two development models for Salesforce. Spoiler: It’s not an either/or choice.

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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