Getting to the Next Level with Copado’s Winter ‘20 Release
We’ve just returned from Dreamforce, where we proudly demonstrated our Winter ‘20 Release, the only 100% native end-to-end CI/CD pipeline for Salesforce. For the past six years, Copado has been helping Salesforce customers get the most out of their implementations through a disciplined DevOps delivery process that achieves faster innovation with more trust, at scale. We’ve heard from our customers about the importance of tracking innovation delivery to eliminate bottlenecks and deliver higher-quality releases. Our latest upgrade enables a data-driven DevOps approach that helps enterprises measure performance in real time, set benchmarks for teams, employ CI/CD best practices, and communicate progress on the journey to digital transformation.
Optimizing Salesforce Implementation with DevOps
As the world’s dominant CRM application, Salesforce is a transformative force for growing productivity in a low-code environment and driving down costs by shifting to the cloud. As powerful as it is, the platform lacks a structured release process and struggles with version control and keeping sandboxes and metadata in sync. Ultimately, it was never built as a collaborative development environment that keeps developers, administrators, enterprise architects, and IT on the same page.
Through a seamlessly integrated DevOps solution, Salesforce users in your company can achieve a higher level of velocity and discipline, as well as drive innovation in a more structured and measurable way: You can build applications based on agile planning and automate the testing process. You can increase the speed of releases into the market. You can monitor and manage releases, including compliance checks, in real-time. And you can do all of this in a closed-circuit feedback loop that ties back to your agile plan. As a whole, DevOps can increase the speed of releases far beyond Salesforce alone, while driving down production errors that introduce compliance risks and security gaps into your implementations. These benefits can underpin a strong business case.
Measuring Delivery Performance
Some companies need to move at lightning speed, while others — such as financial or pharmaceutical companies — prioritize security and compliance. No matter what your goals are or where you are on the journey to continuous delivery, you need to know how well your team is doing and track progress. This visibility is key for holding team members accountable, improving over time and communicating the value of DevOps to other stakeholders.
In particular, four metrics across two key variables have emerged as the industry standard for measuring delivery performance:
- Lead time for change: The time between a developer committing a piece of code or new feature and it getting into the hands of users. Shorter gaps speed up feedback cycles and make it easier to adjust to the market. According to our research, top companies take from less than a day to up to one week.
- Deployment frequency: How often you release to production. More frequent deployments mean more market agility. Releasing on demand or in less than a day is best practice. Today, 10-15% of the Salesforce community releases at least once a day, and we expect this to become the standard within three years.
Reliability and Trust
- Change failure rate: The percentage of releases requiring rollback or fixes. A lower rate decreases customer exposure and downtime. Top users have a rate of 20% or less.
- Mean time to recovery: How long it takes to bounce back from failures released to production. Early detection and automation are critical to reducing the gap. Rebounding in an hour or less is ideal.
Introducing Winter ’20
Our latest release introduces data-driven DevOps to the Salesforce platform. Users can now easily measure key performance metrics, automate CI/CD capabilities, and monitor teams and progress in real time, all natively within the Salesforce environment. Our exciting new features make Winter ‘20 the most comprehensive, enterprise-class, end-to-end CI/CD platform for Salesforce.
New Continuous Integration (CI) Features
- A new pipeline manager serves as a DevOps “air traffic control” center for release management teams and allows for unparalleled collaboration across teams. Users can visualize the entire development pipeline, see what’s happening across all environments in the production org and get real-time updates on progress. Dynamic scrolling allows you to focus on areas of interest, while filters let you zero in on a team or release. You can instantly see the status of every deployment (successful, failed or in progress), as well as the number of user stories waiting to be deployed. Clicking on a deployment or a new quick menu allows you to get detailed information on anything you need within two clicks. You can also schedule automated back deployments with a point-and-click setup.
- A new developer command line interface allows developers to do their jobs without logging into Salesforce. Developers can now do everything they need from the IDE, leveraging Git and Salesforce commands wherever possible as well as agile tools like Jira. A new Copado push command enables developers to commit user stories, push them into gits and automatically associate metadata changes with the user story without having to go into the metadata grid
- Automatic merge conflict resolution with a one-, two- or three-panel view makes it easy to improve visibility, reduce overwrites and increase collaboration. With the click of a button, you can convert XML into a YAML display and deploy changes back into an XML format. You can also now use the DC Source File format for all environments, not just scratch orgs. By reducing one large file to multiple smaller files, this format reduces merge conflicts and allows for faster resolution.
- For point-and-click developers, an update to the metadata grid has made it much more efficient, with better filter methods and usability. For example, you can select data ranges and filters like “starts with,” “contains,” or “does not contain.”
New Continuous Delivery (CD) Features
- A point-and-click setup allows you to schedule or automate deployments and back promotions.
- More fine-tuned control over quality gates helps you ensure that required tests are completed automatically before changes are deployed to the next level. You can define smart behaviors for each environment, as well as for connections, meaning you can set up default behaviors and overrides as needed. Quality gates include validations, compliance scans, Selenium tests, and more. You can define a behavior once and apply it all environments that use it. This point-and-click release management captures all the rules used and gives you an audit trail to prove you completed the right tests every time.
- You can define a metadata fast lane that allows certain changes to move all the way to production before others that require exhaustive testing. For example, a change to a report or dashboard can occur immediately.
- A next-generation pipeline view gives you visibility on changes as they move through the pipeline and puts you two clicks away from any action you need. Hovering over an environment shows you further details, such as when back deployments are scheduled and what quality gates are being used.
- An advanced data deployment option allows release managers to deploy complex relational data easily and reliably between organizations. You can now promote data changes in CPQ, CommerceCloud, nCino, and other enterprise apps without the technical knowledge required to manually create relational queries. You can also create a relational model for test data scrubbed of sensitive information. Advanced data deployment involves a data template editor, a simplified data deployment wizard to set up the relational data model and an advanced data step. You can export data models to share with other teams or import out-of-the box templates that you can fine-tune. Point-and-click features mean a subject matter expert doesn’t need to known SOQL to set up filters. For more complex deployments, an advanced data step allows you to do a backup, deactivate triggers, implement multiple templates and re-enable triggers.
Looking Forward: DevOps 360
At Dreamforce, we gave customers a preview of the next step in data-driven DevOps: our DevOps 360 initiative. Thanks to Copado’s native Salesforce functionality and capabilities, you can bring together data from all your DevOps processes into native dashboards and reports for continuous insights into your performance. Being able to track key metrics, like deployment frequency and change failure rate, can lead to more predictable releases, fewer bottlenecks and better performance, allowing you to assign metrics to your DevOps processes.