CommunityDevOps ExchangePartners
Articles
3/18/2022
10 minutes

Salesforce CI/CD Best Practices: Build, Run & Test

Written by
Copado Team
Table of contents

You can increase productivity, improve code quality and achieve faster releases by integrating CI/CD DevOps practices with your Salesforce development. Salesforce DevOps leads to 46x more deployments, 2555x shorter lead times, 8x fewer change failures and 96x faster recovery times. However, many organizations encounter some growing pains in the shift to DevOps. Following Salesforce CI/CD best practices will de-risk your adoption of CI/CD strategies — ensuring stricter controls, comprehensive testing and a culture of continuous delivery.

Solid CI/CD practices are especially crucial for Salesforce development. The more you rely on your Salesforce pipeline for critical operations, the more important it is to maintain control over your codebase and push necessary features without disruption. CI/CD can help achieve better levels of control — but only if the organization fully commits to a new DevOps philosophy.

Follow these Salesforce CI/CD best practices to improve your DevOps maturity and maintain control over a constantly changing Salesforce ecosystem.

Salesforce CI/CD Best Practices Increase Control and Simplify Commits

Today, many organizations are using Salesforce as the backbone of their technology stack. Salesforce’s low-code environment empowers administrators to make necessary changes to their operational pipeline. However, the low-code environment also leads to a multitude of branching commits from a large body of low-code developers across the business.

CI/CD best practices can help organizations achieve greater levels of control over their technology stack, through iterative processes and continuous testing. For example, Lash Group was like many organizations: 100s of developers working on Salesforce simultaneously, all using traditional waterfall methodology and tracking deployments in spreadsheets. The lack of agility and transparency meant they could only deploy releases every 3 to 4 months. With a new DevOps mindset and platform, they were able to increase production deployments by 4x within six months, move from waterfall to agile and adopt sandbox branching.

While CI/CD is useful no matter where you develop, Salesforce’s configurable nature, mission-critical processes and constant updates make CI/CD particularly crucial:

  • Continuous Integration (CI). To reduce the risk of conflicts, overwrites and disruption, teams need support to merge and consolidate all metadata into the live Salesforce environment.
  • Continuous Deployment(CD). To avoid large or critical failures changes should deploy to the Salesforce platform in small, frequent cycles. However, more releases make collaboration and coordination more complicated.

CI/CD processes lead to improved releases, fewer disruptions and greater agility. Tighter development processes lead to more responsive, user-driven designs — and a more manageable Salesforce ecosystem.

The following CI/CD best practices make it easier for organizations to adopt a CI/CD philosophy and apply it to their Salesforce pipeline.

1. Commit Frequently

Commit frequently and in small batches. Tiny, manageable commits are central to the iterative process. Get better feedback and use principles like INVEST to ensure changes reduce risk and generate returns faster. When commits become larger, they become unwieldy and more likely to experience critical failure. In addition, large builds run the risk of over-committing resources. Whether it's a Salesforce update or changing business needs, businesses need agility to respond in time. Small, frequent commits are the foundation of the iterative process.

2. Enforce Strict Version Control

For successful CI/CD, you need a way to record changes over time. Version control helps your teams collaborate and make changes without creating chaos. In low-code environments such as Salesforce, managing version control becomes even more important. The more hands touching the system, the stricter version control must be. Everyone involved needs a shared source of truth: your pipelines and the data you’ve committed. You also need controls to enforce who can deploy changes from lower environments to higher ones, from QA all the way up to production. The best platforms offer one-click commits and automated version control — so Salesforce administrators don’t need to worry about what’s under the hood. Version control also lays the foundation for DevOps visibility because everyone can see who made changes, when. With dashboards, even non-coders can keep track of progress.

3. Test Live and Test Often

Overcome Salesforce testing challenges through automated, AI-driven testing. The CI/CD process relies on testing to ensure the stability of the system. Developers can first deploy their commits to Salesforce sandbox environments for critical unit testing — from there, they can push their commits to the live production environment. For stable Salesforce deployments, tests should work both in Salesforce and across all your integrations. Automated end-to-end testing in UAT and staging environments ensures each deployment is stable, building a solid foundation for each subsequent commit. 

4. Create a DevOps Culture

Although CI/CD tools can lay the foundation, you need more than tools to optimize software development. DevOps principles will help you change your organizational culture to get the most out of CI/CD. However, to implement DevOps successfully, you need leadership buy-in to make lasting cultural changes. Start by assessing your current DevOps capabilities to see where you should focus your efforts. Automation and smoother pipelines won’t make a difference unless your enterprise culture is ready to capitalize on the benefits.

Embrace Salesforce CI/CD Best Practices with Copado

With Copado, the #1 DevOps solution for Salesforce, organizations are able to leverage pre-built Salesforce integrations to drive their digital transformation. Copado reduces the time to deploy a user story from 15 days to 0.7 days, increasing the speed of user story deployment by 80-95%. Better visibility and automated processes allow teams to focus on improving their Salesforce pipeline.

 

With a DevOps solution built on and for Salesforce, your organization can surmount Salesforce testing challenges and enforce CI/CD best practices.

 

Book a demo

About The Author

#1 DevOps Platform for Salesforce

We Build Unstoppable Teams By Equipping DevOps Professionals With The Platform, Tools And Training They Need To Make Release Days Obsolete. Work Smarter, Not Longer.

Master Salesforce DevOps with Copado Robotic Testing
Exploratory Testing vs. Automated Testing: Finding the Right Balance
A Guide to Salesforce Source Control
A Guide to DevOps Branching Strategies
Family Time vs. Mobile App Release Days: Can Test Automation Help Us Have Both?
How to Resolve Salesforce Merge Conflicts: A Guide
Is Mobile Test Automation Unnecessarily Hard? A Guide to Simplify Mobile Test Automation
From Silos to Streamlined Development: Tarun’s Tale of DevOps Success
Simplified Scaling: 10 Ways to Grow Your Salesforce Development Practice
What is Salesforce Incident Management?
What Is Automated Salesforce Testing? Choosing the Right Automation Tool for Salesforce
Business Benefits of DevOps: A Guide
Copado Brings Generative AI to Its DevOps Platform to Improve Software Development for Enterprise SaaS
Celebrating 10 Years of Copado: A Decade of DevOps Evolution and Growth
Copado Celebrates 10 Years of DevOps for Enterprise SaaS Solutions
5 Reasons Why Copado = Less Divorces for Developers
What is DevOps? Build a Successful DevOps Ecosystem with Copado’s Best Practices
Scaling App Development While Meeting Security Standards
5 Data Deploy Features You Don’t Want to Miss
Top 5 Reasons I Choose Copado for Salesforce Development
How to Elevate Customer Experiences with Automated Testing
Getting Started With Value Stream Maps
Copado and nCino Partner to Provide Proven DevOps Tools for Financial Institutions
Unlocking Success with Copado: Mission-Critical Tools for Developers
How Automated Testing Enables DevOps Efficiency
How to Keep Salesforce Sandboxes in Sync
How to Switch from Manual to Automated Testing with Robotic Testing
Best Practices to Prevent Merge Conflicts with Copado 1 Platform
Software Bugs: The Three Causes of Programming Errors
How Does Copado Solve Release Readiness Roadblocks?
Why I Choose Copado Robotic Testing for my Test Automation
How to schedule a Function and Job Template in DevOps: A Step-by-Step Guide
Delivering Quality nCino Experiences with Automated Deployments and Testing
Best Practices Matter for Accelerated Salesforce Release Management
Maximize Your Code Quality, Security and performance with Copado Salesforce Code Analyzer
Upgrade Your Test Automation Game: The Benefits of Switching from Selenium to a More Advanced Platform
Three Takeaways From Copa Community Day
Cloud Native Applications: 5 Characteristics to Look for in the Right Tools
Using Salesforce nCino Architecture for Best Testing Results
How To Develop A Salesforce Testing Strategy For Your Enterprise
What Is Multi Cloud: Key Use Cases and Benefits for Enterprise Settings
5 Steps to Building a Salesforce Center of Excellence for Government Agencies
Salesforce UI testing: Benefits to Staying on Top of Updates
Benefits of UI Test Automation and Why You Should Care
Types of Salesforce Testing and When To Use Them
What is Salesforce API Testing and It Why Should Be Automated
Machine Learning Models: Adapting Data Patterns With Copado For AI Test Automation
Automated Testing Benefits: The Case For As Little Manual Testing As Possible
Beyond Selenium: Low Code Testing To Maximize Speed and Quality
UI Testing Best Practices: From Implementation to Automation
How Agile Test Automation Helps You Develop Better and Faster
Salesforce Test Cases: Knowing When to Test
DevOps Quality Assurance: Major Pitfalls and Challenges
11 Characteristics of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) That Set Them Apart
7 Key Compliance Regulations Relating to Data Storage
7 Ways Digital Transformation Consulting Revolutionizes Your Business
6 Top Cloud Security Trends
API Management Best Practices
Applying a Zero Trust Infrastructure in Kubernetes
Building a Data Pipeline Architecture Based on Best Practices Brings the Biggest Rewards
CI/CD Methodology vs. CI/CD Mentality: How to Meet Your Workflow Goals
DevOps to DevSecOps: How to Build Security into the Development Lifecycle
DevSecOps vs Agile: It’s Not Either/Or
How to Create a Digital Transformation Roadmap to Success
Infrastructure As Code: Overcome the Barriers to Effective Network Automation
Leveraging Compliance Automation Tools to Mitigate Risk
Moving Forward with These CI/CD Best Practices
Top 3 Data Compliance Challenges of Tomorrow and the Solutions You Need Today
Top 6 Cloud Security Management Policies and Procedures to Protect Your Business
What are the Benefits of Principle of Least Privilege (POLP) for My Organization?
You Can’t Measure What You Can’t See: Getting to know the 4 Metrics of Software Delivery Performance
How the Public Sector Can Continue to Accelerate Modernization
Building an Automated Test Framework to Streamline Deployments
How To Implement a Compliance Testing Methodology To Exceed Your Objectives
Cloud Security: Advantages and Disadvantages to Accessibility
Copado Collaborates with IBM to Accelerate Digital Transformation Projects on the Salesforce Platform
Continuous Quality: The missing link to DevOps maturity
Why Empowering Your Salesforce CoE is Essential for Maximizing ROI
Value Stream Management: The Future of DevOps at Scale is Here
Is Salesforce Development ‘One Size Fits All?’
The 3 Pillars of DevOps Value Stream Management
Gartner Recommends Companies Adopt Value Stream Delivery Platforms To Scale DevOps
The Admin's Quick Glossary for Understanding Salesforce DevOps