Tag Archives: salesforce

Screenshot of data masking in Prodly's sandbox seeding

7 Benefits of Sandbox Seeding in Salesforce

Here at Prodly, we know that any Salesforce DevOps process begins with seeding sandboxes. Here are seven benefits of sandbox seeding that will help you maximize your ROI from Salesforce:

1. Selectively Update Full Copy and Partial Copy Sandboxes With Fresh Data and Metadata—on Your Own Time.

Full Copy and Partial Copy sandboxes quickly lose their value as the last QA or UAT stop on the release train. Why? Because your production environment keeps changing, so a Full or Partial Copy consistently becomes less of a reproduction.

Sandbox seeding lets you update your orgs piecemeal to keep them in sync with production. That way, you don’t have to overhaul each sandbox every time you want to refresh. 

With traditional Salesforce sandbox refresh requirements, refreshes rarely align at a good time. The ability to do mini-refreshes significantly enhances your release process. As a result,  you can more effectively leverage higher-level environments to drive your release process. 

 

2. Move Faster—and Streamline Your Release Process

How often have you spent hours generating sample Account records and other Custom Object records one by one? Only to later run into problems because the data isn’t representative of your production environment?

With Prodly’s sandbox seeding, it’s easy to provision a sandbox in Salesforce. You can quickly select Objects to seed to up to five environments in one go. That means you can create five development-ready environments in just one click.

A screenshot of seeding objects to five Salesforce orgs in one go.

Prodly also provides prebuilt data sets. They let you quickly provision an org with commonly-used Objects–while preserving even complex data relationships. 

3. Unlock the Potential of Developer, DevPro, and Scratch Orgs

Sandbox seeding lets you maximize your Developer, Developer Pro, and scratch orgs as true development environments.

Your lower-level org should function as a ready-made playground. Here, you can tinker with your ideas before pushing any changes up the release pipeline. If you start your projects with data seeding in Salesforce, you can synchronize configuration changes across all your sandboxes. 

And you’ll never face confusion and frustration about your test working in your DevPro sandbox—but not in UAT.

4. Use Developer Sandboxes Like Full Copies

You can work in your Developer sandbox with all the data you need to move forward. At the same time, your team can still perform work in your Full Copy sandbox. Think about it: Do you really need 100,000 Account records to test with? Or will 100 be more than enough for unit testing?

Imagine being able to quickly populate your sandbox with real test data and get to work. It’s one less roadblock to deal with. This helps resuscitate any lagging business processes—plus, it ensures you can get new features to end users faster. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

5. Quickly Create a Hotfix Environment With Sandbox Seeding

Sometimes you need to quickly fix a bug in Salesforce that’s affecting a mission-critical business process. Of course, you shouldn’t try to do this in production.

Instead, use sandbox seeding to quickly spin up a Salesforce org and populate it with the data you need to fix the issue. Use best practices for making hotfixes in Salesforce, and simply promote the patch back to production.

6. Enhance Employee Satisfaction

Employees are happier when they don’t keep running into issues that slow them down and cause headaches. 

In fact, according to a Salesforce survey, 89 percent of full-time workers are more satisfied thanks to automation. Moreover, an astounding 91 percent agree that automation saves them time and gives them a better work-life balance.

7. Improve Productivity in Salesforce

With happier employees and faster, more streamlined release pipelines, you can increase productivity by as much as 80 percent. 

That means you have more time to take care of the day-to-day business of managing your business. Plus, you can take on more projects and work through them more efficiently.

Seeding Sandboxes Is Critical to DevOps in Salesforce

The key tenets of DevOps are ship often, ship small, build in isolated environments, and automate deployments. 

To build in isolated environments, you need to maximize reproducible environments—in other words, your sandboxes and scratch orgs. So it’s key to have automated sandbox seeding capabilities like those provided by Prodly Prodly Sandbox Management. 

Our sandbox seeding wizard lets you quickly and easily spin up mini environments that look like your production org. What’s more: They won’t affect other environments where the rest of your team is working.

Obstacles to Org Seeding in Salesforce

Sandbox seeding obviously offers many benefits—plus, it’s critical to Salesforce DevOps. So why aren’t more Salesforce customers doing it?

Some Salesforce customers aren’t yet aware of the power of sandbox seeding automation. They do know that manually populating sandboxes and scratch orgs with valuable testing data from production takes a long time. This is especially true if you run into issues when migrating relational data—which you probably will using legacy Salesforce tools.

And when a process becomes time consuming, it adds unnecessary expense to the project.

In addition, using Data Loader for data seeding can cause concerns about data security.  Downloading data to a CSV before migrating it to the new environment isn’t secure and may violate data security policies.

Features of Prodly’s Automated Sandbox Seeding

Prodly Sandbox Management automates the process of provisioning your orgs with real-life test data—making it quick and easy. Here’s are some of the solution’s most important features:

Data Templates

We provide prebuilt templates of commonly used record types that let you move entire relational data schemas at once. Easily move your entire Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Industries Cloud, or any other subset of your Salesforce schema. For example, Accounts with all related Contacts, Opportunities, Quotes, and Cases with Case Comments and Attachments with a single click.

Screenshot of a diagram view of data template

Select Data on the Fly

For bespoke data seeding needs, Prodly Sandbox Management gives you a lightning-fast way to select Objects you want to seed. Simply select what you’re interested in, and the wizard automatically migrates the related data with it.

Data Masking

There may be instances where you have sensitive data you want to protect in lower-level orgs. Prodly Sandbox Management provides data masking to protect sensitive data. This helps ensure you’re in compliance with relevant privacy regulations and legislation.

Screenshot of data masking in Prodly's sandbox seeding

Ramp Up Your Release Management Process with Prodly

With Prodly’s sandbox seeding to provision your Salesforce orgs, you can minimize the upfront work on projects. In addition, you can ramp up your release management process. This one crucial step can give your team valuable hours back—and save your company significant resources. 

Perhaps you’re facing some flak for lagging returns. If so, consider sandbox seeding as a fundamental way to enhance your processes and get a stronger ROI from Salesforce. It’s a tool to keep your team agile and to improve time to value for the business.

Contact us to request a personalized demo!

Managing technical debt in Salesforce

Managing Technical Debt in Salesforce

Deploy releases faster—and boost your Salesforce ROI 

What to know:

  • Bad technical debt impedes your release process and the health of your orgs—hindering your ability to conduct business. 
  • Good tech debt allows you to release changes faster—making you more agile and more responsive to opportunities.
  • Almost 75 percent of businesses that report a very high ROI from Salesforce have a continuous or fast release cycle.
  • Leveraging an agile approach to change management in Salesforce allows you to detect and address problems early on in the project while releasing incremental changes faster.

What Is Technical Debt?

There are two kinds of tech debt in Salesforce:

  • Bad tech debt is the cost of rework resulting from a rushed development process with siloed participation from team members—instead of using a better approach that would take longer to develop. 
  • Good technical debt pertains to the amount of work you need to invest now or in the future to ensure a streamlined, continual process that yields good results.

In this blog post, I’ll examine the cost of bad tech debt, what causes it, and how to fix it. I’ll also discuss the value of good tech debt and how to ensure it. 

The Cost of Bad Technical Debt

Picture the following scenario: In your prod org, there’s a custom Object that’s… well, let’s just say it’s delicate. Every time you need to add a new item or delete a custom field, you run into problems that slow down processes—or worse, crash the org. As a result, nobody wants to touch the Object. And that affects your ability to fulfill requests and obstructs your business process. 

This is an example of bad technical debt that’s most likely the result of not investing sufficient time in the steps needed to achieve a clean process. And it’s understandable, considering it’s often challenging to balance priorities when you’re constantly under pressure from users to provide new functionalities. 

Unfortunately, when bad technical debt becomes too great, it significantly delays releases. In some cases, businesses wind up throwing the org in question away and starting over from scratch. Either way, it’s detrimental to your business’s responsiveness—not to mention frustrating for your team and users.

What Causes Bad Tech Debt?

Bad technical debt can be caused by several factors, including:

  • A lack of ongoing data model design and refactoring resulting from not having an established process to create new and update existing data models.
  • An over-reliance on programmatic customization, or worse: by poorly-written Apex and Visualforce pages causing bugs that can slow processes down and even crash your org.
  • Leveraging bad coding practices when there are readily available configuration options.
  • Poor data quality that leads to failed deployment and app crashes.
  • Irrelevant integrations that are performing actions you’re not even aware of.
  • Letting good tech debt build up for too long.

How to Minimize Bad Technical Debt 

You can minimize bad tech debt by trying not to incur it in the first place. It may be tempting to jump straight to Apex to solve a problem, but don’t overlook long term maintenance costs of custom code solutions. Instead, push Salesforce’s point-and-click solutions to the limit, as the maintenance cost of supporting falls to Salesforce—not you. 

If you do find yourself buried in technical debt, it’s possible to dig yourself out. First, you’ll need to understand the scope of the debt. Start with an org audit, and use tools like Salesforce Optimizer, Field Trip, or Metazoa to go faster. I find it helpful to go object by object, starting with the most commonly used ones. Old record types? Fields that are not being used? Validation rules whose origin you can’t trace? Mark it all down. The goal at this stage is just to get a clear picture of what’s going on. 

Next, figure out a plan of attack. It’s not possible to fix everything at once, so address issues in order of importance. What’s causing the most impact to users or breaks most often? What’s the biggest blocker to passing code coverage? 

Be prepared—tech debt can be a tangled mess. Pulling on one thread may mean you need to unravel a few others. Don’t be discouraged. Steadily making progress on reducing tech debt will pay off. And when you’re most frustrated, knock out a couple of your pet peeves. (Mine? Page Layout sprawl).

Finally, establish policies and processes to prevent your org from winding up in this state again. That should include setting standards for documentation. Your future self will thank you. 

The Value of Good Tech Debt

Let’s say you want to roll out a new flow for your users. Now, you could create a plan that requires you to get the complete flow with all its bells and whistles up and running in a few weeks—but the chances of bugs and errors due to going too fast are very high. 

So instead, you design a project plan that includes the steps to initially build and deploy the basic flow, and then add additional features once that’s live. The plan gives your team sufficient time to complete each step, work out the bugs, and get each new iteration up and running so your users are happy and the flow drives increasingly more value for your business. 

As this example shows, the value of good tech debt is that it enables faster releases—which in turn yield greater ROI from Salesforce. Research shows that 73 percent of study respondents with very high ROI from Salesforce have daily or continuous release cycles. In contrast, only seven percent of those with quarterly, bimonthly, or monthly release cycles cite a very high ROI.

How to Ensure Good Technical Debt 

Good tech debt in Salesforce comes from leveraging the iterative process of agile. As we’ve seen, fast release cycles drive Salesforce ROI—but velocity shouldn’t come at the expense of org health. 

You should optimize your release management practices to minimize bugs and errors that result from cutting corners in the name of speed. Leveraging an agile approach to change management allows you to detect and address problems early on in the project while releasing incremental changes faster. (Read more in The Ultimate Guide to Salesforce Release Management.)

So you need to build out an initial project, release it, and—critically—complete optimizations plus add additional features later. Note that if you don’t complete your backlog, you’re building up bad tech debt.

Keep these tips in mind to ensure good tech debt:

  • Promote collaboration and coordination to implement uniform processes team-wide for data model design and refactoring.
  • Avoid over-customization resulting in bad code that doesn’t pass Salesforce’s minimum validation threshold to promote your changes.
  • Leverage available “clicks, not code” configuration when possible to avoid unnecessarily adding code that could adversely impact processes.
  • Keep data and validation rules up to date to prevent delayed processes or even downtime.
  • Regularly review integrations and managed packages, and make a plan to decommission old, unnecessary integrations out of your org. 
  • Adhere to a policy that documents all changes to an org so you have a history of modifications you can refer to in the event you need to troubleshoot. 

Prodly AppOps for Good Tech Debt

You can also leverage automation to help ensure good tech debt. The Prodly AppOps Suite includes the next-gen DevOps solutions AppOps Release for Data, AppOps Release for Metadata, and Sandbox Management. They enhance and streamline change management in Salesforce by automating data and metadata migration, sandbox seeding, and sandbox management. 

Because these solutions eliminate manual labor in data and metadata migration, they’re 100% accurate, which minimizes rework due to errors and bugs. They reduce data migration time by up to 85 percent and deploy metadata 12 times faster than change sets. As a result, you gain more time for higher-level work, which enables you to ramp up your release cycles—and drive your business forward.

To learn how your business can benefit from the Prodly AppOps suite, request a demo

Salesforce Devops

Why is Salesforce so Late to the DevOps Game?

More IT teams are turning to DevOps as a solution to help them to solve incessant silos in their workflows. However, the question of why Salesforce has been so slow to adopt still remains on the minds of developers. The DevOps movement began to grow in 2007, spawned by development teams desperate for tools that solved their biggest pains. DevOps served to break down the brick wall between engineering teams and their operations counterparts so companies could keep up with demand for more frequent software releases. 

The Salesforce ecosystem’s slow adoption of DevOps can be attributed to the following key principles:

1. Salesforce is not a code first environment

Salesforce is a low-code platform that is declaratively configured as much as it’s programmatically configured. The declarative environment provided by Salesforce goes beyond the developer empowering a people with no coding experience to be citizen developers in control of their business processes. Often, Salesforce Administrators, Business Analysts and Project Managers have great ideas, but are excluded from conversations, due to their inability to work with code-heavy DevOps tools.

Successful adoption of DevOps for any team low-code, no-code citizen developers must be first class citizens from the very beginning. This is why AppOps is designed with the lowest technical user in mind. 

2. The production org has historically been the source of truth

In DevOps the code is the source of truth, not the software. The code is versioned and every change is stored in a repository, like track changes to a document, so it’s easy to roll back changes if there’s an error. Within Salesforce we think of production as the source of truth. The problem is production is always moving and changing, and there’s no real history of changes. 

For Salesforce DevOps to be successful we need to be able to version not just the code in Salesforce but the declarative configurations too. This is why AppOps helps you version your Salesforce data.

3. Creating reproducible environments has been challenging 

This principle is all about having a safe place to play around and test new ideas. You need to be able to create them quickly and toss them. Salesforce has sandboxes, but not truly reproductions of production because they don’t have all of your data. Even Full Copies get out of sync with production quickly and can only be refreshed every 30 days. Since Salesforce data is highly relational and those relationships are hard to maintain org to org, most companies fall into one of two buckets:

  • Everyone shares the Full or Partial Copy sandbox. All the work happens here and people stepping on each other’s toes, which results in restricting access to the 
  • They work in DevPro without data, meaning they can’t efficiently build new stuff or test it very well 

To be successful, you need to be able to create true copies of production and really fast. That’s why AppOps Sandbox seeding allows you to select, filter and seed data into any org in minutes. 

Schedule a demo to discover how AppOps can improve how your team manages data  Salesforce.

Demystifying Version Control: What Salesforce Admins Need to Know

Are you looking to upgrade your team’s efficiency while boosting the reliability and security in your new DevOps tool? AppOps is supported by end-to-end version control to support Salesforce admins in better managing testing and production changes.

Let’s dig into why you as a Salesforce administrator should be using a DevOps tool with a version control system (VCS).

What is version control?

Version control, sometimes called source control, simply means tracking and managing changes to software code to ensure developers are always working on the latest version. If you only have one developer writing code, it’s easy for her to keep track of the changes she’s making and how they impact previous code. But with multiple developers working on different parts of the code, it requires much more effort and communication to keep the changes straight. A VCS is a tool that makes tracking and managing change easier for teams. 

Teams maintaining Salesforce encounter the same challenges—lots of people working on different parts of Salesforce, lost work, and difficulty fixing mistakes. For admins trying to follow  an agile release management methodology, version control is essential.

How Can Admins Benefit from Version Control?

We commonly think of the production org as the source of truth, but with version control that changes. The VCS becomes the source of truth, putting an end to questions about the correct version, and providing several big benefits for admins.

Identify conflicts as they occur

When you’re working with multiple versions of your project, you can make those changes less the stress of affecting work being done by another member of your team. By enabling version control you remove the anxiety of creating conflict while implementing changes. 

Track revision history of changes over time 

Sometimes, while working with changes, you need to refer back to a specific change you scrapped previously. AppOps is equipped to support moving backward in time and being able to pluck and reconfigure your changes as simply as pointing and clicking. 

Work in a true agile environment

Agile release methodology is based on close collaboration and continuous improvement achieved via tight feedback cycles. For this to be effective both developers and admins need to work from the same source of truth and follow the same process for introducing change. The point here is to reconfigure workflows for teams to make them more easily consumable for admins and other team members. 

AppOps is designed to work in conjunction with your Salesforce deployment system for ease of implementation. Which means you don’t have to load up on multiple tools to get the benefits of version control. Prodly is designed for admins to simply point-and-click to complete versioning control tasks as well as version both your data and code. 

Set up a demo to learn more about implementing AppOps for your team.

Exploring Bidirectional Sandbox Seeding for Efficiency-Focused Teams

When you want to maximize your team’s efficiency and improve your end-user experience, AppOps can help you transform your entire workflow. By using this low-code option for DevOps, your team will be handling change requests like clockwork. And it all starts with efficiently seeding your Salesforce sandboxes.

When developers are only able to work with partial data, the chance of bugs and errors slowing down progress is immense. Many teams lose steam in the development and QA process when they go the route of manually working with a sandbox test data set. Bidirectional sandbox seeding bestows control to anyone who can click through a data management workflow. 

What is Bidirectional Sandbox Seeding?

Sandbox seeding is when you deploy data from your production org to a sandbox, whether it’s a freshly created org or you’re refreshing it. With AppOps, your team has the ability to move data in both directions, which makes it bidirectional. This makes for much better auditability of changes in production and deployment results. When your governance strategy is supported by AppOps, here’s what the process should look like:

Bidirectional Sandbox Seeding makes it so that once you start with a fresh sandbox and deploy data to it, you can move in any direction through this flowchart. Whether you’re rolling back changes to start from the beginning or just need to change a tiny detail, you’re able to move through these phases in just a few clicks. 

Why Should I Seed Sandboxes?

The first rule of maintaining Salesforce is “don’t make changes in production.” But far too often that means everyone working in the same full or partial org, making it difficult to keep track of who’s doing what, increasing the odds of stepping on each other’s work, and near impossible to find a good window of time to refresh the sandbox. Best practice states that instead, each individual should start each project in a dedicated sandbox and then promote changes to a shared QA org before releasing the change in production. This allows individuals to work faster and gives companies more thorough testing, better auditability of changes, and more effective usage of their expensive sandboxes.

So what’s stopping more Salesforce teams from adopting a better release workflow? The lack of representative production data in lower level sandboxes makes it harder to imagine, configure, and test changes. This problem becomes more complicated as changes move up the release pipeline and you need to keep all of the sandboxes in sync with production.  

What Does Sandbox Seeding Look Like Without AppOps?

Without AppOps, you’re literally out there on your own having to use a barrage of tools to handle what AppOps does seamlessly. There’s the tedious process of using a data loader, which can be compounded based on the size of your project. Some companies have to employ a 3rd party developer to manage their sandbox, which can become quite costly. With AppOps Release, you’re able to populate—and even anonymize— representative test data into five orgs in just a matter of minutes. Prodly gives you more control of your data, your processes, and a greater probability of aligning your people with the needs of your stakeholders for every project. 

How Can I Use AppOps to Improve my Salesforce Governance Strategy?

Having a seamless, automated process for seeding sandboxes increases org health, fights errors, and immensely improves efficiency. AppOps can help you move your data up, down, backwards and forward between your production org and sandboxes. This eliminates the need to depend on a full copy to work from as you advance through changes. You’re also able to configure data simulations, which means you can make changes without consequences.  When you need to deploy complex data from a schema all at once, no more worries about complications. Prodly gives you the power to migrate data from up to five orgs simultaneously.

See for yourself how easy and quick it is to seed sandboxes with AppOps Release. Watch the Bidirectional Sandbox Seeding Webinar (25 min).

What Salesforce Admins Need to Know about DevOps

As a Salesforce administrator, you’re one of the biggest change agents in any organization. But how do you control  your workflow and effectively affect change management? In recent years, Salesforce DevOps has been gaining traction as a way to better manage releases and drive faster innovation.  

While you may think DevOps is more of a category of interest for developers, think again, as there is much more to explore. When implemented correctly, DevOps empowers Salesforce administrators to affect organizational efficiency in a whole new way and enables anyone who has an idea to participate in implementing it. 

Can DevOps support me as a Salesforce administrator?

Allow your perspective to be transformed to fully understanding the benefits of DevOps. Also understand that implementing DevOps starts with a Salesforce Governance strategy surrounding how everyone on your team participates in the flow of change. By defining a strategy for making changes and implementing Salesforce DevOps tools to make it easier to follow the change process you can dramatically increase who gets to participate in the ideation process of change management. 

For many teams, the process of implementation is the daunting part of the process of adoption that causes a bit of anxiety. But rest assured that the pain of not having a tool supporting your change management processes is much greater and over time only leads to a more restrictive, risk averse attitude towards Salesforce release management where only a few people are trusted to participate in the process. DevOps aims to break down these silos and encourage more people to participate in the management of Salesforce. 

Can DevOps help you better support your team?

AppOps was designed with the understanding that Salesforce developers and administrators alike want to accelerate the pace of innovation without sacrificing trust. There’s also the opportunity for Salesforce teams to:

  • Foster greater collaboration
  • Create more opportunities for inclusion
  • Develop goals that focus on empowerment
  • Maximize overall growth
  • Clear backlogged projects faster
  • Change your risk stance from risk adverse to willing to experiment

DevOps is centered around helping you build and adopt a culture, mentality and processes that encourage innovation. Being in the driver’s seat means you are able to introduce ideas that help you to sustain your workflows more effectively. 

You’re also able to test those solutions without fear of your team taking a hit to its time and resources. Learning about DevOps as a viable solution for improving your team’s bottom line is a great step.

Can DevOps help Salesforce Administrators better manage risks?

DevOps has the power to transform your company’s perspective on innovation, risk aversion and inclusiveness. When every member of your team is engaged to ideate within a trusted process with the appropriate safeguards, you can achieve a more robust flow of solutions and opportunities for consistent growth and collaboration. Likewise, when everyone is engaged in spotting and managing risks, the chances of bottlenecks or silos in these situations are significantly reduced and the changes that are promoted to production are more thoroughly tested. 

DevOps addresses this by making it a priority from the strategy development phase. Which is where it should be handled, not when your team is drowning in a sea of requests. 

To learn more about how DevOps can support you as an admin, contact us

10 Benefits of Implementing AppOpps for IT Teams

Often, when it comes to implementing changes in Salesforce, it isn’t until you have to make one that you discover breakdowns and bottlenecks that keeps your team from performing optimally. Prodly AppOps is all about enabling you through an easy-to-use UI that is built to empower admins and keep your team supported by sound governance, effective change management, and give you the data that helps you use your resources wisely.

Here are just a few of the benefits of employing AppOps to create a proactive team:

#1: Improved change management

From applying a governance framework to set strategic objectives for your instance to optimizing the change request and delivery process, AppOps supports you in improving your workflows based on reliable data. Starting with your strategic approach to change management, AppOps seeks to simplify the process of change with a bias towards declarative changes that keeps admins in the driver’s seat of handling appropriate requests. 

#2: Time savings

Frequent silos and exhausted project timelines cost your team more than just money and productivity. AppOps closes the gap in your governance strategy by automating the deployment process for your Salesforce administrators. This can save hours or even days of time wasted during the release cycle. Do your team the favor of harnessing an agile approach to Salesforce changes with AppOps. 

#3: Improved quality assurance

Are you set up to handle quality assurance properly? How about handling automatic regression testing and rollbacks seamlessly? When you’re working with change requests from your users, you need a tool that’s going to support your team in ensuring that every request is fulfilled properly, from intake to completion. 

#4: Reliable auditability

Auditability is perhaps the most important part of working with customer requests and maintaining the health of your Salesforce org. Without it, it would be difficult to track whether a process is working effectively, whether resources are being used to the best of their ability or if there needs to be a complete system overhaul. AppOps Release gives you the ability to track every change so you can go back and see exactly who changed what and when. AppOps places the auditing process at the crux of how you control and manage your change workflows.

#5: Sandbox optimization

Is your company using your Salesforce sandboxes to its full capacity? Most companies aren’t. With AppOps you can refresh painlessly and seamlessly keep your sandboxes in sync with production. You can also reduce the frequency and impact of bugs and errors in your production orgs. AppOps gives you the power to use your sandboxes effectively as well as create a reliable connection between your data and your team.

#6: Reduced data errors 

The frustration of duplicate data and missing object relationships when manually deploying Salesforce records between orgs is immeasurable against the satisfaction of working with AppOps. AppOps is unique in being able to provide this level of reliability, efficiency and flexibility. This is a tool that’s designed with all of the possibilities, for your team in mind, with the reliability and data-based efficiency known for results. 

#7: Increased throughput of changes

As your team’s usage of Salesforce grows, so should your tools for managing those changes. The low-code shift has given business analysts, project managers, and business operations managers the power to drive changes and improve processes right alongside Salesforce administrators and developers. The clicks-not-code approach of AppOps means increasing the velocity and pace of releases. With AppOps, anyone on the team can be a part of the change management process while still following best practices for governance. 

#8: Happier users 

The point of strategic governance is to bring a more quality product to your end user. Implementing AppOps means that your end user gets changes faster. Your Salesforce admins will have much less busy work and move through their project timelines more efficiently. Your developers will also appreciate being more challenged with projects that fall within their skill set. AppOps is all about ensuring deployments that occur correctly every time, while allowing your team to optimize building, testing, and delivering the next release.

#9: Problems are handled more proactively

Instead of being a reactive team, AppOps empowers you to move toward proactive methodologies that help you eliminate wasteful processes and optimize those that work well. Doing the work in the beginning helps to reduce the chances of silos and bottlenecks that could have been avoided with proper planning, and by automating repetitive tasks in the release process. 

#10: Eliminate ineffective silos

Without software to support, track, and monitor the status and progress of customer requests and other projects your team handles, it is common for there to be serious breakdowns in communication. This leads to silos and backups that leaves your team loaded with unfinished projects and saddles efficiency. AppOps gives everyone the ability to safely make Salesforce improvements within the defined change processes. Treat your team to the next level of change management, the low-code option that empowers admins and strengthens IT team’s strategic leadership.

Managing low-code platforms with low-code tools is the trend for IT teams looking to increase efficiency and deliver quality changes to end users faster. The foundation of your Salesforce change management strategy should be backed by a tool that addresses each project independently to assess the path through production. Interested in taking Prodly AppOps for a test drive? Schedule a demo today. 

The basics of Salesforce sandbox seeding

Sandbox seeding, or data seeding, is the practice of populating a Salesforce org with record data after it is created or refreshed. While colloquially referred to as sandbox seeding, it’s important to note data seeding also applies to other types or Salesforce orgs as data can be populated or moved into Developer orgs, scratch orgs and even production.

Common use cases for sandbox seeding

A sandbox is merely a Salesforce environment that you can use for making changes to Salesforce, testing those changes, and training users on changes before making the changes available in production. So sandbox seeding is valuable at various stages of Salesforce development and enables admins/devs to complete projects faster, identify issues early (when they’re easier and cheaper to fix), and reduce the amount of time spent resolving bugs at every stage of development.

For example when starting a new Salesforce project, an admin will ideally start work in their own environment, perhaps a Developer or Developer Pro org. Individual Developer sandboxes provide quicker outcomes while virtually eliminating the chance of accidentally deploying unfinished work into Production or overwriting another teammate’s work. This also lessens the risk of exposing confidential data or impacting the daily tasks of your end users. Most Salesforce enhancements impact record data in one way or another, so it’s helpful to have real business data in your environment. While it is true you can use “dummy data”, substantial, real data is always best. Errors and issues are easier to spot when you’re working with real data, and you can compare against production to see exactly how changes would impact production data and user workflows.

Once the admin is confident their new solution is working the way they want, the next step is to make sure it plays nice with the changes other teammate’s have been making and, of course, production. For this you’ll want to have each individual promote their changes to a shared sandbox for testing. Frequently, admins/devs will want to seed data into the testing environment to achieve a production-like environment with current, clean data for testing so they be confident their changes will work in production.

While the majority of Salesforce changes should follow a release path where work starts in an individual Dev org and gets promoted up to testing sandboxes and ultimately pushed into production, there is also a solid argument to have an exception process for quick changes or hotfixes. Due to the urgent nature of hotfixes, companies often make changes in a dedicated sandbox and push them into production. This enables admins to keep production running smoothly, but can cause the orgs in the standard release path to become out of sync with production. After hotfixes, it is important to seed the testing and training sandboxes to ensure regular development projects have the latest configurations and data.

Finally one of the other benefits of seeding sandboxes with actual production data is that you will now be able to create a training environment for new end users and even new hires. How can you expect a new user to learn and understand how to use Salesforce if they don’t have real life scenarios and data for practice? Dummy data can inhibit the learning process because it doesn’t provide necessary business context for users. Keeping your training org current makes the transition to production easier for users.

Challenges to seeding sandboxes

Seeding sandbox testing should be a best practice for any Development/QA team, however manually having to seed data is very time-consuming and can lead to unnecessary added expenses and project delays. Data security concerns can also hinder data seeding effort, as selecting the correct subset of data and scrambling sensitive data all while maintaining the child-parent relationships that exist in production adds additional steps and complexity.

Prodly AppOps Release automates sandbox seeding to move entire relational data schemas at once with granular control over which records will be seeded and obfuscation options for protecting sensitive data. If you’re interested in reducing your admin’s workload and speeding up your Development/QA sprint cycles by automating sandbox seeding, give us a call.