Tag Archives: salesforce

The best data loader for Salesforce represented by neon arrows traveling at high speed

The Best Data Loader for Salesforce

The #1 Alternative to the Data Loader Download and the Data Loader CLI!

Are you looking for the best data loader for Salesforce? Watch this video to see that Prodly DevOps, the leading automated data loader for Salesforce, can save you hours of work and tons of frustration. Then read the blog to learn why Prodly DevOps is the fastest and best tool for loading data into Salesforce orgs.

Why Prodly Is the Fastest and Best Data Loader for Salesforce

As you saw in the video, Prodly DevOps provides an automated data loader that lets you effortlessly migrate data between orgs—with just a few clicks!

Prodly DevOps: Data Loading Made Easy

Prodly DevOps is the #1 data loader for Salesforce. It has an intuitive user interface that’s easy to navigate for everyone on your team, including admins, business users, release managers, developers, and architects. 

You can use it with either your production environment or a VCS as a source of truth. Moreover, because it doesn’t involve exporting any data to CSV files, it’s far more secure and reliable than manual data loading. 

On top of that, Prodly DevOps is 100 percent automated for the entire data schema. That means you only have to select the data set associated with what you want to move once. Prodly automatically moves all related objects for you—without you having to do a thing!

The best data loader for Salesforce represented by neon arrows traveling at high speed

Automated Dataloader Features

Prodly offers automatic duplicate resolution; reusable deployment plans; search, filter, and mass select; dependency management; data masking and partial deployments. It also provides the ability to schedule deployments. You can easily adjust it to each specific data migration on the fly without running into any issues that cause delays and missed deadlines. 

You never have to create or manage external ID fields, manually deactivate automations and validations, or use VLOOKUPs again.

In short—with Prodly DevOps, you can say goodbye to busy work, as well as hours spent resolving errors and maintaining CLI scripts. Instead, you breeze through every deployment in just a couple of minutes—without ever having to worry about data security or lost productivity!

Data Loader Can Cost Time and Resources

A manual dataloader isn’t particularly user friendly. It involves an often time-consuming, painstaking process. This is especially problematic when it comes to bulk data uploads and complex data models like Salesforce CPQ Price Rules and related objects. 

For admins, using Data Loader declaratively requires quite a few steps. You have to export the data from the source environment to a CSV, run VLOOKUps, map the IDs, and import the data into the destination org. The individual objects have to be loaded into the destination org one by one. And if you get an error, how do you know what you’ve mapped incorrectly—or how to fix it?

Depending on the volume and complexity of the data you’re working with, this manual process can take hours—or even days.

For developers using the Data Loader CLI, the most time-consuming aspect is that you have to maintain the CLI scripts to keep them up to date. If you don’t, you’ll likely run into issues that slow the development process down.

Final Thoughts on the Best Salesforce Data Loader

Because Data Loader is included with Salesforce, it’s an economical and viable solution when you’re migrating relatively small amounts of data without a lot of dependencies. 

However, when it comes to bigger jobs with more complex data models, you need a cost-effective, fast, secure, and user-friendly data loader—Prodly DevOps. Because with Prodly’s automated data loader, you can skyrocket your data migration process, increase your productivity, and enhance your velocity.


What is an automated data loader?

An automated data loader is a tool that uses automation to migrate data between environments. It minimizes manual work and human error when you set up a development environment, sync environments, or promote data up the release pipeline. Learn more about automation for data loading.

What are the benefits of using an automated data loader?

Using an automated dataloader offers several distincts advantages. Pre-built templates drastically reduce the amount of time and effort required for migrating data between orgs. In addition, moving data with automation results in fewer errors, which further reduces the time involved with data loading in Salesforce. In short, using an automated data loader can significantly enhance your productivity and velocity.

An photo of a train in scenic surroundings as a metaphor for the automated Kaptio deployments of Prodly DevOps

How to Run a Kaptio Deployment

In this blog, we teach you how to run a Kaptio deployment using Prodly’s automation templates or data sets. This process is much more accurate than manually deploying config data with a Salesforce data loader. Automation takes 80 percent less time, which boosts your productivity significantly!

Automate Kaptio Deployments

Prodly DevOps provides automated deployment templates for the entire Kaptio data model. That means you can now perform accurate and successful Kaptio deployments in minutes instead of days! 

Here’s how to run a Kaptio deployment in three steps with Prodly DevOps:

  1. Select the source and destination environments.
  2. Select the template you want to use to deploy your Kaptio object, i.e. Business Unit, Package, Agreement, Itinerary Data, etc.
  3. Deploy.

Check out how quick and easy it is in this video:


What is Kaptio?

Kaptio Travel Platform is an end-to-end enterprise travel CRM built on the Salesforce platform. It allows travel providers to handle reservations, contracts, operations, and their distribution management system all from a single pane of glass.

Why are Kaptio deployments with Data Loader so difficult?

Kaptio deployments are so difficult because the Kaptio data model consists of complex configuration data, like Salesforce CPQ. As such, there are many object relationships that need to be taken into account in every deployment. When you use Data Loader, you have to map all these relationships out manually, one-by-one, to make sure the deployment is successful. This is tedious and time-consuming work that’s prone to error and often results in hours of rework.

A female employee speaking to her CFO about Salesforce automation.

How to Talk to Your CFO About Salesforce Automation

In this blog, I outline a strategy for talking to your CFO about investing in Salesforce automation. This involves researching what your CEO’s objectives are and suggesting a solution that’s proven to deliver the desired ROI.

Research Your CEO’s Goals

A female employee speaking to her CFO about Salesforce automation.

Before suggesting a new Salesforce automation to your CFO, you need to have a good overview of the factors they’ll consider before investing in one. 

The role of the CFO involves supporting the objectives of the CEO. They do this by driving top-line growth and shrinking bottom-line expenses. At the same time, they have to protect your company by ensuring it adheres to all the compliance regulations of your industry. 

So if you can attach the automation solution you’re interested in to one of the CEO’s goals, it will likely be accomplished.

How to Find Out What the CEO’s Goals Are

So how can you find out what the CEO’s objectives are?

It’s much easier than you might think. If your company is public, you can research the most recent quarterly earnings statement or earnings transcript and pinpoint what challenges the CEO wants to address. 

If your company isn’t public, research documents such as an OKR, V2MOM, or other company-wide goal-setting framework. Check the company’s press releases or internal newsletters, and pay attention during all-hands meetings.

Attach a Salesforce Automation Solution to a CEO Objective

Here’s an example of attaching a Salesforce automation tool to your CEO’s main objective.

Despite challenging market conditions including market volatility, fluctuating exchange rates, and skyrocketing inflation, your CEO’s main goal remains to increase profit. So whatever automation your CFO invests in has to move the needle towards that objective.

One way your CFO can support the CEO’s goal is to ensure you’re making the necessary price adjustments internally. You need to get the right price points to the sales team so the company doesn’t lose revenue. This has to be accomplished with as few resources as possible while adhering to all applicable compliance regulations.

For example, let’s say your company has business operations across the globe. In Salesforce CPQ, it can take between six and 12 weeks to manually make price adjustments resulting from fluctuating exchange rates. In other words, it would take that long before your sales team can sell at the accurate price point. And that equates to a substantial amount of lost revenue. 

Prodly DevOps for Salesforce CPQ provides automation that lets you accomplish the same volume of price adjustments in two to three days—instead of two to three months. You need fewer people for the project, so you can reallocate team members to other high-priority projects. What’s more: Prodly DevOps automatically creates an audit trail—so you don’t have to worry about being in compliance. 

In short, recommending the cost benefits of Prodly DevOps for moving your Salesforce CPQ changes to your CFO would be a strategic move.

Prove Your Solution Will Deliver the Desired ROI

Of course, your CFO will require proof that any automation they invest in will deliver the desired ROI. So how can you get that?

Many software vendors provide metrics to show how their automation positively impacts their customers’ top or bottom line. You can typically find this type of information in case studies and white papers on their website. If you can’t find the information, ask for it when you get a demo. 

Sometimes, Salesforce features interesting customer stories that illustrate how a specific AppExchange app helped a customer solve a business challenge and what the outcome was.

Prepare a Business Case for Salesforce Automation

Best-in-class software vendors partner with you to make a compelling business case that shows how your profitability can grow as a result of the application.

Business Value Calculator

At Prodly, we use a business value calculator to show our customers how the benefits of Prodly DevOps translate into financial impact for their specific company. 

Our business value calculator considers the cost of investing in our solution and balances it against five quantifiable outcomes:

  1. Deployment maturity: The percentage of efficiency teams obtain by using Prodly
  2. Risk savings: How much revenue could be lost due to downtime without using Prodly
  3. Agility: The percentage of increase in development capacity gained by using Prodly
  4. Pricing change increased revenue: How much revenue is lost while waiting on price changes without using Prodly
  5. Compliance: How much productivity could be consumed preparing for and undergoing external audits without Prodly

Equipped with the numbers of how much your business can profit from investing in a Salesforce automation like Prodly, you can confidently approach your CFO.

Keep It Short and to the Point

As you can see, talking to your CFO about Salesforce automation doesn’t have to be intimidating. Just do your research ahead of time to verify the automation aligns with the CEO’s goals and delivers the desired ROI. 

Pitch your proposal succinctly. Ask for five minutes of the CFO’s time, and give them the most impactful metrics. Then be prepared to follow up with more information if they’re interested.

Follow Up With Metrics to Show ROI

Let’s say the CFO decides to invest in the Salesforce automation you recommended. Then it’s best practice  to demonstrate the ROI after three to six months. This not only proves the business case—it also builds trust with your CFO for your next initiative. 

At Prodly, our Customer Success team is happy to help you determine the financial impact of our products. Then you can take the numbers to your CFO to validate your actions—which in turn can help advance your career. 

Do you want to find out how Prodly DevOps can boost your profits? Schedule a demo, and we’ll show you the business value calculation for your specific company!


Why do I need Salesforce automation?

You need automation in Salesforce so you can implement DevOps best practices. These will enable you to deliver more high-quality changes faster than you could manually.

How do I quickly run a Salesforce CPQ deployment?

Prodly offers automation templates that are built for the entire Salesforce CPQ schema. Using them, you can run deployments in 80 percent less time than using Data loader.

An illustration depicting the different stages in the DevOps lifecycle for Salesforce admins.

DevOps: What Salesforce Admins Need to Know

DevOps is rapidly gaining traction as a way to better manage releases and drive faster innovation in Salesforce. In this blog, we examine how the Salesforce admin can leverage DevOps to better support their team, as well as improve how they manage risk. 

How DevOps Helps You Better Support Your Team

When properly implemented, DevOps is not just a category of interest for developers. It’s rapidly becoming a method that empowers Salesforce admins and other “clicks, not code” developers to effectively manage change in their Salesforce instances. Watch this video to learn more about how it can help you better support your team.

Salesforce Governance Strategy

To implement DevOps, start by defining a Salesforce governance strategy regarding how everyone on your team participates in the flow of change. When you define a strategy for making changes using Salesforce DevOps tools, you can dramatically increase who gets to participate in the ideation process of change management.

For many teams, the process of adoption of these new methodologies causes some anxiety. But without a tool supporting your change management processes, over time, you’re likely to develop a risk-averse, siloed attitude towards Salesforce release management. DevOps aims to break down silos and encourage more people to participate in the management of Salesforce.

Salesforce DevOps Encourages Innovation

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

Plus, every member of your team can ideate within a trusted process with the appropriate safeguards. This results in a more robust flow of solutions and opportunities for consistent growth and collaboration.

You’re also able to test those solutions without worrying it will drain your team’s time and resources. As a result, you’ll see a positive impact on your team’s bottom line!

Salesforce Admins Can Better Manage Risk

DevOps has the power to transform your company’s perspective on risk aversion. It makes risk aversion a priority starting in the strategy development phase.

When everyone on the team is engaged in spotting and managing risks, the chances of bottlenecks are significantly reduced. Moreover, the changes that are promoted to production are more thoroughly tested. 

Prodly for Salesforce Admins

Prodly DevOps was designed with the understanding that not just developers, but also Salesforce admins want to accelerate the pace of innovation without sacrificing trust. It enables 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 averse to willing to experiment

To learn more about how Prodly can support you as an admin and help accelerate your change management, contact us.


Can Salesforce admins apply DevOps—or is it just for low-code developers?

Yes, Salesforce admins and other low-code/no-code programmers can apply DevOps processes and leverage DevOps automation tools to optimize their change management process. Learn more about why implementing Salesforce is a good idea for admins. 

Why is it important to implement DevOps in Salesforce?

To remain competitive, companies have to innovate how they market and sell things at a rapid pace. DevOps allows businesses to implement streamlined, transparent processes and automate repetitive, error-prone tasks. As a result, businesses can accelerate their change management process, be more innovative, and improve the top line. Learn more about innovation for sales.

An image of a finger pointing at a world map on a hologram screen that represents Enterprise Territory Management in Salesforce.

How to Automate Enterprise Territory Management Deployments

In this blog, I’ll explain how you can use automation to quickly and easily deploy Enterprise Territory Management changes. Plus, I’ll discuss how to schedule your Enterprise Territory Management deployments—so you can enjoy your New Year’s Eve with your family and friends! 

Automatically Deploy Enterprise Territory Management Updates

Manually deploying changes in Salesforce Enterprise Territory Management is a complex, time-consuming process. Why? Because some components are metadata, while other components are built with complex relational record data—also referred to as configuration data. 

In contrast, with Prodly DevOps, you can promote your changes quickly and effortlessly—no matter whether they’re metadata or record data. What’s more: You can do it all in one go in our user-friendly “clicks, not code” UI.

For example, let’s say your sales team is expanding and your CRO has asked you to model various ways to divide sales territories to create equitable opportunities for everyone. Enterprise Territory Management makes it easy to set up and test sales territories, so you’ve built several territory models with territory account assignment rules in your sandbox. Now you want to deploy these new territory models to production.

Prodly DevOps lets you do this quickly and easily using an automated guided deployment. Watch this video to see how easy it is: 

Here’s how to automatically deploy Enterprise Territory Management updates in just a few easy steps:

  1. In the Prodly DevOps UI, navigate to the Guided Deployment page.
  2. Select your source and destination environments.
  3. Select the metadata you want to deploy. Prodly highlights the differences between your environments and shows you exactly what’s changed to help you get it right the first time. 
  4. Select the data you want to deploy by choosing the Enterprise Territory Management data set from Prodly. A data set is a pre-built automation that identifies which data to move.
  5. Optionally, select Temporarily Deactivate Events to automatically deactivate and reactivate all available platform automation during deployment.
  6. Click Deploy.

How to Schedule an Enterprise Territory Management Deployment in 3 Steps

Because sales territory alignment is a common end-of-year activity, making updates to Enterprise Territory Management often requires a release manager or advanced admin to sacrifice their New Year’s Eve. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way! With Prodly DevOps, you can schedule Prodly DevOps deployments so you don’t have to work after hours. And that way, you get your New Year’s Eve back.

To schedule automatic deployments in Enterprise Territory Management, all you need are the IDs of the data set, source environment, and destination environment. After you’ve gathered this information, perform these three steps:

  1. Open the Developer Console.
  2. Navigate to Debug > Open Execute Anonymous Window.
  3. Copy and paste the code on this page using your IDs:
Code for scheduling an Enterprise Territory Management deployment.

Now, you can choose the exact time you want to push the updates to production. That means you can schedule the deployment for 5pm on December 31st—after everyone has stopped working—and go enjoy your New Year’s Eve. Then when you, your RevOps team, and your sales team get back to work in the new year, your new territories are all set and ready to go!

Discover How Prodly DevOps Can Benefit Your Business

Just imagine the peace of mind you can get by automating your deployments—not to mention the added convenience of being able to schedule them. Discover how your business can benefit from Prodly DevOps—request a personalized demo!


Why is it so difficult to deploy record data from multiple objects in Salesforce?

Salesforce doesn’t have a tool for deploying related record data all at once. When you’re dealing with a lot of complex relational record data, it can take hours to map objects—even longer if you make mistakes and have to start over.

How can I deploy reference data in Salesforce faster and more accurately?

With the automation provided by Prodly DevOps, you can select pre-built data sets and deploy them from one environment to another 66 percent faster than other solutions. Plus, you can ramp up productivity by 80 percent!

Screenshot of data masking in Prodly's sandbox seeding

7 Benefits of Sandbox Seeding in Salesforce

Here at Prodly, we know that data seeding in Salesforce is the beginning of any Salesforce DevOps process. 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 in Salesforce 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 sandbox consistently becomes less of a reproduction.

Sandbox seeding in Salesforce 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 are almost never convenient. The ability to do mini-refreshes significantly enhances your release process. As a result,  you can more effectively utilize 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 sandboxes 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!

Selecting deployment data to seed to a sandbox with Prodly.

Prodly also provides prebuilt automation templates. They let you quickly seed an org with commonly-used Objects. And they even preserve complex data relationships in the process.

3. Unlock the Potential of Developer and DevPro Sandboxes in Salesforce, as Well as Scratch Orgs

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

Your lower-level org should function as a ready-made playground. It’s an environment where you can 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 sync configuration changes across all your sandboxes. 

And you’ll never again face get confused and frustrated 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 in Salesforce with real test data and get to work. It’s one less roadblock to deal with. This helps resuscitate any lagging business processes. It also 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 data seeding to quickly spin up a sandbox in Salesforce 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 Salesforce work-life balance. 

By offering employees an automated sandbox seeding process, you can make their day-to-day lives much easier. And that leads to improved job satisfaction.

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.

Sandbox Seeding in Salesforce Is Critical to DevOps in Salesforce

The key principles 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 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 Data 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 seeding can cause concerns about security.  Downloading data to a CSV before migrating it to the new environment isn’t secure and may violate security policies.

Features of Prodly’s Automated Sandbox Seeding

Prodly Sandbox Management automates the process of seeding your sandboxes in Salesforce 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 schema at once. Easily move your entire Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Industries Cloud, or any other subset of your Salesforce schema. For example, migrate 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 custom data seeding needs, Prodly Sandbox Management gives you a lightning-fast way to move Objects you want to seed. Simply select what you’re interested in, and the wizard automatically migrates the related data with it.

Data Masking

Sometimes, you have sensitive data you want to protect in lower-level orgs. Prodly Sandbox Management provides data masking to prevent unauthorized parties from seeing it. 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 to seed sandboxes in 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 DevOps for Good Tech Debt

You can also leverage automation to help ensure good tech debt. The Prodly suite includes the next-gen DevOps solutions Prodly Sandbox Management and Prodly DevOps. 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 suite, request a demo

An abstract image showing a concept of Salesforce DevOps

Salesforce DevOps: What Took So Long?

Salesforce DevOps has been a long time coming. However, DevOps has long been a popular methodology for IT teams. So what has caused the slow adoption of DevOps by the Salesforce community?

First, Salesforce isn’t a code-first environment. Second, the production org has always been the source of truth. And third, creating reproducible environments has been extremely challenging. 

In this blog, we take a closer look at these factors. Then we explain how Prodly directly addresses each one to facilitate Salesforce DevOps. 

An abstract image showing a concept of Salesforce DevOps

3 Reasons Salesforce Was Slow to Adopt DevOps

We can attribute the Salesforce ecosystem’s slow adoption of DevOps to the following key principles.

1. Salesforce Is Not a Code-First Environment

Salesforce is first and foremost a low-code platform. It’s as much declaratively configured as it’s programmatically configured. That’s why it’s such a great tool for low-code developers such as Salesforce admins and citizen developers.

Often, Salesforce admins, business analysts, and project managers have great ideas. Unfortunately, they’re still excluded from conversations due to their inability to work with code-heavy DevOps tools.

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

2. The Production Org Has Historically Been the Source of Truth

Within Salesforce, we think of production as the source of truth. The problem is that production is always evolving—and there’s no real history of changes. 

In DevOps, the code is the source of truth. The code is versioned, and every change is stored in a repository so it’s easy to roll back changes if there’s an error. Think of the “track changes” feature in a document.

For Salesforce DevOps to be successful, we need to version not just the code, but also the declarative configurations. 

This is why Prodly helps you version your Salesforce data with GitHub, Azure, and Bitbucket integrations.

3. Creating Reproducible Environments Has Been Challenging 

One important DevOps principle is to be able to easily create reproducible environments. 

Why? Because by giving each developer their own org, they have a safe place to play around and test new ideas without stepping on each other’s toes. So it’s imperative to be able to quickly spin up and discard new orgs.

Salesforce has sandboxes. However, they’re not truly reproductions of production because they don’t contain all your data. 

Even Full Copies get out of sync with production quickly—plus, they can only be refreshed every 30 days. 

Salesforce data is highly relational, and those data relationships are hard to maintain org to org. That’s why most companies fall into one of two buckets:

  • Everyone shares the Full or Partial Copy sandbox. All the work happens here, and people overwrite each other’s work by mistake. This frequently results in access restriction to certain data. 
  • They work in Developer Pro sandboxes without the right test data, meaning they can’t efficiently build new stuff or test it very well.

To be successful with Salesforce DevOps, you need to be able to create true copies of production. What’s more: You need to be able to do this really quickly.

That’s why Prodly Sandbox Management allows you to select, filter, and seed data into any org in minutes. Check out Maximize Your Salesforce Orgs With Sandbox Management to learn more.

Schedule a demo to discover how to enable Salesforce DevOps with Prodly.

Salesforce admin using version control.

Version Control: What Salesforce Admins Need to Know

Version control is a critical aspect of software development, and it’s becoming increasingly important in Salesforce change management. In this blog, we discuss what version control is and how it can benefit Salesforce admins.

What Is Version Control?

Version control, sometimes called source control, involves tracking and managing changes to software code to ensure developers are always working on the latest version. 

If you only have one software developer writing code, it’s easy for them to keep track of the changes they’re making and how they impact the existing code. However, when multiple developers are working on different parts of the code, it requires much more effort and communication to keep the changes straight. 

A version control system or VCS is a tool that makes tracking and managing changes to the code easier for teams. 

Teams maintaining Salesforce encounter the same challenges as software developers. There are lots of people working on different parts of the Salesforce instance. Some are pro-code developers working in Apex, while others are admins and citizen developers. 

With all these different people working in the same environment, sometimes work is lost or overwritten, and it can be difficult to fix mistakes. 

Clearly, for admins following an agile release management methodology, version control is essential. 

Salesforce admin using version control.

How Can Admins Benefit from Version Control?

The most important advantage to using a VCS is that it becomes the source of truth—instead of the production org. 

This eliminates questions about which version is correct and provides several additional benefits for admins. 

Identify Conflicts as They Occur

When you’re working with multiple versions of your project, a VCS lets you make changes without worrying you’ll overwrite work another member of your team is doing. By enabling source control, you remove the anxiety of creating conflict when you implement changes. 

Track the Revision History of Changes Over Time

Sometimes, when you’re making changes, you need to refer back to a specific change you scrapped previously. A version control system stores a history of all changes made to the code, so you can easily look them up.

With Prodly, you can effectively “move backward in time.” Then you can pluck out the configurations you need and reconfigure your changes as simply as pointing and clicking. 

Work in a Truly Agile Environment

Agile release methodology is based on close collaboration and continuous improvement that you achieve by means of tight feedback cycles. For this methodology to be effective, both developers and admins need to work from the same source code and follow the same process for introducing change. 

To achieve this collaborative efficiency, you must reconfigure your workflow. It should be easy for pro-code developers to follow—plus, it should be easily consumable for admins and other no-code team members. 

Prodly Makes Version Control Simple

Prodly DevOps is designed to work in conjunction with your Salesforce deployment system, so you don’t have to load up on multiple tools to get the benefits of version control. If you’re an admin, you can simply point and click to complete versioning tasks—as well as version both your data and code. 

Request a personalized demo to learn more about implementing Prodly for your team!

The Value of Bidirectional Sandbox Seeding

In this blog, we explore what bidirectional sandbox seeding is and why you need it. We also look at the value of sandbox seeding with Prodly Sandbox Management, as well as why you should be seeding sandboxes in the first place.

What Is Bidirectional Sandbox Seeding?

Bidirectional sandbox seeding involves deploying data from your production org to a sandbox—and from your sandbox to another environment. You can do this with a freshly created org or during an environment refresh.

A photo of a desert with a traffic sign with arrows pointing in opposite directions representing bidirectional sandbox seeding

Why Do You Need Bidirectional Sandbox Seeding?

Bidirectional sandbox seeding allows you to create a fresh sandbox, deploy data to it, and then move data in any direction—up, down, and laterally. You can roll back changes to start all the way at the beginning, or you can change just one tiny detail. 

This makes for a much better auditability of changes in production and deployment results, resulting in better governance.

When you’re only able to work with partial data, the chance of bugs and errors slowing down your 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. 

In contrast, bidirectional sandbox seeding gives control to anyone who can click through a data management workflow. 

The Value of Bidirectional Sandbox Seeding With Prodly

With the sandbox seeding feature in Prodly Sandbox Management, you have the ability to move data in both directions—with just a few clicks. This allows you to maximize your team’s efficiency, transform your entire workflow, and improve your end-user experience. 

By using this low-code option for DevOps, you’ll soon be handling change requests like clockwork. 

Improve Your Governance Strategy With Prodly

The seamless, automated process for seeding sandboxes Prodly provides enhances your governance strategy

It increases org health, fights errors, and improves efficiency tremendously. Here’s how:

Prodly Sandbox Management can help you move your data up, down, backward and forward between your production org and sandboxes. 

It gives you the power to migrate data from up to five orgs simultaneously. This eliminates the need to depend on a Full Copy sandbox to work from as you advance through changes. 

You can also configure data simulations, meaning that you can make changes without consequences. When you need to deploy complex data from a schema all at once, you don’t have to worry about complications anymore. 

Sandbox Seeding Without Prodly

Without the sandbox seeding feature in Prodly Sandbox Management, you’re literally left to your own devices having to use a barrage of tools to handle what Prodly does seamlessly. 

There’s the tedious process of using a data loader. The difficulty, duration, and mind-numbingness of the project can be compounded based on the size of your project. 

Some companies employ a third-party developer to manage their sandbox, which can become quite costly. 

In contrast, with Prodly, you can populate—and even anonymize— representative test data into as many as five orgs in just a matter of minutes. Prodly gives you more control of your data and processes, as well as a greater probability of aligning your team with the needs of your stakeholders for every project. 

Why Should I Seed Sandboxes?

There are several very good reasons to seed sandboxes. 

Without sandbox seeding, there’s a lack of representative production data in lower-level sandboxes that 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.  

However, sandbox seeding lets you provide everyone with their own development environment before they promote their changes to a shared QA org and ultimately production. This circumvents the problem of who’s doing what in a shared sandbox—plus, it reduces the odds of overwriting each other’s work.

It lets your team work faster and test more thoroughly. It also gives you more effective use of your expensive sandboxes.

In addition, when everyone has their own development environment with representative data, it’s much easier to find a good window of time to refresh your Full Copy or Partial Copy sandbox. And that in turn reduces the number of errors you encounter during the development process.

See Bidirectional Sandbox Seeding in Action!

Discover how easy and quick it is to seed sandboxes with Prodly Sandbox Management—watch the 25-minute webinar Ask a CSM: Bidirectional Sandbox Seeding.