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Salesforce.com Change Management Process (Part 2)

In Salesforce.com Change Management Process (Part 1), we touched on Environments and how to structure them. In Part 2, we will discuss deployment methods. There are multiple deployment methods available for Salesforce administrators and developers. This post will focus on Change Sets and Force.com Migration Tools.

Change Sets
Change Sets are a “point and click” method of migrating metadata from one instance to another. An example of this would be from a sandbox to production or vice versa. Change Sets allow you to keep an audit trail of changes, move changes without the need of any additional software, and deploy changes to multiple instances in your same stack. Change Sets have some limitations, they are unable to push changes to standard fields such as an addition to a picklist value or move profiles without other metadata being included in the update.

Below is a list of all the metadata (as of the Summer 16 release) Change Set can handle:

  • Account Criteria Based Sharing Rule
  • Account Owner Sharing Rule
  • Account Territory Owner Sharing Rule
  • Action (includes object-oriented quick actions and global quick actions)
  • Action Link Group Template
  • Reporting Snapshot
  • Apex Class
  • Apex Sharing Reason
  • Apex Trigger
  • App
  • Approval Process (with some restrictions)
  • Assignment Rule
  • Auth. Provider
  • AutoResponse Rule
  • Button or Link
  • Call Center
  • Campaign Criteria Based Sharing Rule
  • Campaign Owner Sharing Rule
  • Case Criteria Based Sharing Rule
  • Case Owner Sharing Rule
  • Communities (Zones)
  • Compact Layout
  • Contact Criteria Based Sharing Rule
  • Contact Owner Sharing Rule
  • CORS Whitelist Origin
  • Custom Data Type
  • Custom Field
  • Custom Label (Not renamed labels of standard objects. For more information, see Custom Labels.)
  • Custom Object
  • Custom Object Criteria Sharing Rule
  • Custom Object Owner Sharing Rule
  • Custom Report Type
  • Custom Setting
  • Dashboard
  • Document
  • Email Template
  • Entitlement Process
  • Entitlement Template
  • External Data Source
  • Escalation Rule
  • Field Set
  • FlowDefinition
  • Folder
  • Group
  • Home Page Component
  • Home Page Layout
  • Letterhead
  • Language Translation
  • Lead Criteria Based Sharing Rule
  • Lead Owner Sharing Rule
  • Lightning Page
  • List View
  • Live Agent Configuration
  • Live Chat Deployment
  • Live Chat Sensitive Data Rule
  • Matching Rule
  • Milestone
  • Named Credential
  • Opportunity Criteria Based Sharing Rule
  • Opportunity Owner Sharing Rule
  • Page Layout
  • Permission Set
  • Platform Cache Partition
  • Post Templates for Approvals in Chatter
  • Queue
  • Record Type
  • Remote Site
  • Report
  • Role
  • S-Control
  • Send Action
  • Sharing Set
  • Site.com
  • Static resource
  • Tab
  • Territory
  • Transaction Security Policy
  • User Criteria Based Sharing Rule
  • User Membership Based Sharing Rule
  • Validation Rule
  • Visualforce Component
  • Visualforce Page
  • Workflow Email Alert
  • Workflow Field Update
  • Workflow Outbound Message
  • Workflow Rule
  • Workflow Task
  • Workflow Time Trigger

Force.com Migration Tool
The Force.com Migration Tool allows for Multistage releases, makes setting up a test environment with a lot of manual setup easier, repetitive deployments, the ability to migrate more metadata than Change Sets, and the ability to schedule deployments. This tool, however, requires software to be installed on a computer to run and is not a “point and click” solution. Even though this solution is able to move more metadata than Change Sets, there are still limitations to what metadata this tool can move. An example of metadata that neither tool can move is lead or case settings.
There are several other tools out there to help you deploy changes, but none of them can move everything. This is where documenting your changes in some form is always a best practice. In my next post we will discuss how to put all of this together and write a process.

Written by Matt Smelser, Developer / Service Cloud Expert at Demand Chain Systems

Matt is highly skilled in enterprise software implementations, identification of business requirements, team leadership, and project management and brings more than seven years of experience to the team. At Demand Chain Systems, Matt is responsible for all aspects of new and existing client engagements including pre sales engineering, strategy creation, requirement gathering, process engineering, system design and integration, testing, data migration, training and go-live support. 

Other posts by Matt Smelser: Salesforce.com Change Management Part 1 and Omni-Channel.

For additional information on Change Sets: https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewHelpDoc?id=changesets.htm&language=en
For more information on Force.com Migration Tools: https://resources.docs.salesforce.com/sfdc/pdf/salesforce_migration_guide.pdf

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