Salesforce had another amazing year of 2021, where it has expanded current cloud offerings to new horizons like Health Cloud 2.0 as well as stellar acquisitions like Slack.
Here are the brief highlights of Salesforce in 2021:
- Acquisition of Slack
- HealthCloud 2.0 with healthcare delivery from anywhere; it also had an instrumental role to play in Covid vaccinations and treatment.
- Backup and Restore, an automation solution that protects data in this all-digital world of ‘work-from-anywhere.’
- Innovations in Education Cloud and Philanthropy Cloud
- Acquisition of LevelJump
- Achieved NetZero across the value chain with 100% renewable energy, and …..many more
This blog focuses on Salesforce DevOps expectations amidst the introduction of new Clouds into the ecosystem as well as multiple acquisitions.
Unified Metadata Strategy for Acquisitions
Acquisitions are not new for Salesforce, but not all products have the same set of technology stack that can be seamlessly fit into metadata models.
Be it with acquisitions such as Demandware as Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) or ExactTarget as Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SMCC) or Mulesoft, there is a wide gap in their technology stacks and still, even after a few years of acquisition, customers do not find the metadata APIs to fully automate their CI/CD pipelines like a Sales/Service Cloud. This year, it is expected that Salesforce would streamline the Change Management for these newly introduced clouds and provide adequate API support, so that customers can maintain unified DevOps models for their entire Salesforce practice.
More of Data as Metadata
Be it with Vlocity, nCino, or Salesforce CPQ, what is common is that their deployments are complex. It includes configurations as data packs along with metadata, driven by complex relationships between objects.
Such tools are expected to continue their momentum in 2022. It is extremely important to have a proper DevOps strategy for these metadata + data combinations so that your release planning does not go out of hand.
DevSecOps adoption has seen a sharp rise in the recent past, with more organizations investing it into their SDLC as part of the shift-left strategy.
Log4J vulnerability has just not only signified the importance of DevSecOps but also showed the direction to move beyond conventional metadata analysis for applications. DevSecOps and Cyber Security have to cover the entire arc of the supply chain system (SolarWinds, a classic example).
It should also cut across the technology stacks, say from Sales Cloud to Mulesoft integration to an SAP order system at the backend, and not just maintain rules at each isolated technology layer separately.
SF, SFDX and More…
The constant endeavor of Salesforce to unify deployments across multiple clouds is visible in their splitting of SFDX binary into SF and SFDX (yay!! How many of you know this? And big thumbs up if you know this).
As updated on Salesforce developer guides, “SFDX is first launched to provide the ability to develop and test your apps more easily on Salesforce Platform. But to make it work across all Salesforce clouds, SFDX doesn’t provide all the commands you need. With SF, the attempt is to bring a cross-cloud set of commands that streamline how you build and deploy across Salesforce.”
As SFDX still finds its adoption challenges, we can see a greater push from Salesforce with more and more useful commands and, more importantly, the maturity of dependency analysis that helps organizations quickly break down their single metadata stack into apps.
Salesforce DevOps Center
Salesforce DevOps Center is gaining buzz with expectations around its capabilities. At this point it is primarily focused on change tracking, version control integration, and some ALM capabilities, while its road map will be a lot more clearer in 2022 if it is taking the route of deployments and automation server capabilities. It will be interesting to see how DevOps tools will complement or compete with Salesforce DevOps Center in 2022.
Salesforce Test Automation
Salesforce DevOps vision has been led by CI/CD tooling, with tools such as Copado, AutoRABIT, Flosum, Gearset in the past few years. Customers are also keen to embrace the tools to set up a proper DevOps practice, considering the growing size of Salesforce implementations.
With most of the CI goals related to automated packaging, deployments as well as data deployments, all set up for customers who have taken the journey, test automation should be the logical next step in terms of DevOps maturity.
DevOps Tools working in tight collaboration with test automation tools such as AccelQ, Provar, etc., right from provisioning to execution, can drive home the initiative of CD for Salesforce customers.
What is My DevOps ROI?
Salesforce DevOps tools have been on the rise for the past 6-7 years, if not before, and customers have invested into tooling significantly. It will be an expectation that ROI analysis on the key-value streams across multiple verticals will be done by customers, who will plan the further DevOps road map accordingly.
At CloudFulcrum, we constantly chase the DevOps challenges thrown by Salesforce and its ecosystem, evolve the best practices, and ensure advocacy for our customers offering “Salesforce DevOps as a Service.”