Why the New DevOps Center in Salesforce Is Awesome for Admins

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Editor’s note: This post was updated on July 6, 2022, with the latest information and resources.

Salesforce Admins have been waiting patiently for the past few years for updated tooling to manage changes and deployments in Salesforce. We’re happy to share that the wait is over! DevOps Center (Beta) is available for you to use with your deployments today. Let’s dive into how DevOps Center will change how Salesforce Admins manage changes.

What is DevOps Center?

What is this thing called DevOps Center, you ask? DevOps Center is a highly anticipated, new product that makes the change and release management process when developing with Salesforce so.much.better. It helps you take advantage of modern DevOps best practices through a centralized, easy-to-use interface. DevOps Center is your team’s single source of truth for projects and work to be done, with the flexibility admins need to manage changes and release processes. Here are some key features of DevOps Center:

  • Organize your work. Track and deploy the associated changes with Work Items, a new object designed for DevOps Center and open to typical Salesforce flows and other operations.
  • Track changes automatically. Changes are tracked automatically as you make them in development environments. View a list of changed metadata components in DevOps Center and select the ones you want to migrate. No more sticky notes and spreadsheets to track changes, or cumbersome interfaces to select changes. Can you say, “goodbye, Change Sets”?!
  • Integrate seamlessly with GitHub for source control. Even if you’ve never used source control, DevOps Center makes it easy to adopt. Simply log in to GitHub and we take care of the rest.
  • Deploy changes with clicks. Visualize your deployment pipeline, then simply click to deploy changes from one stage to the next.

What does DevOps Center mean for admins?

In the past, you would use Change Sets to move changes from your sandbox to production. With DevOps Center, we’ve greatly simplified and improved the experience of managing changes. Changes are tracked automatically as you do your development, so you simply need to click the Pull Changes button in DevOps Center to identify and manage the changed source files. No more manual tracking of changes as you make them, nor sifting through lists of components to find the ones you want to migrate!

Once the changes have all been pulled and shown to you in the UI, you still have the ability to decide which of those files you really want to migrate forward in the process. So, for instance, if a change you made also resulted in a change to a Profile and you don’t want to migrate the Profile, or you were experimenting with changes before you settled on the final implementation and therefore don’t want to migrate all the files you changed along the way, you can simply leave those unselected when you confirm the components to be migrated.

How can admins and developers collaborate using DevOps Center?

DevOps Center is designed to work for “hybrid” or “fusion” teams; that is, teams made up of developers across the low-code → pro-code continuum. This means you can do your work inside or outside of the DevOps Center UI-based application, and things stay in sync. So, you may have one team member doing their work from the CLI or VS Code, committing changes to the source control feature branch, and even creating, reviewing, and merging the pull request—all from outside of DevOps Center. DevOps Center will pick up on these actions and reflect them appropriately in the UI, so another team member can come along later and see the changes that were committed, access and review the pull request, and deploy the changes—all from inside of DevOps Center.

Similarly, your low-code developers and admins can now contribute to the project’s shared source of truth in the source control repository using clicks from DevOps Center. You no longer need to either push low-code users to adopt the CLI and processes they may be uncomfortable with, or just live with knowing that changes being managed with Change Sets are not part of your source control repository. Now, you can have the best of both worlds: modern tooling, using modern technologies, through the interface of your choice!

How do admins work with DevOps Center?

It’s now easier to manage changes, collaborate with team members, and ensure synchronized source. The integrated experience in DevOps Center is centered on the concept of a Work Item, which is like a “ticket” and is where the requirements for the change to be made are defined. Changes are tracked against the Work Item as they move through the flow from Planning, to Development, to Review, to Testing, to Release. From a Work Item, you can easily launch a development environment (a Developer Sandbox). You only have to log in to the sandbox once in DevOps Center to establish a secure connection using an OAuth-based authentication. After that, you can simply click the sandbox name in the Work Item to open the connected sandbox.

Once you’ve selected the list of changes to move forward, you can proceed with the next step: committing the changes. This is where some more magic happens! When you commit your changes, behind the scenes, the tool commits and pushes the metadata source files into a branch in the connected GitHub repository, and also creates a Pull Request. You can make as many commits as you need to as you work on the Work Item; then, when you’re ready to move the changes forward in the process, you can simply move the Work Item to the In Review state. When you do this, behind the scenes, a Pull Request is created in GitHub, where team members can review your changes and make comments. You don’t have to run any GitHub commands directly (or really even know anything about GitHub) to be able to push these changes into the source control system. The source control system can now serve as the main point of collaboration, review, and synchronization between team members. Pretty awesome, huh!?

Get hands-on with DevOps Center today

You can now enable and install DevOps Center (Beta) through a new DevOps Center page in Setup. If you have a production org with Professional, Enterprise, or Unlimited Edition, or a Developer Edition org, go to that page to enable and install DevOps Center. Turn this on today and practice deploying changes!

screenshot of DevOps Center in Setup

We want your feedback

Since this is still in the beta phase, it’s very important that we hear from you about your experiences using DevOps Center. Tell us what you like and don’t like, what you want to see added, and where you’re running into issues. Here are our two primary channels for feedback:

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