A survey of 521 attendees at a recent online Future of Salesforce DevOps Summit event hosted by Gearset, a provider of a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform for Salesforce developers, found just under half (47%) of respondents now release software at least multiple times a week, with another 29% releasing software weekly or biweekly.
More than half of respondents (52%) also noted they now can deploy software in less than an hour.
Gearset CEO Kevin Boyle said the survey suggested the level of DevOps maturity among developers building applications on top of the Salesforce software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform is increasing rapidly. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations embraced SaaS platforms to accelerate their digital business transformation initiatives rather than building entire applications from scratch.
However, the biggest benefit cited by survey respondents was not the ability to release applications faster, but rather the improvements to application quality (77%), followed by increased productivity (69%) and enhanced collaboration (46%). Other benefits cited included reduced complexity thanks to automation; increased agility; more reliable releases and time and cost savings.
Overall, the survey identifies source code control, CI/CD, unit testing, change monitoring and backups of metadata and data as being the most widely implemented DevOps capabilities that have been adopted. Over the next 12 months, capabilities that will see the most increased adoption among survey respondents include CI/CD, static code analysis and sandbox seeding with data.
Survey respondents said their top obstacles to adoption of DevOps are ramp-up time, followed by difficulties adopting source control and a perceived steep learning curve. For many organizations that have adopted Salesforce, the intimidation factor when it comes to adopting DevOps best practices is still fairly high, Boyle noted.
Most recently, Gearset added a free training platform, dubbed DevOps Launchpad, that employs gamification techniques to make DevOps more accessible to developers. Topics covered include version control fundamentals, Git branching strategies and Salesforce backups.
Gearset counts McKesson, Zillow, Traction on Demand, Intercom, Accenture, IBM and Johnson & Johnson among its customers. It’s not clear to what degree appreciation for DevOps has risen among smaller companies. However, as the number of custom applications deployed as extensions to the Salesforce platform increases, it is apparent that manual processes for building and deploying applications will not scale. The Salesforce platform itself is uniquely constructed using a set of objects and tables that generally lead organizations to adopt a DevOps platform built for that environment. However, it is possible to build and deploy applications using a DevOps platform designed for building and deploying applications that might need to span multiple platforms. Those applications would be integrated with the Salesforce platform at an application programming interface (API) level.
Regardless of how custom applications are built and deployed, it’s clear Salesforce platforms are becoming more widely used in enterprise IT environments. Each DevOps team will need to determine how best to integrate those platforms within the context of their overall DevOps strategy.