Avoiding accidental data loss with when deploying custom field type changes

Catherine Bacon on January 2nd 2019


Deploying changes to the type of a custom field can be problematic, particularly when there's data in the target org. Gearset's new problem analyzer can help you out.

Deploying changes to type

Deploying changes to the type of a custom field can be challenging. Different metadata types have various criteria outlinging what can be changed and when. If data exists for those fields in the target, things get even more tricky as deploying the change to the type could lead to the loss of data.

If you're making changes to an org, Salesforce will warn you if the change you're making could cause you to lose data: Changing to the selected datatype will cause you to lose all existing data in this field.

This is really helpful when making manual changes in the Salesforce UI, but what if you're using source control? It's easy to change the type of a field, and if you deploy a change to the type of a field you didn't mean to, you might lose some of your oraganisation's data.

The new problem analyzer

Gearset's problem analyzer will look for fields which have a different type in the source and target. If we find any, we'll warn you about them and you can choose how to proceed.

Analysis results page showing a warning when a custom field has a different type in the source and target

With this new analyzer, you can safely push changes to and from source control without risking accidental data loss because of a changed custom field type.

Feedback welcome

Got an idea for a problem analyzer? Let us know on our feedback forum, or via the in-app chat!




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