Deploy Salesforce metadata faster than ever with live comparisons

Dan Yates on

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Comparisons are an essential part of the process when you use Gearset to deploy Salesforce metadata. Our unique compare and deploy workflow helps you achieve the highest deployment success rates in the ecosystem. And that workflow just got seriously streamlined.

Having to wait for your comparison to finish is a thing of the past. Welcome to live comparisons – our newest product update that’s supercharged our intelligent comparison engine.

Illustration of live comparison

The benefit of comparing your Salesforce orgs

Being able to compare your orgs before deployments makes them more successful. Without comparisons, you can spend huge amounts of time blindly trying to deploy a package of metadata that you think you might have changed, only to find the target org can’t receive the package anyway. This is an extremely error-prone process that leaves you having to start the guessing game all over again.

But by using comparisons you’re able to understand what’s been changed in the source org so you don’t miss anything you or your teammates have been working on. And you’re able to compare differences line-by-line to see what impact your deployment is going to have on the target. Ideally, your environments should be nicely in sync, but comparing environments lets you know for sure what you’re working with.

Gearset’s unique comparison tool is a favourite part of the app among Salesforce teams! This side-by-side comparison helps our users see exactly what to include in their deployments, add any dependencies and make sure the deployment succeeds.

See your Salesforce org comparison results straight away

While Gearset’s compare and deploy workflow has always been incredibly popular, Salesforce teams with large orgs have found the comparison stage to be slow. The delay is down to the time it takes for Salesforce’s Metadata API to provide the metadata, but our engineers have developed an inventive solution to save our users waiting for their comparisons.

Gearset now shows you batches of compared metadata as soon as they’re ready, and then keeps updating the comparison grid with new batches as they arrive. Previously, Gearset would wait until all batches were ready before displaying the comparison results.

We call this new functionality ‘live comparisons’, because you can now get to work on your deployment package while the comparison continues in the background.

What’s improved?
  • Immediate results: Start viewing comparison results as soon as the first batch is ready. Begin selecting items, viewing dependencies and building your deployment package straight away!
  • Priority batching: Gearset intelligently prioritizes your most relevant metadata items and includes these in the first batches of the live comparison.
  • Skip problem analysis: Absolutely sure your deployment is good to go? Speed up the whole deployment process by skipping the problem analyzer phase.

Immediate comparison results make deployments even faster

Deploying with Gearset was already up to 12x faster than change sets, and live comparison makes that process even more efficient. Reaching your comparison results much sooner means you can start building your deployment package as quickly as possible.

Once you’re at the comparison grid, you’ll notice that some items in the comparison are labelled ‘pending’. And in the top left of the UI, you can keep an eye on how much longer the rest of the comparison will take.

The comparison grid will automatically put the newly compared batches to the bottom of the window to avoid disturbing the order of the items you’re working on. As new batches come in, you can easily sort them according to metadata type by clicking on the orange button that appears in the Metadata type column.

Priority batching shows you relevant results first

It obviously wouldn’t be great if the changes you really cared about were the last results to appear in the comparison, so prioritizing items is important and Gearset handles this intelligently. When you start a comparison, Gearset prioritizes the items that were changed most recently according to Salesforce, and then the items that have no changed on record.

If you need to refresh your comparison but have already selected a bunch of items, Gearset will rerun the comparison but prioritize these items above everything else. This will help you jump straight back in where you left off.

Skipping the problem analysis step

Gearset has dozens of intelligent problem analyzers that find and fix common deployment errors, helping you get successful deployments time and time again. This problem analysis step is largely responsible for Gearset users having such a high deployment success rate (currently 92%).

You’ll now see the option to Skip problem analysis when you’re deploying in Gearset. That’s because problem analysis can’t begin until all your metadata has been downloaded for the comparison, and with live comparisons you might be ready to deploy a package before the full comparison has finished! If you’re absolutely confident your deployment package won’t have any problems, you can make the call on whether you want to skip problem analysis. This comes in really handy when you’re deploying a hotfix!

The only risk here is more haste, less speed. You might skip problem analysis and then see your deployment fail - which means more time spent going back to sort out the errors. It’s a good idea to validate your package before deploying, and you can do this without needing to wait for the comparison to finish.

Faster comparisons mean faster deployments

Live comparisons are now the default setting for comparisons in Gearset, so you don’t have to do anything to get started! On the other hand, if you’d prefer to stick with the old comparison process, you can deactivate live comparisons by heading to Account settings > Deployment settings in the Gearset app.

Have you used live comparisons yet? Let us know what you think by jumping into a chat with us from within the app or by visiting our feedback forum. If you’re yet to use Gearset for your Salesforce deployments, sign up for your free 30-day trial now.

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