Atlas

"I can't find anything bad to say about Gearset!"

Malcolm Camilleri | Senior Software Engineer | Atlas Insurance
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Atlas builds ingenious solution using Vlocity and Gearset

Two years ago, Atlas adopted Salesforce and began building out cloud-based services for new and existing customers. The insurance company wanted to capitalize on the offering from Vlocity (Salesforce Industries), as Malcolm Camilleri, Senior Software Engineer, explained:

"Vlocity has a great insurance data model that has helped us to standardize our product and simplify overly complicated processes. We're aiming to take things to the cloud and have a more robust system in place."

The Atlas developers have been building a customer portal that's easily accessible to customers on the Atlas site while also being connected to Salesforce. The team has managed this by exporting a Lightning Web OmniScript from Salesforce and hosting it as an application on Heroku.

Developing this portal is a fascinating use case for Vlocity. And making the project a success has seen the Atlas team adopt Gearset to support their implementation and establish an efficient release process.

Gearset ticks all the boxes

The Atlas developers needed to find a tool that would help them manage deployments and releases of their development work building the customer portal. Since Vlocity DataPacks are distinct from Salesforce metadata, the team needed a solution that could handle Vlocity deployments specifically.

The Salesforce product team recommended Vlocity DX for the job. But this didn't do the trick.

"To begin with we incorporated Vlocity DX into our CI process. But it's a desktop app you have to install locally, and sometimes after selecting components we'd get this bug where the screen would just hang - we'd have to start over. It got a bit annoying after a while!"

Malcolm set out to find an alternative, and was looking for deployment tooling that included rollback functionality, since it's important to have in your back pocket. This led Malcolm to Gearset, and he was immediately struck by how easy it was to use.

"I'm the kind of guy who likes to try things without manuals, and with Gearset I didn't need to read anything. Within a couple of hours I'd done my first comparison and deployment from an org to a Git branch."

Not only did the Atlas team all find deploying with Gearset intuitive, they soon discovered the power of Gearset's continuous integration (CI) as well. Malcolm worked closely with Tom Smith, one of Gearset's Development Team Leads, to set up a CI process that suited the team's workflow.

"Gearset ticked all of our boxes: it supported Vlocity, it could do everything we did with Vlocity DX and more, it was faster, more robust, easier to use and all the devs were happy. After a month of evaluation, it was an easy decision to choose Gearset."

80% less time spent on deployments and releases

Deployments of Vlocity DataPacks are now significantly faster for Malcolm and his team. As well as being intuitive, Gearset brings everything together in one place for better visibility and control.

"Before we'd use Vlocity DX to deploy, then Source Tree for merge conflicts, then over to Bitbucket - too many screens! It was easy to lose focus. Having everything in Gearset really helps the whole operation."

The Atlas team has a release pipeline made up of various environments, and also maintains two repositories in Bitbucket. One particular pain point before Gearset was merging changes from one repository to the other, which used to be a manual process. Now, a CI job in Gearset enables the team to deploy changes from one repo to a branch of the other repo at the click of a button.

"That's really, really improved our development time because it used to take about 20 minutes; now it's a 5-minute process and we can get on with other stuff while it's running. It might not sound much, but that adds up to 2 hours a week. With other efficiencies, the time we spend on deployments and releases is about 80% less, for sure."

Gearset makes a huge difference

Looking to the future, Malcolm hopes to see Atlas using Gearset to manage even more of the team's DevOps process, and has been keeping an eye on the development of Gearset's Pipelines offering. Our plan is to use Bitbucket just as a code repository and run everything through Gearset, Malcolm says, citing the much higher success rates for merging changes within Gearset.

Malcolm is clear that he would recommend Gearset to any team for Vlocity deployments, especially as part of a mature DevOps process.

"If someone is using Vlocity DX, they'll see a huge difference here and Gearset will help with continuous integration. It's also really intuitive: easy to use, easy to set up. I can't find anything bad to say about Gearset!"

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