“With Gearset we have a fast, automated deployment pipeline which pushes changes into production throughout the week. My life has definitely gotten easier!”

Matt Avitable | DevOps Architect | McKesson
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Fortune 5 healthcare company, McKesson, use Gearset to adopt modern DevOps for Salesforce

After adopting Salesforce 5 years ago, the Medical-Surgical group’s deployment pipeline consisted of a developer sandbox, a staging environment and production. A team of 13 developers and admins, along with DevOps Architect and acting release manager, Matt Avitable, use these environments to manage their releases and to support over 2,500 active end users.

The team started out using the first party deployment tools, but soon found they didn’t provide the power or scalability they needed. “Deploying or preparing for deployment was taking anywhere between 6-12 hours each on average, and it was just painful. A couple of 3 AM nights too many and it hit a tipping point,” recalled Matt.

To try and improve their process, the team set up their own system consisting of a mixture of in-org development, change sets, and the migration tool. This soon became too complicated to manage, and resulted in numerous late-night deployments and situations where admins and developers were overwriting each other’s work.

“Our deployments were getting more complicated and we wanted to get the release management capabilities back to the teams, so we could deploy more often.”

Matt recognized that it was time to look for a third-party tool that could help revamp their release process, while being easy to use for both admins and developers. After evaluating a number of deployment tools, the team chose Gearset. “We wanted it to be easy,” explains Matt, “we wanted the tool to be as intuitive as humanly possible.”

“Many tools on the market weren’t intuitive or required that you modified your Salesforce instance for installations. The simplicity of Gearset was a big selling point for me.”

Looking for a faster, more automated release process

Gearset’s intuitive UI and easy-to-use features meant the team could quickly get to grips with the tool and immediately start tracking and deploying changes. As one of McKesson’s Salesforce admins, Monica Thornton Hill, explained:

“Before Gearset I was terrified to even touch anything that had something to do with a deployment — I couldn’t imagine ever running one. With Gearset it’s very straightforward and easy to use, it was just one or two walkthroughs and I felt comfortable using it.”

McKesson Salesforce Developer, Vinod Agrawal, highlighted that Gearset’s org comparisons have given the team visibility into what goes into each release. Instead of relying on lengthy change sets and manual change tracking documents, the team can easily compare environments and keep their orgs in sync. “With Gearset’s diff feature you can easily see the line-by-line differences between your source and target org. We no longer have to keep track of everything that has changed — it’s a massive time-saver for us.”

Within months, Gearset helped the McKesson team to speed up their deployment pipeline and streamline their entire release process. Matt explained, “our admins are now making declarative changes out of prod, which is great. We have continuous integration (CI) to push click changes every 4 hours throughout the week. We’re extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made with Gearset so far”.

McKesson’s experience with using Gearset

Whenever the team reaches out with questions about setting up their new release process, they’ve always been impressed, explains Matt. “As far as customer support goes, it’s always been great. Your team has always been super responsive to me. Whenever we have been wanting new features, all of a sudden they seem to magically appear, which has been really, really helpful.”

With Gearset at their fingertips, the team have revolutionized their Salesforce DevOps, and freed up more time to focus on developing features for their end users. “Running Gearset deployments is a huge improvement over our old process” says Matt. “We now have a fast, automated deployment pipeline and when we use Gearset to compare and deploy changes between Salesforce orgs, it’s a simple process of validating and scheduling the deployment — my life has definitely gotten easier!” To see how Mckesson use Gearset for their deployments, watch this walkthrough from Monica Thornton Hill.

Looking back, Matt is extremely pleased with the changes they’ve implemented using Gearset and recommends Gearset for any teams that are looking for a better Salesforce release process.

“As a release manager, I’ve definitely been happy with Gearset. It’s intuitive, easy to use and a real time-saver. I would highly recommend Gearset to any team looking to dramatically improve their release management.”

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