Traction on Demand switched to Gearset and left behind the pain of change sets
Traction on Demand is a Salesforce consultancy, implementing solutions for companies of all sizes. Its work involves a huge number of daily deployments between environments, which are carried out by a fast-growing team of developers - many of whom mostly make declarative changes.
Traction started out using change sets for deployments, but found the process profoundly problematic. Development Team Lead, Anne-lise Millereux, remembers building deployment packages manually, selecting items one by one from a list of components far too long to fit on one page. In summary, she described the process as 'very painful, very long'. The team were all in agreement over the pain of deploying with change sets, with Cloud Technologist, Matt Norn, recalling what Traction's work was like before they started using Gearset:
"Before Gearset? Er... a lot of hair-pulling, a lot of screaming, a lot of crying (there's still some of that), a lot more disorganization, and a lot more lack of awareness of what you were doing when you were deploying, a lot of manual steps, a lot of guesswork!"
Business Solutions Consultant, Hua Ping Tan, also recalls just how long the process could be with change sets. 'I think we would have a week where we'd be preparing for the whole package - and I guess this would be on larger projects so it would be a lot longer.' Looking for the answer to their Salesforce deployment problems, Traction on Demand found Gearset.
Faster deployments, fewer errors, and much less hair-pulling
First and foremost, Gearset has made Salesforce deployments faster and more reliable for Traction. Business Solutions Consultant, Jeffrey Ho, explains that 'the time saved with Gearset is really understanding what is being actually deployed'. Expanding on this point, Matt described how useful it is to be able to compare environments and see the exact metadata differences:
"With Gearset, I tell new people it's like turning on a black light: you can just see everything that's different. And from there you can decide 'that's relevant, that's not relevant'. You can spot things you'd forgotten about that you need."
Traction on Demand is growing fast, so there are always new people around learning the ropes. As Hua Ping explains, Gearset helps new starters at Traction pick up Salesforce deployments quickly, by handling tricky Salesforce quirks like dependencies between metadata.
"I think it really enables new people to come on and have this user-intuitive tool, so that there's less time ramping up, and there's more time doing the work that they need to be doing."
There's a load of functionality that Gearset offers the team beyond the basics, including automated jobs like continuous integration, testing, data tools, and more. Anne-lise appreciates having all of this combined in one tool: 'I love using Gearset - it's fantastic! It's a very, very powerful tool, and it allows you to do many different things that were not possible before.'
Whenever Traction needs support, the team are always amazed at the speed and quality of the responses from Gearset. 'You guys are super-responsive,' says Matt. 'I can be on chat in thirty seconds after I've started a deployment asking where a new metadata type is, and if it's during your business hours I usually get a response within a matter of minutes saying, 'Oh we're already looking at that!''
A 'must-have' for Salesforce development
'Gearset is a must-have in your development and Salesforce development process,' says Jeffrey. For the Traction team, Gearset is an essential tool, giving them a user-friendly way to deploy between environments that is significantly faster than change sets. We asked Matt how many hours he thought Gearset had saved him: