Xaxis found that many deployment and CI tools weren't up to the task for Salesforce development
Xaxis has used Salesforce since 2011, when the company was founded. The development and management of Xaxis's orgs is carried out in-house, by their expert Salesforce team. Changes are made in individual developer orgs before being merged into a partial sandbox for integration testing. From here, a release pipeline promotes changes up through a QA environment, UAT, and finally on to production.
Initially, Xaxis used a combination of change sets, Eclipse and Ant to manage their Salesforce releases. But, as the team grew, they started running into issues. Julie Zaretsky, Lead Software Engineer, explains how collaboration became difficult:
"As we added more developers, we found we were accidentally overwriting each other's changes during development. Common classes that were touched by multiple team members were a big challenge."
Resolving these issues diverted the team away from their main development work, which started to get backed up waiting for a deployment window. In an effort to streamline their releases, Xaxis set up continuous integration using a leading multipurpose solution. But Julie and her team discovered that tools designed for use across multiple platforms struggled to cope with the nuances of Salesforce deployments.
"I was extremely frustrated. I figured there had to be something better out there - and I found Gearset."
Gearset has surpassed the Xaxis team's expectations, and helped them to set up an agile workflow
Gearset made Salesforce deployments so much faster for the Xaxis team. Processes that had previously absorbed huge amounts of time became significantly easier. Julie cited refreshing sandboxes as a good example.
"Refreshing sandboxes, such as our QA environment, with Eclipse and a manual diff would take me days. With Gearset, I only had to make a few minor tweaks and it was done. What would take me a day and a half, took me an hour or two. I was so happy!"
But Gearset hasn't just saved the team time. It has helped them to implement an agile release process, and this has strengthened the relationship with their end users. Project Manager, Alex Jones, explains:
"Gearset fills in a lot of the need we have from the business users' standpoint to speed up the release process. It helps us integrate with the agile process. Previously, we had issues holding on to development work too long which made deployments even more complicated. Now, we've been able to build a better relationship with our end users, which is a big win."
Alex has also been impressed with the customer support provided by the Gearset team. "It's been really great working with Gearset. It was one of the reasons we decided to move across." And Julie emphasizes the usability of the tool: "I very much like the interface, the usability. It's beautiful! I haven't really needed any support."
Xaxis recommends Gearset for any and every Salesforce team wanting to unblock their deployment process and take release management to the next level of efficiency.