“Gearset’s impact was massive; it brought the average deployment time down to an hour – a huge change! And now we can do multiple deployments a day, which is significantly easier on the team.”

Alan McCarthy | Salesforce App Engineering Manager | Zillow
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Gearset helped Zillow cut 8 hours off their deployment process

As a game-changing real estate company managing a living database on more than 110 million U.S. homes, Zillow relies heavily on Salesforce to provide all the property information that makes it easy for people to buy, sell, rent, finance and remodel their homes.

The admins and devs in the Salesforce development team at Zillow were faced with several challenges when it came to their releases. The team’s old process had become unmanageable as the team grew in size and complexity, with long deployment times and developers stepping on each other’s toes. When deployment times reached double digits, they started looking for an end-to-end solution that would empower the team and significantly speed up their release cycle.

Before choosing Gearset to manage its releases, Zillow used change sets to deploy, and everything from Notepad++, to a set of miscellaneous diff tools to review their code. The process was slow, overly complicated, and it was impossible to track who’d made changes and why. At most, the team managed one deployment per day from a single development sandbox. Coupled with collaboration issues across teams, their release time was becoming increasingly painful, as Ryan Hurteau, Senior Salesforce Engineer, commented:

“It was pretty rocky, for a while we only used a single sandbox for development. The big challenge was that, as our org had gotten so large, our deployments with change sets were taking anything from 9 up to 12 hours.”

Releasing in under an hour with Gearset

The team had been looking at ways to bring down their deployment time, and right from the very first implementation of Gearset, they saw huge benefits. The team linked Gearset up with their GitLab source control, which allowed them to track every change with their deployment history and easy rollbacks meant the team could undo any mistakes in minutes. As Gavin Wong, Salesforce Solution Engineer, explains:

“It just helps the team deploy so much faster. Especially when you have a huge team of people, Gearset makes tracking all those changes and coordinating deployments much easier.”

From an admin perspective too, the entire deployment process has become much easier, from building the package all the way to releasing, as Tess Britton, Salesforce Admin says:

“It’s really flexible — being able to select just what you need and, mainly, save time not doing the post-deployment configuration. It’s just a much more streamlined process.”

Would Zillow recommend Gearset?

The complete visibility Gearset gives the Zillow team into their orgs — before and after deployments — was a huge benefit that stood out immediately, as Gavin Wong explains: “Just being able to quickly see the XML, or the code behind the metadata — what it looks like before and after, and know whats going on in package was really helpful. It’s definitely improved our release management a lot.”

Overall, Gearset has significantly improved Zillow’s release management. The team now deploy 8x faster, collaborate on and coordinate deployments more effectively, and deploy more often to deliver greater value to their customers.

“If your business is ready to grow, and you don’t want everybody configuring in production, it’s time to move away from change sets, and Gearset is the way to go!”

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