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Salesforce DevOps Center GA: What’s New?

Salesforce DevOps Center became generally available on December 9th, 2022, making it a fully-fledged replacement for change sets. It’s also a comprehensive DevOps solution with source control and org-based development for hybrid teams. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most important features that Salesforce has added with GA, including selecting and connecting environments while you build your release pipeline, automatic source tracking verification, easier environment management, performing a validate-only deployment, and a new CLI plugin for programmatic developers.

Decorative text saying "What's New?" over colored speech bubbles to announce what's new in Salesforce DevOps Center.

Selecting and Connecting Environments In Salesforce DevOps Center

Before GA, you had to define all your environments for your release pipeline ahead of time. Now, you can use the Pipeline Environments tab to:

  • Define development environments
  • Define pipeline environments
  • Set up your pipeline
  • Change environments on the fly before you activate the pipeline

Automatic Source Tracking Verification

When you’re building your release pipeline, DevOps Center verifies that every development environment you want to connect has source tracking enabled. It prevents you from connecting to a non-source-tracked environment.

Easier Environment Management

You can manage your environments in the Pipeline Environments tab. It’s now easier to refresh, swap, remove, disconnect, and change environments.

How to Refresh a Sandbox in Salesforce DevOps Center

When you refresh a sandbox, Salesforce creates a copy of the sandbox based on the production org or sandbox you created it from. The refresh procedure creates a new org and copies the metadata and data from the source org. Then, once you’ve activated the refreshed sandbox, it deletes the old org.

Because Salesforce deletes the original org during the sandbox refresh process, DevOps Center loses connection with it. Fortunately, you can now easily swap the original environment for the new one. During the swapping process, DevOps Center also ensures that the new environment is up to date with the latest source in the pipeline stage’s branch. 

How to Swap an Environment

Even after you’ve built and activated your pipeline, you can swap a development or pipeline environment. Here’s how:

  • Development environment: If DevOps Center can determine the environment was descended from the release environment, it moves all unpromoted work items connected to the current development environment to the new one. If DevOps Center can’t determine the environment was descended from the release environment, it deploys all changes from the first pipeline stage’s branch to the new development environment.
  • Pipeline environment: The swap action triggers a syncing process to ensure the environment contains all the metadata in the stage’s branch.

How to Remove an Environment

You can remove an unused development environment from the list. If you change your mind, you can add the removed environment back again later. However, if an environment has an activity history associated with it, you can’t remove it. Your only options are to disconnect it or swap it. 

Disconnect an Environment

To remove a development environment that’s expired or that you no longer plan to use from the list, you can disconnect it. However, you can only do this if there are no active work items associated with the environment. After disconnecting, you can still view information about the environment in the Activity History. However, you can’t use it again in Salesforce DevOps Center.

Change an Environment

If you’ve not yet activated your pipeline, you can select a different environment for a pipeline stage.

How to Perform a Validate-Only Deployment

In DevOps Center, you can now create a validate-only deployment to make sure your deployment will succeed ahead of time. 

A validation checks the results of Apex tests and deploying components, but it doesn’t save any components in the org. It lets you view the success or failure messages you’d receive with an actual deployment. You can only create a validation for versioned stages.

Later, you can perform a quick deployment to promote changes to a pipeline stage or your release environment without having to run tests. Learn more about performing a validate-only deployment.

CLI Plugin for Programmatic Developers

With GA, Salesforce has made a CLI plugin available for DevOps Center that provides support for the following command:

sf deploy pipeline

The plugin allows you to perform deployments via the CLI while still having DevOps Center accurately reflect the associated state of the pipeline. This allows pro-code developers to complete their entire development outside of DevOps Center while their low-code colleagues can see the updates in DevOps Center in real-time.

Everything You Need to Know About Salesforce DevOps Center

Curious to learn more about DevOps Center and how you can leverage it for a smoother, faster release management process?

Get The Ultimate Guide to Salesforce DevOps Center! 


How do I run a deployment in Salesforce DevOps Center?

To run a deployment in DevOps Center, you open DevOps Center and start on a work item, view the changes you’ve made in your development environment, pull the changes, and commit the changes to GitHub. Learn more about running a deployment in DevOps Center.


How do I set up my sandboxes for DevOps Center?

To set up your environments for DevOps Center, you need to leverage sandbox management with sandbox seeding, as well as scratch org creation

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