October 9, 2023

Streamlining Salesforce Release Management with Copado: A Closer Look at Its Impact

Effective release management for Salesforce is the cornerstone of maintaining a stable and scalable CRM environment.

Imagine your Salesforce org as a well-oiled machine, powering your sales, marketing, and customer service operations.

Now, think about how crucial it is to ensure that every update, customization, or enhancement seamlessly integrates into this machine without causing unexpected hiccups.

Release management in Salesforce is not just about deploying changes; it’s about having a structured repository of your configurations, metadata, and code changes, keeping sandboxes in sync with production, and orchestrating a harmonious flow of updates.

Vroni Mylle Senior Salesforce Consultant at Reditus Salesforce Revenue Cloud Partner in Belgium
Vroni Mylle
Senior Consultant
Reditus Partnership with Copado for Salesforce Release Management

Yet, release management in Salesforce can be a bit like walking a tightrope while juggling flaming swords. Have you ever experienced the nail-biting, seemingly endless suspense of deploying changes using change sets, only to watch your production environment teeter on the brink of chaos? Or have you ever struggled to keep your SFDX project in sync with your Salesforce org, feeling like you’re chasing a moving target?

If you’ve faced these challenges, you’re not alone. Salesforce, with its immense power and flexibility, can also bring a fair share of complexity when it comes to managing releases. But fear not, because in this blog post, we’re about to unravel a game-changing solution that can turn these release management nightmares into a walk in the park. Welcome to the world of Copado, where your Salesforce release management woes meet their match. We’ll explore the significance of Reditus’s partnership with Copado and how it revolutionizes release management.

Reditus recommends Copado as a Release Management tool for Salesforce

Reditus, a Salesforce Revenue Cloud partner based in Belgium, is thrilled to announce its strategic partnership with Copado, a top-tier release management tool for Salesforce.

With Copado, Reditus clients gain access to a seamless and automated release management approach, ensuring smooth deployments and keeping Salesforce environments synchronized. Whether you’re just considering integrating Copado into your existing organization or embarking on a new improvement track with Reditus, we’re here to facilitate your journey.

We recognize that implementing a new release management tool and optimizing your Salesforce processes require an investment of time, effort, and resources. Reditus is committed to ensuring that your Return On Investment (ROI) is maximized during this transformation.

Feel free to connect with the Reditus team – where several team members have become Copado Certified over the last few months – if you would like to know more about Copado’s capabilities or to schedule a demo. We offer comprehensive support, including:

  • Guiding you through the purchase process
  • Setting up Copado in alignment with best practices
  • Jumpstarting your new way of Salesforce release management for metadata and CPQ data deployments

How can Copado assist with Efficient Salesforce Release Management?

Definition of Release Management

In the process of configuring and developing the Salesforce platform while adhering to Sandbox best practices, the need for effective release management arises. Release management encompasses the planning, scheduling, coordinating, and overseeing of the deployment of changes from development and testing environments into your production environment. It has a range of activities, including the documentation of release plans, version control, testing, quality assurance, change tracking, and communication with stakeholders.

The Need for Efficient Salesforce Release Management

Salesforce, known for its robust CRM capabilities, is a cornerstone of success for countless businesses. However, as your organization grows and evolves, so does the complexity of your Salesforce environment. It becomes essential to streamline and optimize the release management process to:

  • Ensure Stability: Efficient release management helps maintain system stability and avoid disruptions that can impact customer relationships.
  • Accelerate Innovation: By automating release processes, you free up time and resources to focus on innovation and improving your Lead-to-Cash processes.
  • Minimize Risk: Copado’s robust testing and validation features reduce the risk of introducing errors during deployments, safeguarding your data and customer trust.
  • Enhance Collaboration: Copado’s collaboration capabilities make it easier for cross-functional teams to work together, from developers to admins and business stakeholders.

The Power of Copado

Copado is a scalable Salesforce-native application that brings value to every stage of the Salesforce DevOps process. It achieves this by harnessing agile methodologies, incorporating quality and compliance features, and seamless and effortless integration with Git, all in one single tool. It orchestrates business transformation on the Salesforce platform by harmonizing all of your release management tools into a single, smooth arrangement.

But where exactly does the power of Copado lie, and why does it surpass traditional deployment methods like change sets?

Seamless Integration with Salesforce and Agile Tooling

Copado seamlessly integrates with Salesforce, becoming a natural extension of your CRM platform. This means you can manage your entire release process within Salesforce, reducing the need for disjointed tools. As we always advertise to our clients: ‘Salesforce is a very intuitive tool’, and this is not different for Copado built onto the Salesforce platform. Moreover, it offers integration with agile tooling such as Jira or Azure DevOps, enhancing its adaptability to your existing workflows.

Automated Release Pipelines

Copado allows you to automate your release pipelines, from development to testing and deployment. This automation accelerates the release cycle and ensures consistency.

Comprehensive Testing

Copado’s robust testing capabilities include automated regression testing, ensuring that new releases don’t introduce unexpected issues. A supplementary add-on is Copado Robotics Testing which allows you to create a library of automated UI tests that simulate user navigation through your system to ensure no regression has been introduced.

Governance and Compliance

Copado offers governance controls and audit trails to meet regulatory requirements and internal compliance standards. You can be confident that your Salesforce environment remains secure and compliant.

Collaboration Hub

Copado provides a central hub for collaboration, where teams can communicate, track changes, and resolve issues efficiently. This fosters cross-functional alignment and streamlines decision-making.

Data and Metadata Deployment

Copado allows you to deploy both data and metadata, ensuring that your Salesforce environment remains consistent across sandboxes and production. This is specifically noteworthy for CPQ deployments, where the data deployments can be exceptionally challenging and error-prone.

Setting up Copado: a quick look

Setting up Copado is a straightforward process, but it begins with a comprehensive reflection on your Release Process. This introspective phase entails posing questions such as which environments you’ll be operating in, which quality gates  you want to configure, or what the desired frequency of sandbox synchronization is.

With your release process strategy in place, certain actions within Salesforce must be taken:

  • Installing Copado
      • Install Copado from the Copado Success Community in a Salesforce org
      • Register the Copado Application on the Copado server
      • Ensure that all users who will be using Copado have the correct access and permissions.
  • Repository Setup
      • Generate an API Key
      • Set up a Git repository
  • Configure your release pipeline with the pipeline wizard
    • Create a pipeline
    • Create credentials and environments to ensure that Copado can log into the orgs
    • Create pipeline connections between source orgs and destination orgs
    • Create a project 
    • Create a release
  • Create org snapshots: to populate your repository branches for every environment.
  • Organize training sessions for your users so that they learn how to use it, and can practice in test environments.

Once your Copado setup is running smoothly, you can introduce Quality Gates and explore automation options, including the configuration of back promotions, automated testing, and an array of additional functionalities that Copado offers.

Copado Pipeline Manager

Deploying metadata with Copado: a quick look

As previously mentioned, Copado is an intuitive and user-friendly deployment tool, simplifying the often complex process of deploying changes. To provide you with a tangible glimpse of how it works, let’s dive into an example:

Imagine you’ve made adjustments to a page layout in your development environment (DEV), and now you’re eager to deploy these changes to the integration environment (INT). Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:

    • Create User Story: If you have connected Jira or AzureDevOps, the user story for this change should be present in Copado. If not, you can create the User Story record yourself. You will link the user story to a project, a release, a credential, and an environment.
    • Select metadata to deploy: cherry-pick the specific metadata components that you intend to deploy. In this case, the page layout.
    • Commit the changes
      • A feature branch is automatically created from the main branch
      • Your changes (the page layout) are committed to that feature branch
    • Promote the user story to the next environment
      • A promotion record is created automatically
      • A deployment record is created automatically with deployment steps
      • A promotion branch is created out of the destination branch
      • The feature branch is merged into the promotion branch
      • The deployment to the destination org takes place

While the example demonstrated a straightforward scenario involving just a single component adjustment, Copado allows deploying multiple user stories at once. Simply create a promotion record manually and assign the relevant user stories to it.

Best Practices for Copado

As is the case with any tool, Copado comes with a set of best practices that can significantly enhance your deployment process. Here are a few key practices that deserve special attention:

  • Commit frequently: small, manageable commits to reduce risk and generate returns faster.
  • Enforce strict version control: control who can deploy what to where.
  • Create back promotions to make sure all of your environments remain in sync.
  • Create a backup repository: to be able to roll back when something goes wrong.

Key Takeaways of Release Management with Copado

The out-of-the-box possibilities of Salesforce in Release Management have evolved over the years from change sets to the recently introduced Salesforce DevOps Center. However, for many years it was not supporting version control, automated testing, and CICD capabilities, and Copado really filled up that gap. With years iterating and improving the tool, it is still ahead of the native Salesforce DevOps Center in terms of capabilities.

With Copado, you can automate your release management process, ensuring smooth deployments and keeping your Salesforce environments synchronized. The tool is intuitive and easy to use, and by implementing Copado, you can expect the following:

  • Faster release cycles that allow you to respond to market changes and customer demands more swiftly.
  • Reduced risk of costly errors during deployments.
  • Increased collaboration and alignment among your teams.
  • Enhanced scalability to accommodate growth.

For more information about how Reditus and Copado can transform your Salesforce release management, please contact our team. Let’s embark on this journey together and unlock the full potential of your Salesforce investment.

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Vroni Mylle Senior Salesforce Consultant at Reditus Salesforce Revenue Cloud Partner in Belgium
Vroni Mylle
Senior Consultant
Vroni is a Senior Consultant at Reditus, where she helps businesses of all sizes achieve success with Salesforce. She has over five years of experience in Salesforce and Force.com Platform, spanning over 15 projects in industries ranging from manufacturing to retail to government services.