Embarking on a Salesforce development journey involves navigating a complex and dynamic lifecycle that encompasses various stages and involves multiple stakeholders. This guide aims to demystify the intricacies of the Salesforce Development Lifecycle, shedding light on the steps involved, key actors, and the tools used along the way. Whether you’re a seasoned Salesforce developer or new to the platform, understanding this lifecycle is crucial for successful project execution.

Key Actors in Agile Salesforce Development Lifecycle:

Release Manager:
Coordinates release schedules with the development team and clients.
Manages source control systems to ensure versioning and collaboration.

Product Manager:
Finalizes and coordinates business requirements for customization, features, and functionalities.
Oversees final testing processes and coordinates with the development team.

Software Developer:
Responsible for coding and building Salesforce applications.
Collaborates with other developers and commits code changes to the source control repository.

Quality Engineer:
Conducts testing of Salesforce applications, ensuring functionality and performance meet expectations.
Collaborates with developers to address and rectify issues during testing phases.

Manages the Salesforce environment, handling configurations, and ensuring smooth operations.
Collaborates with developers to deploy and test changes in the sandbox environment.

Prepares training materials and documentation based on the developed features.
Conducts training sessions for end-users and stakeholders.


Salesforce Development Environment:

The Salesforce development environment, known as Force.com IDE, is a robust integrated setup designed for developing Force.com apps. It utilizes Eclipse as its base and can be integrated with it through a plugin. Key aspects of the environment include:

Local File System: All data is saved locally, and developers must migrate changes to a source control repository before deploying to the Salesforce platform.

Source Control: Popular tools like GIT or SVN are used for version control, with the Force.com Migration Tool facilitating the migration of metadata.

Salesforce Development Lifecycle Steps:

Step 1: Source Control Setup

Release Manager sets up a source control repository, creating branches for separate features and using the Master branch for production metadata.
Package.xml manifest is created to populate the Master branch with metadata.
Force.com Migration Tool is utilized for migrating data to the Salesforce platform.

Step 2: Coding Begins

Developers create separate sandboxes for coding, containing a copy of the main production app.
Force.com IDE is used to connect sandboxes, retrieve metadata, and commit code changes to the source control repository.
Developers collaborate, clone branches, and migrate data to build on existing features.

Step 3: Testing

Quality Engineers create sandboxes for testing and use the Force.com Migration Tool to migrate code.
QA specialists perform testing, and Partial Copy sandboxes are deployed for more specialized testing.
Code changes may go back to the development phase if issues are identified.

Step 4: User Acceptance Testing and Training

Release Manager creates shared partial sandboxes for final testing by development teams, product managers, and trainers.
Ad-hoc testing and product demos are conducted, and training materials are prepared.
Corrections and feedback may trigger a return to the development phase.

Step 5: Final Release to Production

Rigorous performance testing and final regression testing are conducted in an intermediate sandbox environment.
The app is deployed to the production environment after passing all tests and meeting service level agreements.

Patch Releases:

Even after the final deployment, there may be a need for patch releases to address small hotfixes, bug fixes, or minor feature adjustments. Patch releases follow a similar lifecycle but with faster processes.

Salesforce Development Lifecycle Steps:

Mastering the Salesforce Development Lifecycle is essential for delivering successful projects on the platform. From source control setup to the final release, each step involves collaboration between various actors and meticulous testing. By understanding the intricacies of this lifecycle, developers and stakeholders can navigate the Salesforce development journey with confidence, ensuring the delivery of robust and efficient applications. For more details contact us through form below.