An introduction to Flosum
Flosum is a Salesforce native continuous integration tool which you may or may not be familiar with. Think ANT, but simplified and customisable through the Salesforce interface you know and love.
With scaling complexity based on the individual needs and requirements of the end user, Flosum is a perfect way to introduce Agile software development methodology into a Salesforce Environment.
A little about the Flosum team. Not only do they work tirelessly with their community to enhance and develop the Flosum experience, taking into consideration end-user feature requests and providing an excellent support network. They also have an initiative aimed at sponsoring children from impoverished communities per Flosum customer.
So why is Flosum right for you? Salesforce is a massively powerful system with a huge amount of functionality through its endless customisations and ability to be developed – But, and there is always a but, the built-in deployment mechanisms leave a little to be desired. Flosum picks up the slack in Salesforce’s natural weak points using the Salesforce platform in an innovative fashion. Not only is the overall deployment timeline reduced significantly; but features that were unheard of with changesets are now possible whilst allowing for full visibility between numerous production, sandbox and testing instances.
What features do Flosum provide?
Amongst the abundance of features provided through Flosum are a few which I consider standouts:
– Flosum allows for XML to be edited directly inside the deployment tool, no longer will Salesforce changesets need to be created each and every time a component is changed throughout the deployment process.
– Rollbacks become an easy task, relying on the backup package generated automatically each time a deployment takes place.
– Deployments and Validations can be performed effortlessly, completed from one user interface using test running functionality reminiscent of standard salesforce changesets.
– Query creation through an in-depth snapshot creation allows for components to be filtered based on multiple criteria, gone are the days where searching through thousands of components is required to create a package.
I have been using Flosum for 18 months and it has drastically changed the way I use Salesforce, the changes that were required to integrate Flosum into the existing processes did not include a huge amount of effort and the structured methodology of component and code release gave me the ability to transfer to a more agile method of delivery. Through the use of Flosum, our team has been able to reduce the deployment timeline by over 10 hours and reduce the amount of failed weekly deployments to near zero.
If you are starting to find the deployment process taxing and cumbersome I highly recommend the use of Flosum alongside Salesforce. Purchasing information, use cases and further features can be found at www.flosum.com