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What tools help with microservices Salesforce development?

It's not always easy to develop Salesforce apps with microservices. Developers and admins should evaluate CI/CD tools that support microservices development in the Salesforce world.

Salesforce does, to some extent, support a microservices architecture and the CI/CD methodology. However, developers sometimes need help from Salesforce partner offerings to actually build these applications as microservices. To this end, IT organizations should take a look at tailored Salesforce development tools.

The need for CI/CD

Large organizations that divide their development teams into numerous small, tightly knit microservices teams often need to eliminate bottlenecks and drive speed and innovation at scale. These teams need a fully automated end-to-end CI/CD pipeline.

Salesforce's Process Builder feature provides basic task automation, but it doesn't fill the role of a CI/CD management tool. To meet this need, there are several options from the Salesforce vendor community -- tools like AutoRABIT, Gearset and Flosum. These tools can fill the CI/CD gap with a comprehensive platform that's built for developers that work with Salesforce.

These Salesforce development tools provide version control for source code repositories, which is the first step in any CI/CD process. They also provide mature data management capabilities that can manage the complex hierarchies that emerge when dealing with multiple Salesforce organizations. Data management is another particularly challenging task in a complex microservices architecture, but these CI/CD tools can address that as well.

How to choose a tool

When evaluating Salesforce CI/CD tools, look for ones that integrate with testing tools like Selenium. And since microservices apps can spread across distributed locations, a proper CI/CD tool should also deploy to multiple Salesforce organizations simultaneously and codify these deployments in XML files.

There are many niche Salesforce development tools available on AppExchange, the Salesforce app store. However, many of these tools excel at just one part of the CI/CD workflow, such as versioning or automation, and you'll need to stitch them together to achieve the same capabilities as a comprehensive tool like AutoRABIT. If you choose a wide-reaching CI/CD tool from the start, it will untangle the intricacies of a microservices architecture and save you from any unnecessary complications.

As Salesforce development teams notice and respond to microservices, they need tools that help them execute these concepts in difficult applications such as Salesforce. Purpose-built tools, such as AutoRABIT, can realistically bring microservices and DevOps to the technology.

This was last published in January 2019

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