London Salesforce Dev Meetup – Nov Review

What with Dreamforce and other commitments it had been 3 months since my last Salesforce Developers meetup. With this in mind I was very keen to get back in the saddle and mingle with the cream of London’s developers. This month we were back at the MakePositive offices and myself and Justin from MobileCaddy were in attendance. The topic for the night was to be CI (Continuous Integration).

Gearset – Kevin Boyle

We had previously met Kevin at one (or maybe more) of the Salesforce World Tour events in London. It was nice to catch up with him again and see how Gearset are doing. In their own words Gearset’s “mission is to make deployment and developer collaboration on the platform ingeniously simple.”… and their talk was mostly a demo of the suite of products that they have (and hope to have).

…make deployment and developer collaboration on the platform ingeniously simple

Kev first started out giving an overview to CI, and why implementing it when working with Salesforce can be tricky if undertaking it with tooling used for other software stacks, think TravisCI etc.

Kevin from Gearset, talking about C


We were then given a demo of the Gearset Deploy tool and run through some of it’s features. A basic list includes Org Comparisons, dependency checking (included nested… which is very cool), history tracking and master/detail relationship support. The options of comparison has a nice touch of being able to compare not only Salesforce orgs, but also a local codebase and an org. There’s a 30 day free trial available, so why not try it out?

As for the core CI stuff, this is on their roadmap and (I think) is going to be available early in 2016. For more information check out their roadmap.

Copado – Philipp Rackwitz

I’d not heard of Copado before, and in fact I misheard the name and though that someone from Pardot was giving a talk… this definitely confused me! Thankfully I was wrong as Phil, CEO and Co-founder of Copado gave a very interesting demo of the suite of products.

With automated Apex tests, kicked off by changes to source code in bitbucket for example, and deployments including permission sets and metadata you can see quite easily how a lot of potential errors can be avoided.


To be honest the list of features and options goes on-and-on… it does seem to be that Phil and his team have really thought of almost everything. They have a couple of videos over on their site so take a look.

Wrap up

Both talks and tools look incredibly useful and I certainly reckon they’re worth a look.

The venue and refreshments were as usual spot-on and appreciation should be shown to the kind folk at MakePositive as well as of course to the meetup organisers, though I think I only spotted Francis at this one.

I did note though that diversity of the attendees is hugely lacking, with ~55 folk there I only counted 3 women. The Salesforce Developers meetup has previously clashed with other meetups (e.g. Women Who Code) that are more heavily attended by ladies, so perhaps this was the case again.

London Salesforce Dev Meetup – Feb 2015


Photo: Christopher “Rice” 

The February meetup of the London Salesforce Developers took place again back at the Make Positive offices, and this time-out was on the topic of Continuous Integration.

In a world where developer and admin workforces are commonly remote and often working on many features that are to be bundled into larger releases the idea and practice of continuous integration is one that can deliver real results for quite minimal investment.

There were two speakers due to talk on the matter, so rather than I spout on about the topic myself I’ll cover their presentations as best I can.

Klea Kolaric – Using Bamboo to enable CI

Klea is a technical consultant at a Salesforce implementation partner and talked about how they are using Bamboo within their CI workflow at the company. Bamboo is a CI and Build Server tool from Atlassian (who also make the Confluence and Jira tools).

Klea started off by talking about the options for deploying to Salesforce; Using Changesets, an IDE or CI tools. She listed the pitfalls of the first two options and how the CI route removes a lot of risk from human error as well as giving huge speed improvements.

Using tools such as Bamboo you also get a nice controlled process for rolling back deployments, useful if something goes wrong (as it sometimes does). Another big benefit, in my eyes at least, is the auditing ability that tools such as Bamboo can give you. Klea told us how you get the important WhoWhenWhyWhat and How information through Bamboo’s great integration with the other tools in their toolset. Essentially commit messages from Bitbucket and issues from Jira are all linkable if provided.

One handy tip, that might just save you from a major head-ache might be to not set deploy to production variables by default. Klea has her setup such that if she accidentally runs her deploy process, then the automatic parts will only run a validation build; for her to run an actual deploy to production she has manual steps that need to be fulfilled.

Klea’s slides can be found here.

Sebastian Wagner – Multi Orgs and using Git for CI

Sebastian, a freelance Salesforce Certified Technical Architect was the next and last speaker for the evening. His talk covered how and why Git and CI techniques and tools can be used in Salesforce development. His talk covered some of the same ground as Klea’s but was less Bamboo-centric; again he covered some of the issues that can be resolved (or at least reduced) by using CI, but he also mentioned non-Atlassian tools such as Github and Jenkins. Here, at MobileCaddy we’re using both Atlassian and non-Atlassian tools for our CI. The tools are similar but certainly some are more suited (and free) than others.

There was a lot of content in Sebastian’s slides, and for those that want to dig in he has kindly published them here. One of the key points that was mentioned but I think is worth picking up on is the use of a good git branching model. Sebastian mentioned the GitFlow model which Atlassian have brilliantly written up. I first came across this kind of model through the excellent post by Vincent Driessen called A successful Git Branching Model. Even though this was posted by him over 5 years ago it’s worth a read for sure.


On Continuous Integration: if you’re not doing it, start… today.

On the event: This was the most attended meetup to date I believe and shows how the community is going from strength to strength. I did note though that there were at least 70+ blokes in the room, and less than 5 ladies. I tweeted this and got a reply from April Kyle Nassi (Developer Community Manager at Salesforce) and as you can see in this conversation it looks like there are steps at least to improve this. It also turns out that there was a Women Who Code event on in London on the same night, and this could certainly have played a part.

As usual there was a full supply of beer and pizza, so thanks again to the sponsors.