This is first of many upcoming articles on evaluation of Salesforce AppExchange products. In this post we will be discussing capability of native Force.com based solution for Continuous integration. Deployment has always been one of pain point in Salesforce developement. I have worked and proposed many solutions to customers based on their requirement and budget. One of solution which got my attention recently is “Flosum” available and listed on AppExchange from this year.
I have used many traditional continuous integrations like Jenkins, Bamboo, Scheduled ANT script but all of them still involve manual intervention and most important, special skill set to setup and handle any issue arising time to time.
Let’s talk about Flosum and what makes it different at high level:
- Complete native solution built over Force.com platform
- Requirement gathering to deployment, all aspects covered
- Multiple environment management
- Easy Profile migration
- Security access to environment for each user
- Default space 11GB
- Acts as Version Control
- Supports Continuous integration and auto deployments
- Compare Complete Org with historical or current changes
- 360 reporting view
How it works
When we buy it from AppExchange, One brand new Enterprise edition instance is provided by Flosum which controls complete release cycle with 11GB of default space. 11GB is huge space even for largest environment as this product saves only delta changes internally. This Organization pulls all metadata changes from other environment and saves in version control. These changes can be grouped together to identify as release cycle and known as “patches” and then these patches can be deployed to other organizations.
1. Flosum vs Git
|Only built for Salesforce and handles Salesforce Metadata||Handles code base of any language|
|Very easy to use||Involves some learning curve for using commands|
|Compliance with HIPAA, SOX, FISMA, ISO 27001 because code is stored natively in Salesforce||If it’s not hosted in-house, then non compliance|
2. Flosum vs SnapShot
Major difference and descision maker for me is ease of use. Both provides almost similar functionality howevere Flosum gets edge over this product. Flosum is native cloud based appilcation while Snapshot is desktop based. Also Flosum can be considered as Continuous integration solution while Snapshot not. Infact, I have my own desktop based application much similar to Snapshot which compares two orgs, takes backups, deploy and few more which this tool doesn’t have. If you think, you have some points to add here in favor of any of product, please share back.
3. Flosum vs Autotabit
Autorabit is coming along a way and currently most preferred appExchange for continuous Integration. Autorabit is also native application build over force.com platform and has many nice features like generating (converting) Selenium scripts for automated testing etc. Mostly in my projects, I have seen clients are using Autorabit as compared to Flosum.
Check this video to get some idea on how it works
Missing functionalities (Good to have Ideas)
- Although we have security at Organization level that which developer can connect which org for deployment. However if we can control who can deploy what, It will be very good enhancement. Eg : Admins should not be deploying Apex related changes.
- There should be some way, kinda post installation script that after deployment on Org perform post deployment activities like change Workflow email address, Outbound message URL etc.
Disclaimer: I have not been contacted or asked to write a review on this product, complete post depicts my own view on this appExchange entry.
If you have faced any issue while using this product or if you have more to add, please share feedback and I would try to validate and update this article so that it would be helpful for community members.