Gearset fully supports comparing and deploying changes to managed package metadata in your Salesforce and version control environments.

Including managed package metadata in your comparisons

By default, Gearset won't include managed package metadata in your comparisons. To get them to appear in the results, you'll need to use a custom metadata filter which specifies the namespaces for the packages you want to compare.

There are two ways to do this: selecting the compare all preset filter, or creating your own custom filter.

Option 1: Using the compare all filter

The "Compare all" filter will include all namespaces and all metadata types. To use this filter, simply select "Compare all" from the comparison filter dropdown, and start your comparison.

Tip: If you have large orgs or many installed packages, using the compare all filter can make the comparison process slower as Gearset needs to retrieve a larger volume of metadata. For a faster comparison, follow option 2 below.

Option 2: Create your own custom metadata filter

Creating a custom filter allows you to specify which namespaces you want to retrieve. It also lets you customise the metadata types to include in your comparison. Excluding the metadata types you aren't interested in deploying will speed up comparison times and reduce the noise in your comparison results.

From the "Compare and Deploy" page, open the comparison filter dropdown and select "Manage custom filters". Choose the metadata types you want to include in your filter from the list on the left side. Un-checking the box next to each type will remove that type from your filter.

In the "Include managed packages" section on the right side, select "Choose". You can then add in the namespaces for any packages you want to compare

Tip: If you have already selected the source and target orgs on the "Compare and Deploy" page before you open the custom filters dialogue, Gearset will suggest the namespaces of any packages installed in your orgs. You can quickly add them to your filter by clicking the + sign next to them.

If you want to include all packages in your org, you can also set this option to "All".

Prerequisites for managed package metadata to appear in your comparison results

Installing a package causes all of the metadata that is contained within the package to be installed into your Salesforce org. This can create noise in the results view, since it isn't metadata that's meant to be deployed by the end user. For this reason, in order to be able to see your managed package metadata in the results view, you will need to make sure that your managed package is:

  1. Installed in both orgs
  2. At the same version in both orgs

Viewing managed package components in comparison results

Now that you've included the namespaces for the packages you want to compare, click "Compare now". In the comparison results, you will now see any associated changes to those packages in the comparison results.

These can be selected and deployed just like any other metadata component type. You can search for them by entering the namespace prefix into the filter box in the top right of the table.

The package file itself will also appear as an item in the comparison results. Selecting and deploying the package files will trigger the package to be installed in the target environment, or updated to the later version if there is a version difference.

If you can't find a customization you've made to a piece of metadata in a managed package then you should first filter the results for Installed Package and check if the package is installed in both orgs and at the same version.

You can learn more about Gearset's custom metadata filters and how they work here.

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