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Improved 'Compare and deploy' feature - overview

How the new comparison approach improves performance

Stephen Chambers avatar
Written by Stephen Chambers
Updated over a week ago


Since Gearset's launch in 2015, the Salesforce release management landscape has changed with the growing popularity of DevOps and teams looking to deploy their changes faster and with fewer deployment failures.

Salesforce orgs, team size, deployment complexity and metadata types have all increased over the years and will only continue to expand further.

It's one of the core drivers which has led the Gearset team to rebuild its approach to downloading and comparing metadata to ensure comparison speed meets those needs.

The traditional Gearset comparison approach

Gearset has traditionally requested all metadata for a given metadata or multiple metadata types, unless a more granular pre-comparison filter has been specified to retrieve fewer types or items. This can on occasion mean:

  • Waiting times for the metadata to be returned from Salesforce can be significant and some metadata types can be impacted more severely than others.

  • For items that haven't changed, which is often the case when comparing on a semi-regular basis, these "No difference" items are also retrieved and unnecessarily compared each time.

  • Having to pre-filter each comparison to only include the most recent changes, or changes you're interested in, can take time to configure before requesting the metadata. This eventually leads to a longer overall process, including metadata retrieval.

The Gearset's improved 'Compare and deploy' approach

In order to make comparisons faster, by removing the bottleneck of metadata download times from Salesforce, several changes to the comparison engine have been implemented - combined with a series of UI optimisations.

The end results is a more streamlined approach to comparing and deploying metadata.

The improvements include:

  • The introduction of incremental caching of metadata types resulting in the need to request less metadata from Salesforce leading to a significant improvement in the overall experience.

  • On-demand metadata retrieval. Simply click on a currently pending metadata item to prioritize its retrieval.

  • A completely new set of UI features specifically designed to let users really take charge of their comparisons and drive what results they want to see on-demand. This essentially reduces the number of pre-comparison configuration steps that are required.

  • Enhanced functionality to existing features such as the management of comparison filters with additional information available. This is to help users be more efficient at choosing the items for comparison focusing on items they care about.

  • Source tracking support as a comparison filter. Source tracking was introduced by Salesforce for Developer and Developer Pro sandbox orgs as a way to make the retrieval of changed items in an org more instantly available. By utilising source tracking capabilities for orgs that have it enabled, Gearset can take advantage of a faster way to retrieve a specific subset of changes and build your comparison filter automatically.

Comparison improvements introduced in Q1 of 2024:

  • Using metadata snapshots from existing team-owned connections. If your team have configured orgs to be team-owned, Gearset will use the latest snapshot for that org connection.

    This means that even if you haven't previously compared that org, you'll receive the benefit of metadata already being available and only the delta being retrieved for metadata types you want to compare.

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