Exploring comparison results

View the metadata differences between your source and target

Valerio Chang avatar
Written by Valerio Chang
Updated over a week ago

When you run a comparison, Gearset will show you the metadata differences between your source and target. See what changes have been made, when and by whom at a glance, without the need for manual XML diff or change tracking documents.

Comparison results table

A typical comparison will look similar to the screenshot below. Individual metadata items are shown in the table with the following columns:

  • Name: the name of the metadata item

  • Metadata type: the type of metadata item (e.g. profile or Apex class)

  • Difference type: whether the item is New, Different, Deleted, or No difference 

  • Changed on: the last modified date for the item*, the most recent date out of the source or target org

  • Changed by: who made the last change to the item*

* For details on why this may show as blank/Unknown, see this support doc, and for why the information may occasionally be incorrect, see this article. In all cases, Gearset displays the information returned to it by the Salesforce metadata API.

The diff viewer

Clicking on any metadata item will select it and show you the line-by-line comparison between your source and target in the XML diff viewer in the bottom half of the screen.

Depending on the metadata type, there may be alternative, simplified views for you to choose from, such as Picklist view if the selected item is a picklist:

If there are multiple changes, you can quickly move between them using the Prev / Next buttons on the top right of the diff viewer.

Metadata change types (Different, New, Deleted, No difference)

Gearset groups changes to your metadata by their type:

  • New: the item only exists in your source; deploying it will add this item to your target

  • Different (under Changed items tab): the item exists in both source and target, but there are differences between your source and target; deploying it will update the target with the version from the source

  • Deleted: the item only exists in your target; deploying it will remove this item from your target

  • No difference: the item exists in both source and target and is identical; you can't select it as there would be no changes to deploy

Note: During the comparison, no changes are made to your environments. Seeing an item marked as Deleted does not mean Gearset has removed it from your org! This means that the item does not exist in the source, but does exist in the target. If you deploy it with Gearset, that item will be deleted from the target, hence it is classed as a deletion.

Results table tabs

Items are grouped by their change type via the tabs in the results table. These tabs line up with the metadata change type listed in the section above.

By default, when you first run a comparison, you'll be taken to the All items tab. To view New or Deleted items, Changed items, simply click the tab in the table.

Sorting comparison results

By default, the metadata items are sorted alphabetically by metadata type.

You can change from A-Z to Z-A by clicking at the top of the Metadata type column.

You can order using a different column by clicking at the top of that column.

Searching and filtering comparison results

If you have a large number of differences, you may wish to filter the comparison results to make it easier to find the changes you're interested in.

There are two main ways to search/filter the comparison results: using the global search box in the top right, and using filtering on individual columns.

You can find this in the top right of your comparison results:

Start typing and Gearset will filter down the results in the table.

This applies across all columns, so you could search for metadata item name, metadata type, or changed by, etc.

This applies a filter to the tab you're currently viewing (such as New items), rather than showing items from all tabs. If you're not sure what the change type may be, search when viewing the All items tab.

Column filtering

Comparison results can also be filtered on a per-column level. Select the menu icon on any column to specify which items you'd like to be displayed in the results.

For the Name column, you can filter results by text, or you can use a regular expression - for more information on filtering comparison results by regex, see this support doc.

For the Metadata type, Difference type and Changed by columns, you can filter results by text, or use the tick boxes to select the results you want to see. (Tip: untick the Select all box to unselect all; you can then tick the box(es) you want to include.)

For the Changed on column, in addition to filtering by text and using tick boxes, a third option is to select one of the predefined time options, such as Today or Last 7 days.

Want to know how to deploy these metadata items? Read our guide on creating your first deployment.

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