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Overview of the entire lifecycle

In this tutorial, we will step-by-step walk through the entire lifecycle of release management.

The purpose of this tutorial is to give you an overview of the Flosum application.

We recommend following the exact steps to ensure that you systematically understand how to use Flosum. After this tutorial, you will be ready to explore further capabilities of Flosum on your own.


1. Please ensure that you have done the following setups.

Please do not use Internet Explorer for step #3 in setups.
2. To try out the features mentioned below, you would need two different organizations - Source organization and Target organization.

Time commitment:
It takes less than two hours to finish this tutorial. After these couple of hours, you will never have to get back to change sets again!

Out of Scope:

1. Please note that this tutorial does not discuss all the benefits of the Flosum application. It is aimed to provide a high level understanding of Flosum.
2. Release management is dependent on a number of other factors including environment strategy,  development methodology such as Agile/waterfall methodology, code merge strategy, tools available in the organization, etc. Please note that this tutorial does not discuss the best practices for these topics.

3. The tutorial does not cover the best practice of how to bring all your existing source code into the Repository for version control.

4. Flosum is a very rich and powerful application, but this tutorial will not discuss all the various features of Flosum.


Step 1: Register both the organizations
Register both organizations - Source organization and Target organizations using the steps described in the setup instructions.

Step 2: Make changes in your source organization
Log into your source organization. Create a brand, new Visualforce page and a custom object in the source organization.
Step 3: Create a snapshot to retrieve your changes
  1. Log into the Flosum organization. 
  2. Go to Orgs Tab.
  3. Go to the source organization. 
  4. Click on Create snapshots
  5. Give it to a appropriate name - SourceSnapshot_1 .  Under the last modified days, please specify 1.  This will retrieve the changes that have been done in the source organization in the last one day.
Observe: Once the snapshot is completed, the "Is Completed" Flag turns on.
Step 4: Deploy these changes
  1. Click on the Deployments tab
  2. Click on New.
  3. Select source organization
  4. Select the snapshot that you just created - SourceSnapshot.
  5. Enter the Deployment name - Deployment_1.
  6. Select the components (both visualforce page and custom object) that you want to deploy.
  7. Click on Add to Deployment.
  8. Click on Deploy.
  9. Select the Target Organization.
  10. Click on Deploy.

Congratulations, you have done your first deployment with a just a few clicks. If required, you can modify the same deployment before deploying it again.
Observe: On the deployment definition page, scroll down to the Deployments related list. View your current deployment. View the success log and the error log for the components that have been deployed successfully.

This newly created deployment can be deployed upstream (to your QA, UAT and Stage organizations) or downstream(to any of your development environments).

Step 5: Make changes in the target organization
  1. Login to the target organization.
  2. Make a change to the Visualforce page. It could be as simple as adding a quick comment to the page.
  3. Goto the Flosum organization and create another snapshot for the Source Organization as described in Step 3 above. Call this snapshot SourceSnaphot_2.
Step 6: Retrieve the changes in the target organization
  1. Login to Flosum.
  2. Click on Orgs tab.
  3. Click on Target Organization.
  4. Click on Create Snapshot - TargetSnapshot_1
  5. Give it a name - TargetSnapshot and select the number of modified days to 1.
Observe: Observe the number of components retrieved.

Step 7: Compare two orgs.
  1. Login to Flosum (if required).
  2. Click on Snapshot comparison tab.
  3. On the left hand side, Select Source organization.
  4. Select Snapshot: SourceSnapshot_2.
  5. On the right hand side, Select Target Organization.
  6. Select Snapshot: TargetSnapshot.
  7. Leave the Compare Different checkbox checked. If the checkbox is checked, it will show you only the missing and different components in the table below.
  8. First choose the Metadata type: ApexPage and then, Custom Object.
Observe: The rows in Yellow show that the component exists in both the snapshots, but the component is different.
The rows in Red show that the component is missing from one or the other snapshot. The last modified date is empty from the missing snapshot.
Congratulations, you have completed the first phase of Flosum. In the next phase, we will explore the new features of version control.
Step 8: Create a private branch

A branch is typically used by one developer or multiple developers to stage their code. Branch is a placeholder to hold the code till it is fully ready to be committed to Repository.

Typically, a new branch is created for every new feature, user story or bug fix. In Flosum, a branch can be shared by multiple developers.
Branch is a staging area that can be used a set of developers to collaborate their changes. Having the branch on Flosum org helps developers to share code with each other that is not ready to be committed to the version control.

Once the code is ready to be committed to version control, they can merge the code with the repository.
Flosum allows multiple versions of the same component on the branch.
  1. Click on the Branches tab.
  2. Create a new Branch - Let's call it NewFeature.
  3. Go back to snapshot SourceSnapshot_1 that you created from the source organization.
  4. Click on the Commit button for snapshot.
  5. Select the components (Visualforce page and custom object) that you just created in the source organization.
Observe: This new branch has the components that you committed.
Success: In this private branch, you & team members can keep your code separate for this new feature. This is useful when the new feature development takes long. As you progress in the feature development, you can keep on committing code in the private branch.
Step 9: Commit the changes to the version control
  1. Goto the branch that you just created.
  2. Click on the Merge button.
  3. You will see the page divided into three sections:
  • Already updated components: There is no change in these components. The version control will not be updated with these components.
  • Safe components: These components are safe to be committed with version control.
  • Conflicting components: These components have been updated by some other user since you started working on your branch. You can view the side-by-side comparison of your latest feature with the latest component from the branch.

   4. Click on Merge. Your components are now in the version control.

Observe: Version control ensures that there are no code overwrites. Developers are warned before they overwrite someone code.
Version Control keeps complete and audit details of each component.
Step 10: Deploy the changes from version control
  1. Click on the Deployments tab.
  2. Click on New
  3. Click on Repository
  4. Please enter the name of the Deployment
  5. Select components that you just committed. (Visualforce page and custom object).
  6. Click Add to Deployment.
  7. Click on Deploy. Select the Target Organization and deploy the deployment. 
  8. Observe: Go back to the patch page. Scroll down to the Deployment related list.
  9. Click on Deployment Name.
  10. Click on Deployment URL.
  11. Inspect the Success Log and Error Log.
Observe: The deployment has been completed successfully from the version control. Similarly, you can pull all the changes done by the developers from version control.
Congratulations, you have just finished deploying code from version control. In the next phase, we will discuss continuous integration.

Step 11: Automate Continuous Integration
Setup for continuous Integration:
  1. Click on the Settings page.
  2. Enter the "Build Organization" on the Settings page. Build Organization should be a replica (or have the baseline) as your source organization.

Steps for Continuous Integration:

  1. Go to the source organization.
  2. Change the Visualforce page.
  3. Go to Flosum organization.
  4. Create a snapshot - SourceSnapshot2 - to get the changes done in last 1 day.
  5. On the snapshot page, commit the changes to the old branch that you have created - NewBranch.
  6. Merge the changes with the repository.

Observe: Go to the builds tab. You will see the new code changes that were created were packaged and automatically deployed to the build organization. Also, all the test classes for that organization were run automatically.

Congratulations, you have just automated continuous integration.
With this, you have completed the entire lifecycle of Salesforce. We made a change in the source organization, we version controlled the changes and deployed the change.

For advanced users, there is a lot to explore. Please see the advanced features sections that you can play with.

Step 12: Reports
Since all the data is in custom objects, we can create reports to understand more details on version control, deployments, enterprise wide changes, etc.
Step 13: Advanced features
Flosum has many advanced features including:
  • Destructive Changes
  • Profile & Permission set Migration
  • Integration with Agile Accelerator
  • Automatic Rollback
  • Running tests in Sandbox


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