The age of digital transformation has come a long way, but as the familiar saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
With Salesforce becoming the world’s leading system of engagement, the following two things are true for its customers:
- Mission-critical data is in a SaaS application environment vulnerable to manipulation or corruption.
- As businesses grow and change over time, user stories that may seem simple will require nuanced and complex implementation and maintenance from Salesforce developers and admins to ensure these processes are added effectively without compromising data integrity.
In short, it would be nice if Salesforce could be unboxed and used without intervention from administrators, developers, or architects. Still, the truth is that companies must accept change and grow through it if they are to remain relevant in the age of information. For this reason, their Salesforce implementation must enable its owners to adapt to change!
Sandbox Seeding is Crucial
Most organizations that run on Salesforce have the requirement to “push” their data from production environments into “sandbox” environments so users can run testing on subsets of anonymized production data.
This creates a few hurdles:
- How is that data extracted and loaded in a sandbox environment?
- How often is that data “refreshed” to ensure data sets remain relevant/current?
- How is that data protected?
Companies may require just one sandbox environment to execute tests periodically. Others are so complex that there is a specific workflow for moving data up through a series of sandboxes in a development pipeline for each sprint. No matter where your company fits on the spectrum, having production-like metadata and data at your team’s fingertips is critical for streamlining high-quality, automated testing.
The Status Quo of Extracting Salesforce Data Can Be Tedious
Creating a sandbox with enough metadata and data to function as a representative sample of your production org can take work. However, without this, development teams often share a single sandbox environment filled with low-quality test data while unintentionally stomping on one another’s test cases!
One solution is asking for Salesforce to provide a full copy sandbox, a carbon copy of your Production org. This solution is not only costly (i.e., 30% on top of your current SF spend), but it limits refreshes to once every 30 days.
Alternatively, admins can export their Salesforce data as CSV files. This means that while most of the data can be pulled down and then loaded into a sandbox, moving your data from Salesforce into spreadsheets dissolves the relational context that is just as crucial to the “DNA” of the org as the data itself. When taking this approach, end users must manually mask any sensitive data.
Another common challenge is finding a way to partition data for various ETL/Reverse ETL workflows while protecting sensitive data classes like phone numbers, emails, etc. For example, many companies hire consultants/contractors to handle complex DevOps projects. Providing them with rich test data sets from your production systems can be very helpful, but you want to keep that data within your company’s walls.
CapStorm is the Salesforce Solution Your Admins Need
CapStorm gives Salesforce customers autonomous control over their data, enabling businesses with complex and regimented development cycles to efficiently move data, whether fully or partially, between production and sandbox environments. This includes a user’s ability to obfuscate specific “classes” of data so they can securely stand up test environments without worrying about compromising data security.
- CapStorm replicates a full copy of production or select “slices” based on a simple picklist user interface. This makes it easy to seed different subsets of production data into other sandboxes so that multiple projects can be resourced simultaneously.
- CapStorm replicates your data, capturing changes to data, metadata, and schema, as frequently as every 3-5 minutes. With just a few clicks, these changes are pushed into a sandbox environment on an as-needed basis. Additionally, all the configuration work for migrating the data and metadata into non-production environments can be saved and scripted to implement a CI/CD pipeline between various Orgs in a Salesforce development lifecycle.
- CapStorm also has a simple picklist interface that allows the user to mask specific data before it’s pushed into a test environment.
The best part? All of this can be accomplished without having to delve into a pile of spreadsheets.
If you would like to learn more about how CapStorm helps your organization solve some of the most common Salesforce development and administration challenges, reach out to one of our experts or drop some time on our calendar for a demo. We would love to learn about your challenges, projects, and ideas and answer any questions you may have!