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John RicardoJohn Ricardo 

Force.com major upgrades... What's your experience? What should I expect?

Hi guys,

 

I'm trying to understand what to expect from Force.com, regarding major versions' upgrades. In your expeerience, how seamless are the upgrades to your Force.com?

 

  1. Are there many breaking changes?
  2. When your code is affected by these breaking changes, what are your options? Redo the code? What time window do you have?
  3. In your experience, how much time does a Force.com major version upgrade consumes you, in terms or redoing/ verifying the code?
  4. And, in terms of testing your applications, to make sure the functionally hasn't broken? Does it break often?
  5. What is Force.com policy, regarding upgrades? They warn about the updates how much time ahead? DO we have a specific time frame to do these upgrades? What happens if you don't upgrade?
  6. Does your organization accept the upgrades well (the downatime, the Business Units having to participate in the tests, etc.)?

 

I'm trying to assess how much time should I schedule in future major versions upgrades...

Please answer what you can (even if you can't answer everything).

 

Thanks for everyone's help.

sandeep@Salesforcesandeep@Salesforce

It is a great question. 

You should not worry about upgrades its automatically happens and handeled by Salesforce. it hardly takes few minutes. 

Michael_TorchedloMichael_Torchedlo

John,

 

My organization has used Salesforce.com since 2009.  Force.com upgrades the platform on its own several times each year.  The release dates are always announced in advance, and your system administrator will recieve emails several months ahead of time letting you know when an upgrade is coming.  The release notes are also available for each update, telling you what specifically has changed and how it might affect your setup.

 

I believe 1 month notificiations are standard, but if you have a developer account, you can be notified of the Developer Preview webinars, which take place roughly 2 months before each update.  These are a great way to learn about how the upcoming changes might affect your configuration.  Also, if you have a Developer Sandbox, the sandbox instance may get the upgrade in advance before your regular instance, which gives you a little additional time to work with the new API.

 

My advice is to make sure you are getting the notification emails, watch the Developer preview webinar (~1 hr), and read through the release notes before each update.  You could have no work and no code to change, or you could have a significant amount - it all depends on what your apps do and what features are being affected by the Force.com release.  In my personal experience, I have only rarely had to make any changes because of a release update, and those were minor.

John RicardoJohn Ricardo

Thanks for the replies.

 

Michael, in your experience, in the times where you had the most work upgrading, how much time did it take you?

Michael_TorchedloMichael_Torchedlo

I've never needed to spend more than a few hours making changes because of a release.  Keep in mind that my perspective is from a Force.com client organization, we are not an app developer for profit.  Also, in the past few years, the majority of the feature changes to the API have been related to Chatter (and other "social collaboration" tools).  Our organization does not use Chatter heavily, but if yours does, then it is possible that you will have more to change.

 

When a major release comes around, generally it won't cause anything to stop working.  Most of the time, the update gives you improvements or additional options, so you only spend time changing your code if it will benefit you, not as a chore to keep your code functioning.

John RicardoJohn Ricardo

Hi,

 

Do I get to choose a major upgrade date? Or do I get the notices and, on the specified date, things are taken care of? If something is broke, it is broke?

 

And, are all my environments upgraded at the same time? Or first DEV, then PRD?

Michael_TorchedloMichael_Torchedlo

You may want to read these knowlege articles, they may help with your questions.

 

"Salesforce.com does three seasonal product releases every year (Winter, Spring, Summer)"

https://help.salesforce.com/HTViewSolution?id=000176278&language=en_US 

 

https://help.salesforce.com/HTViewSolution?id=000004283&language=en_US

 

Platform updates happen at the same time for all users, you do not get to choose a different date.  However, as I mentioned, some features may be optional, so you have the choice to activate them or not.

 

The date is set by Force.com and there is a brief period of maintenance time while the update is automatically deployed on their servers.  Typically, this happens late at night or on a Sunday.   All of the new changes or updates are then immediately available to your organization.

 

If you read the release notes and did a preview in your sandbox, then you should be able to identify any problems and take corrective action long before the release date.  By this, I mean modifying your code so that it will be compatible with the new changes, and you don't lose any functionality.

 

Ashish_SFDCAshish_SFDC

 

Hi John, 

 

I will also try to answer the questions to the best of my knowledge, reply back if you have any specific questions. 

 


Q. Are there many breaking changes?
A. Before upgrading Salesforce does test the apex code written against your Orgs to see if it breaks. Hence be rest assured the impact should be minimal. 


Q. When your code is affected by these breaking changes, what are your options? Redo the code? What time window do you have?

A. The code is not likely to break as it continues to run on the version in which coded and is not impacted by the new additions. 

 

Q. In your experience, how much time does a Force.com major version upgrade consumes you, in terms or redoing/ verifying the code?

A. Salesforce upgrades are scheduled 3 times a year namely - winter, spring and summer. 

 

Q. And, in terms of testing your applications, to make sure the functionally hasn't broken? Does it break often?

A. You can continue to work on the Application and if you identify any unusual behavior and see the release notes of that version has an upgrate on that feature, then do contact Salesforce Support.

 

 

Ashish_SFDCAshish_SFDC

Q. What is Force.com policy, regarding upgrades? They warn about the updates how much time ahead? DO we have a specific time frame to do these upgrades? What happens if you don't upgrade?

A. The schedules are run on fixed times and the maintainance windows can be found in the link : http://trust.salesforce.com/trust/maintenance/

 

Q. Does your organization accept the upgrades well (the downatime, the Business Units having to participate in the tests, etc.)?

A. The Server down time is scheduled to be completed within 5 minutes and does not have any major changes. 


Q. Michael, in your experience, in the times where you had the most work upgrading, how much time did it take you?

A. Upgrading is done from salesforce side - we do upgrade Sandboxes Ahead of Production so that you can test your functionality. 

 

Q. Do I get to choose a major upgrade date? Or do I get the notices and, on the specified date, things are taken care of? If something is broke, it is broke? 

A. No the major upgrade dates are scheduled by Salesforce and we do not have much scope to reschedule. You (Admins) will be notified well in advance and also the week when upgrade is scheduled when you login. 

 

Q. And, are all my environments upgraded at the same time? Or first DEV, then PRD?

A. See the http://trust.salesforce.com/trust/maintenance/ link Sandbox is upgraded first then the instances - the Instances catagorized is likely to be the same for all Major Upgrades. 

 

Regards,

Ashish

Ashish_SFDCAshish_SFDC

Hi John, 

 

Adding to above: https://www.salesforce.com/form/signup/prerelease-winter14.jsp this is a kind of link where we can get a free org with the next possible available release ahead of release time to test our functionality if needed.

 

Regards,

Ashish

 

Neal RavindranNeal Ravindran
Question..
Can I reject an update/upgrade from force.com.. Iow say I don't need the upgrade and remain in original version forever?