The new Salesforce DevOps Center aims to help partners build extensions
Wade Tyler Millward
“The opportunities are endless there,” Karen Fidelak, Salesforce’s senior director of product management for the San Francisco-based DevOps Center, told CRN in an interview.
Enterprise software provider Salesforce has made its DevOps Center generally available, giving partners an easier way to implement DevOps practices and build extensions and packages to sell to customers.
The DevOps Center aims to make it easy to collaboratively build, test, and deploy apps, automations, and other custom software at Salesforce, Karen Fidelak, San Francisco-based Salesforce senior director of product management for DevOps Centerhe told CRN.
“The opportunities are endless there,” he said. “We’re seeing these partners generally accept that and are looking to enhance their offering by creating extensions for DevOps Center.”
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Gregory Grinberg, senior technical architect at New York-based Salesforce partner Silverline, told CRN that the DevOps Center is the culmination of the vendor’s investments in developer tools that have spanned several years.
“Salesforce is a much more mature platform in terms of DevOps than it was two or three years ago. … There are so many more capabilities, so now the CISOs and CIOs of the world are saying, ‘Hey, we want this.'”
Silverline has been investing in more offerings around development security operations (DevSecOps) to meet customer demand. That investment has included “training and upskilling our people and training people because we have the expertise in-house, but it’s just about getting it out to a broader group of people,” she said.
Peter Nebel, senior vice president of strategy at AllCloud, a Denver-based Salesforce partner, a member of CRN’s Managed Service Provider 500 of 2022—told CRN that the company has been experiencing high demand from marketing, commerce, retail and consumer goods customers.
Going forward, he said, AllCloud is investing in a trade promotion management offering for customers, attracting customers based on their capabilities around Salesforce alongside Snowflake and Amazon Web Services offerings, as well as increasing their capabilities in around the Salesforce subsidiary, Tableau.
Sales force combinatorial its partner program with Tableau, and its subsidiary MuleSoft, should help Salesforce partners grow their Tableau practices, Nebel said. The unified partner program will be available to all partners on February 1.
“Now I have to rethink how we present and assign Tableau to our data team, build those relationships and get some early wins to demonstrate value and develop our logos for Tableau,” Nebel said. “Because Tableau has largely worked with its legacy Tableau partners, they haven’t worked as much with Salesforce partners. And I think it’s going to be a great initiative where they’re looking at Salesforce’s strategic partners as one entity, not a silo. So we hope that we can build more momentum on the Tableau side for next year.”
Meanwhile, DevOps Center has visual pipelines and work items to track customization and controls to avoid conflicts with sandboxing, for example.
It also has automatic change tracking, allows for bundling and migration of changes, and offers a low-code product for technical and non-technical users, according to Sales force. The goal is to make development easier than with the changesets Salesforce developers are used to, Fidelak said.
“Our low-code developers have been stuck in that world,” he said. “And we’re really trying to get them into these modern practices, and they’re eager and hungry for this.”
During the DevOps Center open beta phase, Salesforce saw around 13,000 unique active users and an average deployment every nine minutes. DevOps Center comes with most Salesforce licenses, including professional, enterprise, and unlimited.
Service-led partners, such as system integrators, should see added value for customer engagements and implementations, Fidelak said.
“That’s been very good, we don’t have to worry about necessarily packaging this as part of a product for sale yet,” Fidelak said. “So it simplifies some of that delivery.”
With the growth of DevOps As customers have sought more visibility into technology development within their organizations and the growth of low-code tools, Salesforce sees the DevOps Center as a way to build authority in both spaces, Fidelak said.
Salesforce is perhaps best known for its CRM tools. Its subsidiaries include collaboration application Loosedata visualization tool provider Tableau and integration tool provider MuleSoft.
When it comes to low-code tools, even highly technical developers have embraced them to save time and cost, Fidelak said.
“These low-code developers are able to embrace modern technology in a way that is very, very easy to use. And that’s going to be very attractive throughout that community. And I think it will be a differentiator when people choose a low-code platform for development,” he said.
“That is where citizen development really comes in. They can solve their own problems and create their own solutions that can leverage not just their own teams, but the entire organization in a secure, repeatable, reliable, and shareable way.[it] it won’t break other things.
Salesforce will continue to roll out new integrations for DevOps Center, he said. Today, it is integrated with GitHub. The team is working on integrating with Bitbucket, GitLab, and Microsoft Azure.
Wade Tyler Millward