Quick post highlighting some Summer ’13 goodness for metadata deployment.
1. Abort a running deployment – This is a massive improvement enabling failed or inadvertent deployments to be cancelled whilst in progress. Anyone working on large deployments will bear witness how frustrating it can be to watch a 30 minute deployment run to completion with a failed unit test occurring after 5..
The Abort option appears against the running deployment in the Salesforce web UI. There doesn’t appear to be an abort operation via the Migration Tool or underlying Metadata API.
2. User references are maintained – Simply put, where individual user references (email alert workflow actions, running users etc.) exist in the metadata, the deployment process attempts to match the source usernames to existing target usernames, by stripping-off sandbox suffixes added to sandbox usernames. This is great for sandbox to production deployments, but needs to work with sandbox to sandbox deployments also – the documentation is unclear on this aspect, although it looks likely that this is supported. Multiple match or non-match cases result in a deployment error. I’ve previously used Post-Retrieve Modification via Ant to deal with this through simple string substitution.
3. Metadata API Supported Types. New additions include Approval Processes and SAML SSO configurations. The former being long overdue as approval processes can be extremely time consuming to recreate manually in a target org. The latter provides a minimal convenience for cases where multiple orgs share the same IdP.