ANT Migration tool is a command line utility for retrieving, deploying or deleting metadata from a Salesforce Org. This is a Java/Ant based tool that uses Metadata API provided by Salesforce.
What are the options available when you need to move your changes from one Salesforce Org to another Salesforce Org?
1. You can manually reconfigure the org, which obviously will take a lot of time and effort and hence not practical
2. You can use the change sets, however it can only be used for related orgs (i.e. production & sandbox orgs). And if you have used change sets, you know it is a pain to add and remove components to change sets. Change sets are great when you need to move a few components around but will become painful when you have to deploy a lot of components
3. Then, you can use 3rd party tools like AutoRabit, Copado etc. They are great tools with lots of bells and whistles but has a price tag on it
4. And finally, you can use Salesforce Ant Migration Tool, which is powerful, free and apt for frequent, automated deployments (small, medium or large). However, the downside is that it has a command line interface (so not that user friendly).
Now, since this is a command line utility, you can mash it up with O/S batch scripts to create & schedule powerful automations. For example, you can use the tool to backup Salesforce org’s metadata everyday at a scheduled time
With this step-by-step guide, you will learn how to use Salesforce ANT migration tool in no time (or say in less than 45 minutes). You don’t need to be a developer or have development background. So even if you are an admin or consultant, just follow the guide and add another powerful Salesforce tool to your arsenal.
References & Useful URLs
- Salesforce ANT Migration Tool Guide – https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.daas.meta/daas/meta_development.htm
- Metadata Coverage (to get a list of all the metadata, supported by metadata API) – https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/metadata-coverage