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Author's profile photo Ruchi Tandon

Instance Sync Delivers Constant Innovation

Instance Sync delivers constant Innovation!!!

I wrote about instance sync a year and half ago in my prior blog and described how it is a great tool for consultants, partners and customers to sync configuration changes from a source instance to a target instance. As I get deeper into using the tool and fast forward 4-5 releases, it constantly continues to delight me with its constant innovation and new features. If you have not used this tool, you will be delighted. Please read my first blog on Instance Sync – an Impressive Evolution to get started. If you have used the tool, here are some key new features that have been added in last 4-5 releases, that will make your experience more delightful with the tool. I do believe we have work to do, but its new, and the more our customers/partners use the tool and provide us with the feedback, the better we can do to take it to the next level

Key New Feature Enhancements

Enhanced Filtering Capabilities

We have added additional filters to search for objects to be synced like Status, Created By, Created Date, Exact name of the artifact primarily for MDF Objects & Picklists, MDF Config UI, MDF Rules, RBP Permission Roles and Groups and MDF Data that will help users to quickly search for the objects they want to sync.

MDF Picklist Comparison Tool

This feature is a life saver when trying to sync picklists values between the instances as it allows admin to comare the picklist values, which is currently mostly a manual and very painful process and causes many configuration issues. With the comparison tool we can identify discrepancy and keep picklist in sync across instances to avoid any issues.


Abililty to Sync specific rows of MDF Data

This is extremely important as you can now select specific MDF data values to be synced and move only relevant values of MDF data from your source to the target instance. This allows you to ignore test values from a source and have more control on the data being migrated.

We also now allow MDF data to be compared and synced using business key rather than just external code. This feature is applicable when auto numbering is turned on for an MDF object as external codes between source and target can be different due to auto numbering turned on. This feature allows the tool to compare  the values in two instances based on the business key rather than just the code to sync data and prevents data inconsistency/duplicate values in the target instance.

Sync for EC Workflow Groups and Homepage tiles

Customers use workflow groups to define a group of users who can approve a step of the workflow. Instance sync was not available for workflow groups peviously.  With some recent releases, you can now sync workflow groups from a source to a target instance. We have also added the ability to use the Instance Sync tool to sync the Homepage tiles across instances.

Compare Capabilities for MDF object definition, MDF data and more

This is a great capability within the tool when you are trying to troubleshoot MDF config issues between two instances. If the behavior of an MDF object is different between two instances you can use the instance sync tool to compare and identify the differences and also sync the differences in MDF object definition. This provides a visual representation to highlights differences between the source and target.

Compare and Sync EC Data Models

Recently we have also added the ability to compare and sync four basic EC Data models from the source instance to the target. The features also provides a visual representation that highlights differences in the data model between the source and target. The tool also gives a warning to users performing the sync, that the sync is irreversible, so they understand the impact of syncing data models between instances and it also allows an ability to download and backup the data models both from source and target which allows customers to back up their data models before performing a sync.


Row level sync of User data and PM Forms

The sync tool now allows you to sync user data and PM forms when the number of rows is less than 25000. This is a feature that is useful to many of our smaller customers.


Minor Enhancements

Apart from the above, we have a few minor enhancements to the sync wizard that make the user experience great. We now have artifacts displayed in an alphabetical order so it is easier to find the object you will like to sync. We have also logically groups artifacts; example workflow groups shows under workflow.


Upcoming Cool Features

Ability to Enable Instance Sync tool without provisioning and define source and target relationships on the UI. This will allow customer admins to define any source ad target relationships with each other without any dependency on support or consulting.

Better Error Logging – We are planning to invest in this heavily so we can give users more information in error logs to troubleshoot the causes of instance sync failure


Final thoughts

We have come a long way and are constantly invested to make this tool better for you and we value your feedback to make this a useful tool for you to keep your configuration in sync and to help you troubleshoot issues with regard to configuration. Please share your experience with the tool and help us make this tool better with every release.






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      Author's profile photo Saujanya Gutala
      Saujanya Gutala

      Definitely looking forward for data anonymisation and instance copy features from admin centre . Given the GDPR regulations and non-prod environments data processing agreements ,  this definitely should top of the list .  Please keep us posted, when these will be available for general use.Thanks

      Author's profile photo Ruchi Tandon
      Ruchi Tandon
      Blog Post Author

      Yes it is on the roadmap.


      Author's profile photo Frank Krause
      Frank Krause

      Instance Synch is going into the right direction but it has inherited issues from the functions you want to synch. Example RBP: you define your target group based on criterias on a user level like a job code. In a test/dev instance you dont have all values...


      Author's profile photo Ruchi Tandon
      Ruchi Tandon
      Blog Post Author

      Thats correct Frank. You config data for criteria needs to be in sync between source and target. Its get real challenging when you have RBP set on Position instead of user or other dynamic values like department, location. My recommendation is for such limitations where config is hard to be in sync between source and target use manual methods. Once you are live and your test is a copy of a production, then its much easier to use instance sync for all possible scenarios.

      Author's profile photo Frank Krause
      Frank Krause

      "and your test is a copy of a production" requires permanent instance refreshes etc. According to the subprocessing statements no personal data should be in test instances...

      When copying prod to test you have alot of manual post actions to perform.

      Preview instances should be in lead - so when setting up RBP there should be an option the edit the values. The dynamic values of an user record is ok but definitely a draw back to synch RBP at all.