A Beginner’s Guide To Salesforce Ant Migration Tool

A Beginner’s Guide To Salesforce Ant Migration Tool

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When it comes to maintaining and securing your company’s sensitive data, Salesforce provides you with a wide array of innovative free tools to ensure improved data security in your organization. One such tool is ANT Migration that is available for Salesforce deployment. 

Salesforce Ant Migration tool is a command-line tool that allows users to utilize sets of metadata changes from one platform to another by creating code packages manually. The developer builds the packages and organizes them into a single folder which is then utilized using the ANT Migration tool.

Before jumping into the steps to configure the ANT Migration tool, let’s understand what it is and what benefits it brings to the table. 

What Is ANT Migration Tool?

ANT Migration tool is a command-line utility to retrieve, deploy or delete metadata from a Salesforce Org. With the Salesforce Ant Migration tool, you can migrate metadata between local files and Salesforce org. It helps you migrate Metadata information such as Objects/Reports/Apex Classes/Visualforce Pages/Aura components between different Salesforce environments. After the configuration, ANT allows you to move Metadata from one Salesforce environment to another quickly. 

Key Benefits Of Ant Migration Tool

1. Grants fine-grained access for deployment as it enables users to have complete control over the metadata that is moved.  

2. Provides 360-degree visibility into the changes being deployed.

3. Allows the developers to adopt an innovative development approach as Ant can be integrated with source control systems

4. The deployment process can be automated and controlled more accurately with the help of ANT Migration.

5. Enables deployments of components and configuration of the quick test environment.

6. Ability to schedule deployments to run whenever they want or pull down changes by integrating Ant with other automation tools.

Steps To Follow For Configuring The Ant Migration Tool

Step 1: First, we need to install Java JDK. Here is the step of installation.

  1. Download JDK from https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html 
  2. Click on JDK and note the installation path during the installation. My path was C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_45.
  3. After installation, we can verify the version by open Command Prompt and using the java -version.

Step 2: Now, we need to install the Apache Ant. Here is the step of installation.

  1. Download Apache Ant version 1.6 or later from http://ant.apache.org/bindownload.cgi
  2. Now we need to extract the zip file. To create a new folder and extract a zip file.

Step 3: Now, we need to install the Ant Migration Tool. Here is the step of installation.

  1. Download the zip file of the Spring 19 release from here:

https://gs0.salesforce.com/dwnld/SfdcAnt/salesforce_ant_45.0.zip

  1. Extract the downloaded zip to a folder where we extracted the Apache Ant.

Step 4: After installing both JDK, Apache Ant, and ANT Migration Tool, we need to set the environment variable set. Let’s follow the following steps:

  1. Right-click on the ‘This PC’ – Properties – Advanced System Setting.

  1. Click Environment Variables
  2. Now Add two variables ANT_HOME and JAVE_HOME.
  3. Click on the new add variable name and their respective path for both the User and System variables.

  1. Now you need to make sure that both the path of ant and java JDK should be available in the system’s path variable and user variable. If it is not available, then add both paths.

Step to Retrieve information:

Step 1: Establish the connection on Org.

  1. Go to the location where you extracted the Ant Migration Tool files.
  2. Open the Salesforce_ant_50.0 Folder and open the Sample Folder.
  3. Now open the Build file.
  4. After opening this file, you have to make sure that your IP address is whitelist in your org.
  5. Open the Build file and enter your credential from where we need to retrieve information and the URL of the org.
  6. After this, we need to open another file.
  7. Follow the path Salesforce_ant_50.0 -> Sample -> codepkg.
  8. Now open the package with notepad++.
  9. Now you can edit the file which you want to retrieve.
  10. If you want to retrieve everything, you need to describe the type and name of the information.

If you want to retrieve the particular information, you need to describe as below:

  1. Now open the command prompt and change the directory where your Ant setup is available or open it directly from the setup location.
  2. Now write the command as ant retrieveCode and enter
  3.  Now your class is being retrieved, we can check it from the path Salesforce_ant_50.0 -> Sample -> codepkg.

Steps To Deploy Information

To deploy this metadata to the Destination org, we need to change the credentials in the build.properties file. We need to replace the username / password+token and server URL with the right Destination values.

  1. Now edit the package file with the information you want to deploy.
  2. Issue the command: ant deployCodeCheckOnly This will Validate the deployment without actually deploying it on the Destination org, just like your standard Change Set validation. You can see the validation result on the Destination org as well on the Command Prompt. 

  1. Now you can check your deployment status by login in to the org and go to the setup and search deployment status in the quick find box and select.

  1. Now you can deploy your code by using command ant deployCode ant deployCode.

Wrapping Up

The Ant migration tool is a free tool and a Java/Ant-based command-line utility that is provided by Salesforce. It’s also known as the Force.com migration tool. This tool defines that all interactions that take place within it are managed via the Command Line Interface (CLI). Salesforce Ant Migration tool allows retrieving the metadata XML locally, deploying to the various environments by just running a few commands in the command prompt. Furthermore, it allows users to deploy sets of metadata changes from one environment to another by building code packages.

Are you looking for technical and strategic guidance from the best Salesforce implementation partner who can help you realize your business potential? Get in touch with Cloud Analogy, the top Salesforce consulting company, who can help you through your Salesforce journey step by step.

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