Product Updates

Our Vision for Business Systems Goes Way Beyond DevOps

Written by
Gil Hoffer
Co-Founder, CTO
September 13, 2022
min read

Table of Contents

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We launched Salto on the insight that the software development world is full of methodologies and practices that would be tremendously useful for managing business systems, but few teams use them.

There are many reasons for this. One is access to that knowledge, another is technical barriers. Of the two, the technical issue is bigger. Even if a Salesforce, NetSuite, or Zendesk developer team is fully bought-in on DevOps, there are things they simply can’t do within the developer interface. So, we built Salto. 

We built it to help companies escape the sort of tech debt paralysis that delays revenue and makes it harder and harder to innovate. I speak for all of Salto when I say we’re humbled by how many companies have taken us up on this offering. From the small and midsized like Outreach, Taboola, and Rapid7, on up to the Fortune 500s. Tech companies, but also traditional industries.

And now, I’d like to explain how our platform has developed to the point where that improvement is continuous. It opens up what I believe is an entirely new vision for business systems management—where administrators become the queens and kings of architecting companies’ growth

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Open architecture + automation = continuous improvement

Salto’s first innovation was to crack open business systems so administrators and developers could get at all of their configuration metadata. The interfaces don’t allow full access, and exporting configurations as XML was clunky. Salto fixes all that by extracting each business system instance’s metadata, and translating it into a human-readable code. (What we call NaCl.)

That makes it both: 

Companies have used it to:

That was the first thing. Now, Salto also includes powerful automation so you can validate, test, deploy and replicate those actions—often without human intervention, via continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD). Specifically, Salto’s API lets you use your preferred continuous integration (CI) platform like CircleCI or Bitbucket Pipelines to deploy metadata changes in your business systems.

That means Salto offers access and control, but also automation of those activities, and across multiple platforms. Because that’s the other thing—whereas DevOps tools for business systems tend to be specific to each platform, Salto is platform agnostic. It works with Salesforce the same way it works with NetSuite, Zendesk, Jira, Workato, Stripe, and Zuora. (And many more to come.)

That makes it a universal language with big implications. 

When Salesforce developers, NetSuite administrators, and Zendesk architects are able to apply all the methodologies and practices of software developers, they have faster, higher quality configuration and app releases. And when they’re able to hand over pieces of that process to their CI tool, they reduce the potential for human error while vastly increasing their capacity to get things done. 

Administrators with those sorts of powers, in today’s environment when such efficiency is rare, get to evolve. They go from being so busy they can only triage incoming requests to acting as full-fledged business engineers. The difference there is the latter listens to the company and applies what they know and can do to business systems to help architect the company. They can create back-office and go-to-market processes that scale. That don’t get tied up in debt.

If that vision sounds fantastic, it already exists and lots of companies are now doing it. And they’re doing it because Salto provides the open architecture to pull out all those configurations, and the automation to make all that work happen better.

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Next, total business system management

DevOps helps with quick, high quality releases. But a full business systems management suite will help companies add on more, so they aren’t just releasing, but they’re building better businesses. It’s an important distinction. When we set out, we didn’t just want to make tools to help companies make changes—we wanted to help them change, and respond to the market. What’s really exciting about all this is there’s no way we could know the full scope of what people would do with these tools. But people have constructed some pretty great things.

To that end, here’s what teams can now do using Salto:

  • Test, document, deploy, and roll back metadata changes the same as you would with software.
  • See, edit, and deploy everything in your business system—relationships, hard-coded values, code (such as Salesforce's apex classes or NetSuite's suitescripts), and configuration data records (such as Salesforce CPQ).
  • Easily find dependencies in anything, and understand the scope of a change before you make it.
  • Run a complete textual search within and across all your environments—like a sort of global “CTRL+F.”
  • Compare environments to understand changes and identify gaps before release.
  • Sync environments or instances with each other, including with sandboxes—promoting up and down.
  • Version control, document, and leave an audit trail with the who, what, and when.
  • Scale those DevOps processes across Salesforce, NetSuite, Zendesk, Jira, etc.
  • And of course, automate deployments with full CI/CD.

Salto is only going to continue innovating. If we’re successful, all companies will be able to scale, iterate, and perfect their top business systems just the same as they’re able to do with their software products. Innovations in one area will carry over into the other, and the sky’s the limit. 

We launched Salto on the insight that the software development world is full of methodologies and practices that would be tremendously useful for managing business systems. With what we’ve built, more companies can use them. We’re getting there, and everyone stands to benefit ; ).

Written by
Gil Hoffer

Gil is co-founder and CTO at Salto. He started programming at the age of 6 (Basic on Commodore64), and has been around computers ever since. Loves to build stuff—products, systems, teams, and organizations. Ex-VP Engineering at Oracle, VP R&D at Ravello Systems, IDF’s Unit 8200.

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