Toolset One of the most popular features for ISV partners just got better… and by “just” I mean last winter, so why haven’t you enabled it yet?! Prior to the Winter ’13 release, Push Patch Upgrades allowed partners to push small bug fixes and minor enhancements to customers seamlessly behind the scenes. Now, you have the added ability to push new major versions of packages directly to any subscriber without restriction. This will ensure all or most of your customers are on the same version of your app, simplifying and reducing your support needs and giving your customer access to the latest and best you have to offer.

Ready? Enablement

  • This feature can only be enabled once your package has been fully enrolled in the AppExchange Partner Program and passed security review.
  • Log a case in the Partner Portal, provide your packaging (Developer Edition) org ID, and ask to enable the Push Major feature. If you already have Push Patch enabled, you still need to request the Major add-on in order to access this added functionality.
  • Carefully read through best practices and tutorial #4 in the ISVForce Guide. Pushing a major upgrade entails a higher degree of risk as it can break existing functionality in a subscriber’s organization. You are responsible for ensuring that your customers’ orgs are not adversely affected by your new version. Please keep in mind that you could impact customer data, not just metadata, by pushing an upgrade with bugs.

Set. Prepare and communicate

  • Test, test, then test some more. Push the upgrade to your own organizations so you can identity and fix any bugs before upgrading subscribers. Remember, the Push Upgrade feature used incorrectly could result in significant customer satisfaction issues.
  • Stagger the Push. Start by upgrading a small number of customer organizations. Don’t push changes to all customers at once. You need to ensure that you have bandwidth to handle support cases if there are issues. Also, you will want to discover any additional issues before your entire customer base is affected. Once you gain confidence, you can upgrade customers in larger batches.
  • Schedule push upgrades during your customer’s off-peak hours. Have you considered time zone issues for customers outside USA? Did you know Salesforce also uses this functionality to push releases 3x per year? Be sure to avoid scheduling upgrades during these planned maintenance windows and always stay updated with our most recent release information.

Push! Scheduling an Upgrade

  1. Log in to your packaging organization.
  2. Under Your Name | Setup | Create | Packages, click the name of the managed package whose upgrade you want to push. On the package detail page, click the Versions tab, and then click Push Upgrades.
  3. Click Schedule Push Upgrades.
  4. Select a package version to push from the Patch Version drop-down list.
  5. Enter a Scheduled Start Date, indicating when a push upgrade should begin.
  6. In the Select Target Organizations section, select the organizations to receive your push upgrade.
  7. Click Schedule.
  8. Deprecate the previous version of your package in your main development organization. Update the version your AppExchange listing, and update your Trialforce setup.
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to log a case in the Partner Portal or leave a comment on this blog post.
Happy upgrading!

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