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gtuerkgtuerk 

Deployment Candidates incorrect

I just refreshed a Development sandbox and wanted to verify that if I tried to deploy to our production env (from which we refreshed, duh) without making changes that no deployment candidates would be recognized.  HOWEVER, many of our Custom Objects, some standard objects, 2 VF pages, 2 VF components and 1 S-Control were recognized as different by the Deployment Manager in Eclipse.  I've verified this with local project created in Eclipse 3.4 as well as 3.5. No changes were made to production after the refresh of the sandbox.  What could be the problem?

Best Answer chosen by Admin (Salesforce Developers) 
gtuerkgtuerk

The object changes were made in both a sandbox environment and the production environment without going through a deployment.  Going through the deployment ensures that there isn't a difference, even if there is no structural/syntax difference after the change.  It seems like Salesforce maintains an invisible viewstate or dirty flag for an object (that or it transforms the character string in formula validations during deployment and doesn't do the same when you just save from the application) and doing the deployment clears that flag