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Using SalesforceDx deploy metadata in Sandboxes or Non-Scratch Salesforce Orgs


With the introduction of Salesforce DX, it creates confusion how can I work with old Salesforce(Non Salesforce DX) projects. In this post, I tried to explain how you can still work with your existing non salesforce dx project code, but get all the benefits of Salesforce DX.

First let's understand the biggest difference between Salesforce DX and Non Salesforce DX which is that in Salesforce DX we don't need any package.xml and all the changes will be automatically detected. Basically in Salesforce DX, the project format is different than traditional Non Salesforce DX project format.

In today's blog post, I will discuss how Salesforce DX can be used without enabling Developer Hub with normal Salesforce instance.

I will be using one my developer org(Non Salesforce DX) for this one.
The first command I will be issuing here is to authenticate my developer org and the command is:

sfdx force:auth:web:login -a SudiptaPersonal

Above command will open the browser where I will be providing my org's credential and thus authenticating my personal org. With -a, I am here giving alias "SudiptaPersonal" to my developer org. Advantage of setting alias is that going forward, I will be using alias to issue any commands against this org instead of typing username and password every time.

Now I will try to retrieve metadata using package.xml. For that, I stored the package.xml in src folder and now with the below command I will be able to retrieve metadata

sfdx force:mdapi:retrieve -k src/package.xml -u SudiptaPersonal -r ./sourceZip
  • -u:   I am using alias to execute this command against my Personal Salesforce Org.
  • -r:   This is the location where the zip file will be stored.
  • -k:  Location of the package.xml which will be used to retrieve the list of metadata.
Now let's try to deploy the metadata using Salesforce DX. I will be using below command to deploy metadata into regular Salesforce instance.
sfdx force:mdapi:deploy -f sourceZip/unpackaged.zip -u SudiptaPersonal -w 10 
  • -u:   I am using alias to execute this command against my Personal Salesforce Org.
  • -f:    Zip file location containing metadata and package.xml.
  • -w:  Wait time in minute for operation to complete.
Now I will show how you can convert old project structure to Salesforce DX format. For that, let's create a blank Salesforce DX project by using the below command -

sfdx force:project:create -n PersonalDXProject

Once the project is created, I will create two folders -
  • src:   This is the place where I will store package.xml
  • sourceInZip: This is the place where the metadata will be downloaded in zip format.
Here is the folder structure -

Next I will issue the below command to retrieve metadata :

sfdx force:mdapi:retrieve -u SudiptaPersonal -k src/package.xml -r sourceInZip
This will retrieve the metadata in zip format and store in the folder sourceInZip.


Now I will unzip the metadata and use the below command to convert the code base into Salesforce DX format -

sfdx force:mdapi:convert -r sourceInZip/unpackaged
  • -r:   Folder containing the unzipped source code
With this command, I will have all my code base converted into Salesforce DX format. Now I will execute the below command to convert Salesforce DX format codebase into Metadata API format so that it can be deployed into Non-Salesforce DX org. The command I will execute is:

sfdx force:source:convert -d convertedCode/ -r force-app/
  • -d: Folder where the converted code and package.xml will be stored.
  • -r: Folder containing the current Salesforce DX.
With code base converted, I will execute the below command to deploy this file in my non-salesforce dx org.

sfdx force:mdapi:deploy -u SudiptaPersonal -w 10 -d convertedCode

This process is required to deploy changes from Salesforce DX org(your development environment) to Non-Salesforce DX org (for example: QAT).

Here is the small video showing how to use Salesforce DX to retrieve, convert and deploy metadata into Non-Scratch Org.



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