Using Elements, you can simplify tracking what changes have been done in your Org and who has done those changes. This helps you to be aware of any potential conflicts and track what changes need to be put in the change set or the deployment pipeline.

Article outline

  • Prerequisites

  • How change logs work

  • How to access change logs for a metadata item

  • Comparing changes

  • Rules behind the "Updated" status

  • Rules behind the "Deleted" status

  • You might also be interested in

Prerequisites

  • Registered and verified Elements account

  • Sync'd Salesforce Org Model

  • Enterprise license

How change logs work

When we sync an Org model, we first check whether any of the metadata that we synced previously have been changed (based on the last modified date). We then sync the changed metadata and any new metadata (i.e. item we did not sync before but now became available after an API call to Salesforce).

We fetch following data: last modified date, last modified by, metadata details (XML file). This data set then becomes a change log record stored against the specific metadata item.

How to access change log for a metadata item

To access change log records for a metadata item, open the Org model and find the metadata you want to investigate. In the right panel, open the "Changelog" tab, which is the clock icon with a round arrow pointing anticlockwise (the 6th tab down).

Here you will see a history of changes made, if any, to this metadata. If the item was added to your Org after your 1st sync with Elements you will see it appear with a "New" status. However, if the item was already part of your Org when you first synced to Elements you will not see any status until the metadata is changed. Instead you should see a message saying "This metadata has not been changed since you first synced your Org" with the date of the first sync.

Comparing changes

When inspecting change logs, we can show you how the metadata changed by comparing the XML files stored over time. This can be done by clicking "Inspect change" under the change log status in the right panel.

This will bring up a window which shows you each line of changes in the XML files. On the left is the older XML record, and the on the right is the new file with the changes. Highlighted in red is where the change was made, and in green is the new change. We also display the time and date that the change was made in Salesforce. Note that changes are only detected after each sync.

You can use the arrows to navigate between each highlighted change:

And check the "Only Show Lines with Differences" box to only display changes:

You cannot inspect a change when there is only one change log record, as we have only one XML file that can't be compared.

Some metadata types, such as Validation Rules and Page Layouts, will show you the whole object XML file with the contained changes within. On opening the Change log inspection window it will automatically skip down to the relevant changes for you.

Rules behind the "Updated" status

The "Updated" status is driven by the last modified date on metadata visible in Salesforce setup. If the last modified date on an item is different from the one we synced previously, we will highlight the item as updated.

It is important to note, however, that the last modified date is triggered in many situations, for example:

  • Metadata is substantially altered (formula changed, flow reconfigured, API name or label has changed);

  • Help text or description is changed on an item;

  • A new object or field is added (which will update all profiles that were given access)

Rules behind the "Deleted" status

A node will be marked as "Deleted" if our system failed to get the metadata from Salesforce. This can happen when:

  • the item has been deleted

  • a managed package has been disconnected from the Org

  • the item's API name has been altered (in this case the old node with an old API name will be shown as "Not synced" but there will be a new node with that new API name in state "New")

  • A Salesforce error occurred during the request to get the metadata. If that is the case, it is likely that during the next sync the item will be successfully re-synced.

Note: for deleted metadata the user will show as "undefined". This is because we are unable to retrieve information on deleted metadata, as it no longer exists.

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