I've seen a lot of threads on here about ways to refresh a Salesforce instance using one or a combination of tools (Eclipse, Jenkins, ANT, etc), but my question is, is there anyway to make this process automated without using any third party tools? Is there a way that anyone has been able to connect with a parent organization and bring over all relevant metadata? How do 3rd party tools accomplish this?

I would like to use the standard refresh process as much as possible, however we do have some limits with the refresh rate.

I know the question is a little vague, but I'm just trying to gauge how other organizations perform the task of easily keeping their dev environments in sync.

1 Answer 1


All the 3rd party tools are based around the Metadata API, and possibly the Tooling API. With these you can perform whatever refresh process you want on relevant metadata. There are a few exceptions for Unsupported Metadata Types.

If possible, try holding out for a couple of release cycles until Salesforce DX is released. It will provide you a source control oriented way of maintaining your orgs Metadata.

There is also the SandboxInfo records in the Tooling API that can enqueue a sandbox for creation or refresh. These can be monitored with a SandboxProcess record.

  • I'm familiar with the Metadata API, but not as much with the Tooling API, so I'll have to look into that and see what the drawbacks are. Thanks for that suggestion! Unfortunately, we can't wait for DX right now. I know its on the table, but there is no concrete release date that it will come out. Also, once it does, there's also no guarantee that it will be fully useable/functional. I've seen the demo and it looks great though!
    – Ryan
    Feb 7, 2017 at 19:55
  • Also, looking at some of the Unsupported Metadata Types, it looks like a decent portion of them can be created using a PostCopy script(in theory). So perhaps a combination of both the Tooling API & Post Copy Script could work.
    – Ryan
    Feb 7, 2017 at 20:11
  • Some things just and API accessible at the moment. The general theory behind Salesforce DX is that you would be able to spin up a complete working scratch org from source control alone from the CLI. As part of that they will need to expose things that were previously inaccessible via the APIs. You have a couple of days left to try and get on the Salesforce DX pilot. It wouldn't give you a short term solution, but will save you reinventing the wheel. Feb 7, 2017 at 20:15
  • I know that this is a little off topic, but is there a way to initiate the Salesforce Refresh through apex/webservices? I looked through the documentation but I couldn't find any information on that. If that is possible, than I can just go that route to kick off the process instead of having to do it manually. My guess is that its not available, because someone would have already created this, but I thought it best to ask!
    – Ryan
    Feb 8, 2017 at 18:52
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    I'm not sure what's going on here. It looks like there might be a real disconnect between some of the Salesforce guys, and the higher ups. I think the best way to resolve this is to try and use these functions, and see what happens! Thanks for the link, I'll give an update here with whatever happens.
    – Ryan
    Apr 26, 2017 at 16:11

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