I’m new to source control (git in our case) and have just set up a development flow with CI using Gearset. That’s all well and good (and working fine). But, I also want to set up VCS within my IDE (IntelliJ with Illuminated Cloud) so that I don't have to make commits via Gearset. We're not using SFDX, if that matters.

I’ve tried several different configurations but I don’t think I’ve got it. Is my /src directory in the Illuminated Cloud project supposed to be my local repo? If so, I’m not sure how to make it work. I’ve cloned our remote repo to that directory, but then I’ve got a bunch of files that aren’t in my IC subscribed metadata types, not to mention the fact that I don’t really want all the source control metadata types in my IC project anyway.

If my IC /src directory shouldn’t be the cloned repo…then should I just initialize it as a new repo? I like this, but then I’m not sure how to create or make commits to a branch of our remote repo…which I suppose would also be locally cloned…somewhere?

  • You would clone your repository. I'm not clear on what the question/concern is? Yes, you'll have a lot more metadata than you would need in your IDE (and that's ok). Your metadata subscription in illuminated Cloud doesn't have to have everything in your source control. It's just to make life easy to retrieve/deploy against your connected salesforce org and can change to accommodate the classes/metadata you're working on as you go. Jun 1, 2020 at 3:57
  • @KrisGoncalves My concern is if I make changes to metadata types through the UI and they're not in the subscription, then they won't come through to the local branch. I guess...if I just change the metadata subscription to "All", but add the directories corresponding to types not in source control to my gitignore...then that should work?
    – Mike
    Jun 1, 2020 at 4:14
  • Any reason why you're avoiding SFDX? Jun 1, 2020 at 11:33
  • @BrianMiller This is a stepping stone towards SFDX. My team is a mix of admins & devs, and the devs among us have mainly just been Salesforce devs, so a lot of the more generic development processes/tooling is not as familiar. This gets us used to git concepts & CI to start with.
    – Mike
    Jun 2, 2020 at 1:16
  • That makes sense Mike. We had a very similar team and "made the plunge" about a year ago, and we have Bitbucket repos linked to VS Code and our sfdx projects (replacing Sublime Text & MavensMate). It's actually been working very smoothly for us. When starting to learn SFDX for the first time, I highly suggest leaving out scratch orgs and just sticking to force:source:deploy and retrieve for normal org development. It's pretty lightweight and smooth starting with this, then you can jump into the complexity of scratch orgs. Bitbucket also has Pipelines for CI/CD capabilities as well Jun 2, 2020 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


I have a similar setup as you. Using Gearset and Illuminated Cloud.

But, I also want to set up VCS within my IDE (IntelliJ with Illuminated Cloud) so that I don't have to make commits via Gearset

I think an answer you're overlooking is: you can use both to push in different types of changes. I don't use Illuminated Cloud to push everything to github. I try to use both to their strengths and that makes my life easier:

  1. Use IC (Illuminated Cloud) to push code/declarative changes

  2. Everything else (typically UI changes), I use Gearset.

Why? It can be difficult retrieving in the right info regarding profiles or dependencies between UI changes. This is one of the benefits of Gearset, it simplifies (ex. profiles) and makes it easy to see the difference and add in exactly what you want. That saves me time. If you have both tools, there's no reason to not use both when it suits you. A simple "pull" in the IDE will bring in all the changes you pushed from Gearset

In regards to IC (and if you did want to do it all in there)

  1. The support from Scott is great. If you put in questions, he answers super quickly.
  2. Your metadata subscription in IC is not the end-all. If you keep the subscription small (just apex), but decide you want to retrieve changes you made in the UI, you can select "Custom" for contents and manually select metadata types from the Salesforce connection regardless of what your subscription is. This is the way I retrieve UI changes I make ad-hoc (and likely just need to retrieve once) as opposed to having my subscription selecting "all" or worrying about it containing everything I'm working on in the UI.
  3. You can right click on any metadata in the IDE and select Illuminated Cloud --> Add to metadata subscription at any point to keep your subscription up-to-date as you work and realize you're touching different metadata types in the UI.
  4. For point 2 and 3, make sure you're retrieving exactly what you need (which is why I prefer to do it with "custom" vs. selecting a subscription from the get-go). You can "retrieve for merge" to make sure you're only accepting the addition you want for cases where you don't have granular control at the metadata level (ex. custom labels). Same goes for profiles to make sure you're only adding to the profile. If you retrieve a profile and let it overwrite it will only contain the contents of that retrieval scope (object + profiles = only object permissions) while your source control will contain everything in the profile (ex. apex permissions, layout permissions, etc). Git diffs will help see these types of mistakes and makes it easy to revert/rectify.
  5. Analyze whether there's anything else you can remove in source control to limit # of files in case you do want a subscription to include a lot of it (ex. list views, reports, dashboards, email templates). This could help speed it up on retrieval.
  6. If you did want an easier way to just have a subscription set and forget it: I wouldn't use an "All" retrieval scope within IC, but I would make one specific to your source control contents containing all (or most) of what's in there. That should be less than using "all" metadata types.
  • Thanks for the thorough reply! Yes, my plan is to use Gearset whenever it's easier to do so. However, if I'm just working on code, then it'd be quicker to just commit via Terminal/IDE. I think it just never occurred to me that I would have a subscription be so narrow, but it makes sense. I'd love to have my subscription match my source metadata set, but I populated it via Gearset with some specific regex filters and it seems like more trouble than it's worth to try to align the two right now.
    – Mike
    Jun 2, 2020 at 1:12

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