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I am relatively new to Developer Force, but I see how it is important to have multiple Sandboxes, like any other programming environment. I know there are many Code Comparing tools out there, some are free and some are costly.

Some of the issues I notice are:

  • Classes in each Sandbox may not be current or may have different versions
  • Multiple Developers mean they may want to make changes on the same class (add methods to triggers)
  • Deploying to separate instances can take a lot of time.
  • Sometimes the changes are just extra spaces, extra lines, or comments.

I would like to hear some opinions on what people use as their code comparing tool.

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Here are my thoughts on this. I quick background to my working environment, I use a MacBook Pro (OS 10.8) and am used to the eclipse environment so I am using the eclipse forceIDE stand-alone.

I have tried out a few code comparing file tools when I programmed in PHP, java, sql and a few other languages so here are my thoughts on the ones I have tried.

Kaleidoscope: http://www.kaleidoscopeapp.com/

I am honestly not the biggest fan of the program, it costs 70$, I believe is only on Mac. Kaleidoscope doesn’t do well if the documents are on separate servers (I know this from PHP experience and honestly have not tried it on Apex code). I also found that many times with code, if there were one line change it would highlight everything below it as well, making it unreliable. Its big advantage is that you can view differences between folders, and images.

DiffMerge: http://www.sourcegear.com/diffmerge/

Is currently the one I am using. It is a free program and works on most operating systems. I think the program works pretty well, as the edited code shows up nicely and allows for pasting of code from file to file. It also alerts you if a file was just saved with changes and allows you to refresh the pages. Another great feature is the ability to look at multiple files, usually when using multiple sandboxes it is nice to see the changes and be able to change all the files once. The only issue I have that I noticed is that it sometimes becomes glitched and is difficult to move the screen around.

I have only tried using DiffMerge with files that are saved locally to my hard drive, I have no information on how well it works between servers.

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    I would second DiffMerge. It's ability to deal with folders is an absolute godsend when you are dealing with large projects. – joshbirk Mar 5 '13 at 15:51
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    I use DiffMerge as my primary diff tool on the Mac. On linux I used to love Meld, and I did get it running on OS X once but it took a fair bit of effort. – Matt Lacey Mar 5 '13 at 22:53
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http://www.prestosoft.com/edp_examdiff.asp

The Examdiff is also an excellent tool and thats excellent for windows .I am not sure we have for MAC.

http://alternativeto.net/software/beyond-compare/?platform=mac

Beyond compare works for the Mac and windows and an excellent tool

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Git. Think carefully about establishing config & build procedures for your team. With a cloud solution and with multiple developer orgs, the deployment becomes a major factor. You might consider using Git as the reference code repository. Git is also capable of handling merges. Then set each developer up with the Ant migration tool for syncing the master build to their developer org each day. Best practice would suggest deploying to a master reference org each day that reflects that days build.

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  • Interesting idea, currently the workflow is set to only one person putting the classes/triggers on the live, so the workflow goes through him. But using Git may be much smarter – jnoel10 Mar 5 '13 at 17:50

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