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I have deleted a validation rule in my dev environment. Is there any way to comunicate this through a change set to our QA environment or will this have to be done manualy?

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Using the ANT-based Force.com Migration Tool you can build deployments that can add, change or delete objects as well as test changes. The download comes with a sample build.xml file and has an entry for removing code. You will have to build an XML file describing what needs to happen, though this can be generated by the Force.com IDE if you use it.

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  • Woah, I never knew about this. I will need to research it but this looks like a nice tool to add to the tool belt. Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 22:49
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When it comes to destructive changes for VRs I keep a log in excel, or use the Setup Audit Trail to track them and then manually apply the modifications to the other environment.

If you do use the Force.com IDE and its feature for migrating between sandboxes it will generate the deletion, and you can unselect any other elements you don't want to touch via the UI.

Mike Chale is right in regarding to the use of the Migration Tool, but you'll need to invest some time in working with it, whilst I've done lots of additive changes using it, I've avoided it for destructive changes.

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  • We don't do destructive changes too often but we had an unusually tumultuous sprint so drastic, sweeping changes were made. Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 22:51
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    Yes. The difficulty in removing (or renaming) components with SF is one of the reasons I'm ambivalent about aspects of agile. Renaming is 'removing + adding', and thus object, field and rule names are difficult to refactor because of this. Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 23:16
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I prefer change sets over Ant, but as Mike Chale pointed out, you lose the ability to handle any form of deletes and even renaming of picklist values. I keep track of these in Evernote and reproduce them in Production during deployment.

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Simple answer: There is no automatic communication from Production to a Sandbox when you delete a Validation Rule. It has to be done manually.

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