The Force.com Migration Tool is a Java/Ant-based command-line utility, based on the Force.com Metadata API, for moving metadata between a local system directory and a Force.com organization.
The Force.com Migration Tool is especially useful in the following scenarios:
- Development projects—Populate a test environment with large amounts of setup changes, quickly.
- Multistage release processes—A typical development process requires iterative building, testing, and staging before releasing to a production environment. Scripted retrieval and deployment of components can make this process much more efficient.
- Repetitive deployment using the same parameters—You can retrieve all the metadata in your organization, make changes, and deploy a subset of components. If you need to repeat this process, it's as simple as calling the same deployment target again.
- When migrating from stage to production is done by IT—If you prefer deployment via a scripting environment.