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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.

closed as off topic by Daniel Blackhall, Peter Knolle, Rao, Mike Chale, Benj Apr 17 '13 at 19:32

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  • Any reason you posted this in meta, I think it is probably borderline for the salesforce stackexchange site, but a great fit for stack overflow (although I'd guess its already been asked) – Daniel Blackhall Mar 3 '13 at 20:03
  • Sorry, Daniel I was not sure which stack to choose. I thought that this would be better than Salesforce StackExchange since it's not really a coding question, and I didn't think of stack overflow since it is more global than Salesforce. I would be happy to move the question to another stack if you believe it makes more sense. – jnoel10 Mar 4 '13 at 19:06
  • No worries, I was just curious. What you said about the Salesforce stack exchange being code only is exactly what I think is wrong with this site. I personally think we as a community really need to change that perception. But there is only so much you can do to change the course of a river :) I am going to ask another question on meta about this question, to see what others think – Daniel Blackhall Mar 4 '13 at 22:48
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    I think this is suitable enough for the main site; even as a moderator I can't move it but if you want to repost there I don't think there'd be any issue. Doing a diff as part of deployment is a fundamental step IMO. – Matt Lacey Mar 5 '13 at 1:10
  • Sounds good, I will put it on the main site and delete this post from meta. Thanks again for the input ! – jnoel10 Mar 5 '13 at 14:08
  • I can't delete it as there are answers, I can vote to close it if this makes more sense. – jnoel10 Mar 5 '13 at 14:18
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I agree that this is a 100% appropriate question for the main site, but since it's here I'll answer :)

I'm a mostly Windows user.

I use the Eclipse diff tool for comparing individual files between active projects.

For all pre-deploy diffs and merges, and anything of size, I use WinMerge which I like because it's free, fast, supports good diff options for things like whitespace, and has good keyboard shortcuts for quickly jumping through diffs.

I used to be partial to DiffZilla, part of SlickEdit, but that was because my employer at the time had a site license to SlickEdit which is a paid product. It's a great diff tool, but since SlickEdit isn't my text editor of choice, it doesn't justify buying something just as a diff 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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