npm i sfdx-git-delta


Generate the sfdx content in source format from two git commits

by Sebastien

5.13.3 (see all)License:MITTypeScript:Not Found
npm i sfdx-git-delta

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SFDX plugin to generate Incremental Salesforce deployments manifests and artifacts
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sfdx plugins:install sfdx-git-delta
sfdx sgd:source:delta --to "HEAD" --from "HEAD~1" --output "."
sfdx force:source:deploy -x package/package.xml --postdestructivechanges destructiveChanges/destructiveChanges.xml

What is SFDX-Git-Delta?

SFDX-Git-Delta (a.k.a. SGD) helps Salesforce Architects and Developers do 2 things with their source deployments:

  • Make deployments faster: identify the changed metadata since a reference commit.

  • Automate destructive deployments: build the destructiveChanges.xml from the deleted (or renamed) metadata

Have a look at this post on the Salesforce Developers Blog to dive into it: Optimizing Unpackaged Deployments Using a Delta Generation Tool.


Is SGD for you?

If you are not a Salesforce Architect or Developer, probably not, sorry.

If you are a Technical Architect or Developer, then it’s a very useful tool for you, when meeting the 3 conditions below:

  1. Your Salesforce project uses a git repo as the source of truth.
  2. You use the Source (DX) format in the repo.
  3. Your metadata is unmanaged (in other words, you are not building a managed or unlocked package).

SGD is designed to be part of a CI/CD pipeline (Jenkins, Bitbucket Pipelines, GitLab CI, GitHub Actions, Azure DevOps...) that handles the deployment of the sources to the Salesforce org(s).

Pro tip: Make sure your pipeline works before implementing incremental deployments. Otherwise it will just make it harder to debug your pipeline. It's also important to implement a way to switch back to full deployment in case the incremental deployment does not behave as expected.


⚠️ SFDX-Git-Delta is NOT an officially supported tool ⚠️

👷 Use it at your own risk, wear a helmet, and test it first before adding it to your pipeline 🔥

Getting Started


The plugin requires git command line on the running environment.

Node v14.6.0 or above is required. To check if Salesforce CLI runs under a supported node version for SGD, run sfdx --version. You should see a node version above v.14.6.0 to use SGD.

If you encounter this issue whereas the node version is OK on the running environment, try to install the Salesforce CLI via npm (npm install sfdx-cli --global).


SGD is a Salesforce CLI plugin (sfdx sgd:source:delta). Run the following command to install it:

sfdx plugins:install sfdx-git-delta

Because this plugin is not signed, you will get a warning saying that "This plugin is not digitally signed and its authenticity cannot be verified". This is expected, and you will have to answer y (yes) to proceed with the installation.

If you run your CI/CD jobs inside a Docker image, you can add the plugin to your image (such as in this example). If you use GitHub Actions, you can find some examples of using SGD here.

⚠️ The Salesforce CLI plugin is now the only supported way to install SGD. There used to be another way to install it using yarn or npm. The legacy sgd command is now deprecated and decommissioned.

How to use it?

sfdx sgd:source:delta -f <string> [-t <string>] [-r <filepath>] [-i <filepath>] [-D <filepath>] [-s <filepath>] [-W] [-o <filepath>] [-a <number>] [-d] [-n <filepath>] [-N <filepath>] [--json] [--loglevel trace|debug|info|warn|error|fatal|TRACE|DEBUG|INFO|WARN|ERROR|FATAL]

Generate the sfdx content in source format and destructive change from two git commits

  $ sfdx sgd:source:delta -f <string> [-t <string>] [-r <filepath>] [-i <filepath>] [-D <filepath>] [-s <filepath>] [-W]
   [-o <filepath>] [-a <number>] [-d] [-n <filepath>] [-N <filepath>] [--json] [--loglevel 

  -D, --ignore-destructive=ignore-destructive                                       file listing paths to explicitly
                                                                                    ignore for any destructive actions

  -N, --include-destructive=include-destructive                                     file listing paths to explicitly
                                                                                    include for any destructive actions

  -W, --ignore-whitespace                                                           ignore git diff whitespace (space,
                                                                                    tab, eol) changes

  -a, --api-version=api-version                                                     salesforce metadata API version,
                                                                                    default to sfdx-project.json
                                                                                    "sourceApiVersion" attribut or
                                                                                    latest version

  -d, --generate-delta                                                              generate delta files in [--output]

  -f, --from=from                                                                   (required) commit sha from where the
                                                                                    diff is done [git rev-list
                                                                                    --max-parents=0 HEAD]

  -i, --ignore=ignore                                                               file listing paths to explicitly
                                                                                    ignore for any diff actions

  -n, --include=include                                                             file listing paths to explicitly
                                                                                    include for any diff actions

  -o, --output=output                                                               [default: ./output] source package
                                                                                    specific output

  -r, --repo=repo                                                                   [default: .] git repository location

  -s, --source=source                                                               [default: .] source folder focus
                                                                                    location related to --repo

  -t, --to=to                                                                       [default: HEAD] commit sha to where
                                                                                    the diff is done

  --json                                                                            format output as json

  --loglevel=(trace|debug|info|warn|error|fatal|TRACE|DEBUG|INFO|WARN|ERROR|FATAL)  [default: warn] logging level for
                                                                                    this command invocation

See code: src/commands/sgd/source/delta.ts

Windows users

If you run SGD on a Windows system, use double quotes to prevent the terminal to interpret parameters

You should also avoid using the "^" character (shorthand for parent commit in git) because it is the escape character in Windows. So instead of:

sfdx sgd:source:delta --from "HEAD^" # wrong git shortcut with windows because it uses "^" syntax

You should write:

sfdx sgd:source:delta --from "HEAD~1" # right git shortcut with windows because it does not use "^", it uses "~n" syntax

CI/CD specificity

In CI/CD pipelines, for most of the CI/CD providers, the checkout operation fetch only the last commit of the branch currently evaluated. You need to fetch all the needed commits, as the plugin needs to have the branch to compare from as well, Example for Github action checkout here.

In CI/CD pipelines, branches are not checked out locally when the repository is cloned, so you must specify the remote prefix. If you do not specify the remote in CI context, the git pointer check will raise an error (as the branch is not created locally). This applies to both --from and --to parameters as they both accept git pointers.

Example comparing HEAD with a development branch when the CI clone the repository with origin set as reference to the remote:

sfdx sgd:source:delta --to "HEAD" --from "origin/development" --output .

Use global variable when you need to easily switch sgd version (vX.X.X format) or channel (stable, latest, latest-rc) in your pipeline, without having to commit a new version of your pipeline.

Example with github action, create a variable SGD_VERSION and use it in the plugin installation phase

- name: Install SGD
  run: echo y | sfdx plugins:install "sfdx-git-delta@${{ vars.SGD_VERSION }}"

Use cases

Any git sha pointer is supported: commit sha, branch, tag, git expression (HEAD, etc.).

Here are examples of how to compare the content of different branches:

  • Comparing between commits in different branches For example, if you have commit fbc3ade6 in branch develop and commit 61f235b1 in branch main:
sfdx sgd:source:delta --to fbc3ade6 --from 61f235b1 --output .
  • Comparing branches (all changes) Comparing all changes between the develop branch and the main branch:
sfdx sgd:source:delta --to develop --from main --output .
  • Comparing branches (from a common ancestor) To compare the develop branch since its common ancestor with the main branch (i.e. ignoring the changes performed in the main branch after develop creation):
sfdx sgd:source:delta --to develop --from $(git merge-base develop main) --output .


Let’s take a look at the following scenario:

The CI pipelines deploys the sources to Production anytime there is a new commit in the main branch.

In our example, the latest commit to main is composed of:

  • Apex Class added: TriggerHandler
  • Apex Class added: TriggerHandler_Test
  • Apex Class modified: TestDataFactory
  • Apex Class deleted: AnotherTriggerFramework


In this situation, we would expect the CI pipeline to:

  1. Deploy to Production only 3 classes (no matter how much metadata is present in the force-app folder): TriggerHandler, TriggerHandler_Test, and TestDataFactory
  2. Delete from Production 1 class: AnotherTriggerFramework

So let’s do it!

Execute sgd

From the project repo folder, the CI pipeline will run the following command:

sfdx sgd:source:delta --to "HEAD" --from "HEAD~1" --output .

which means:

Analyze the difference between HEAD (latest commit) and HEAD~1 (previous commit), and output the result in the current folder.

The sfdx sgd:source:delta command produces 2 useful artifacts:

1) A package.xml file, inside a package folder. This package.xml file contains just the added/changed metadata to deploy to the target org.

Content of the package.xml file in our scenario: package

2) A destructiveChanges.xml file, inside a destructiveChanges folder. This destructiveChanges.xml file contains just the removed/renamed metadata to delete from the target org. Note: the destructiveChanges folder also contains a minimal package.xml file, because deploying destructive changes requires a package.xml (even an empty one).

Content of the destructiveChanges.xml file in our scenario: destructiveChange

Note: it is also possible to generate a source folder containing added/changed metadata with the --generate-delta (-d) parameter. See the "Advanced use-cases" section for more examples.

Deploy the delta metadata

The simplest option to deploy the incremental changes is to use force:source:deploy command with -x parameter:

sfdx force:source:deploy -x package/package.xml --postdestructivechanges destructiveChanges/destructiveChanges.xml

And voilà! 🥳

However, keep in mind that the above command will fail if the destructive change was supposed to be executed before the deployment (i.e. as --predestructivechanges), or if a warning occurs during deployment. Make sure to protect your CI/CD pipeline from those scenarios, so that it doesn't get stuck by a failed destructive change.

If needed, you can also split the added/modified metadata deployment from the deleted/renamed metadata deployment, as in the below examples:

Use the package/package.xml file to deploy only the added/modified metadata:

echo "--- package.xml generated with added and modified metadata ---"
cat package/package.xml
echo "---- Deploying added and modified metadata ----"
sfdx force:source:deploy -x package/package.xml

Use the destructiveChanges folder to deploy only the destructive changes:

echo "--- destructiveChanges.xml generated with deleted metadata ---"
cat destructiveChanges/destructiveChanges.xml
echo "--- Deleting removed metadata ---"
sfdx force:mdapi:deploy -d destructiveChanges --ignorewarnings

Advanced use-cases:

Generate a folder containing only the added/modified sources:

Using a package.xml for deployment is the simplest approach to delta deployments. But in some cases you may want to have only the actual recently changed source files.

One example is to speed up object deployments: the package.xml approach will deploy the entire sub-folder for a given object. Having a copy of the actual sources added/modified allows you to deploy only those components.

This is where the --generate-delta (-d) option comes handy!

Let's use this option with our previous example:

mkdir changed-sources
sfdx sgd:source:delta --to "HEAD" --from "HEAD~1" --output changed-sources/ --generate-delta

It generates the package and destructiveChanges folders, and copies added/changed files in the output folder.

Content of the output folder when using the --generate-delta option, with the same scenario as above:


⚠️ Use --generate-delta (-d) when --to (-t) value is set to "HEAD" or to the "HEAD commit SHA". If you need to use it with --to (-t) pointing to another commit than "HEAD", checkout that commit first. Example:

# move HEAD to the wanted past commit
$ git checkout <not-HEAD-commit-sha>
# You can omit --to, it will take "HEAD" as default value
$ sfdx sgd:source:delta --from "HEAD~1" --output changed-sources/ --generate-delta

Then it is possible to deploy the change-sources folder using force:source:deploy command with -p parameter:

sfdx force:source:deploy -p change-sources

Exclude some metadata only from destructiveChanges.xml:

The --ignore [-i] parameter allows you to specify an ignore file to filter the element on the diff to ignore. SGD ignores every diff line matching the pattern from the ignore file specified in the --ignore [-i]. package.xml generation, destructiveChanges.xml generation and --delta-generate will ignore those lines.

Sometimes you may need to have two different ignore policies. One for the package.xml and another one for destructiveChanges.xml files. This is where the --ignore-destructive [-D] option comes handy! Use the --ignore-destructive parameter to specify a dedicated ignore file to handle deletions. It will apply to metadata listed in the destructiveChanges.xml. In other words, this will override the --ignore [-i] parameter for deleted items.

Consider the following:

  • a repository containing many sub-folders (force-app/main, force-app/sample, etc)
  • a commit deleting the Custom__c object from one folder and modifying the Custom__c object from another folder. This is a Modification and a Deletion events.

The Custom__c object appears in the package.xml and in destructiveChanges.xml and fail the deployment. This is a situation where your may want to use the --ignore-destructive [-D] parameter! Add the Custom__c object pattern in an ignore file and pass it in the CLI parameter:

# destructiveignore

$ sfdx sgd:source:delta --from commit --ignore-destructive destructiveignore

Note: when only using the --ignore [-i] parameter (and not --ignore-destructive [-D]) the plugin will apply it to added/changed/deleted elements.

Explicitly including specific files for inclusion or destruction regardless of diff:

The --include [-n] parameter allows you to specify a file based on micromatch glob matching to include specific files. Regardless whether they appears in the diff or not. Like the --ignore flag, this file defines a list of glob file matchers to always include git aware files in the package.xml package. SGD will include every line matching the pattern from the include file specified in the --include [-n].

As with --ignore, you may need different policies for the package.xml and destructiveChanges.xml files. This is where the --include-destructive [-N] option comes handy!

Use the --include-destructive parameter to specify a dedicated include file to handle deletions. Related metadata will appear in the destructiveChanges.xml output. Here, you will show which files should the destructiveChanges.xml should include . Consider the following:

  • a repository containing many sub-folders (force-app/main,force-app/sample, etc)
  • a CI/CD platform generating a force-app/generated/foo file the source:deploy command should not include. You can create a file with a line matching this new file and specify this file using the --include-destructive [-N] parameter.
# .destructiveinclude

$ sfdx sgd:source:delta --from commit --include-destructive .destructiveinclude

The path matchers in includes file must follow gitignore spec and accept only unix path separator / (even for windows system).

Scoping delta generation to a specific folder

The --source [-s]parameter allows you to specify a folder to focus on, making any other folder ignored. It means the delta generation will only focus on the dedicated folder.

For example, consider a repository containing many sub-folders (force-app/package, force-app/unpackaged, etc). This repository contains packaged (deployed via package) and unpackaged (deployed via CLI) sources. You only want to apply delta generation for the unpackaged sources.

$ tree
├── force-app
    ├── packaged
    │    └── classes
    │        └── PackagedClass.cls
    └── unpackaged
        └── classes
            └── UnpackagedClass.cls
├── ...

# scope the delta generation only to the unpackaged folder
$ sfdx sgd:source:delta --from commit --source force-app/unpackaged

The ignored patterns specified using --ignore [-i] and --ignore-destructive [-D] still apply. The --source path msut be relative to the --repo path

Generate a comma-separated list of the added and modified Apex classes:

Depending on your testing strategy, you may want to generate a comma-separated list of the added and modified Apex classes. This list can feed the sfdx force:source:deploy --testlevel RunSpecifiedTests command, for example. To cover this need, parse the content of the package.xml file produced by SGD using yq:

xq . < package/package.xml | jq '.Package.types | [.] | flatten | map(select(.name=="ApexClass")) | .[] | .members | [.] | flatten | map(select(. | index("*") | not)) | unique | join(",")'

Condition deployment on package.xml and destructiveChange content

SGD does not always generate content in the package.xml (or destructiveChanges.xml). Sometimes the commit range contains changes only within files to ignore (using .sgdignore and --i parameter). Deploying empty package.xml can lead to deployment errors. To avoid starting a failing deployment, test files content before execution:

# run deploy command only if the generated package contains metadata
if grep -q '<types>' ./package/package.xml ; then
  echo "---- Deploying added and modified metadata ----"
  sfdx force:source:deploy -x package/package.xml
  echo "---- No changes to deploy ----"

Use the module in your own node application

If you want to embed sgd in your node application, install it as a dependency for your application

yarn add sfdx-git-delta

Then use the JavaScript module

// sample/app.js
const sgd = require('sfdx-git-delta')

const work = await sgd({
  to: '', // commit sha to where the diff is done. [default : "HEAD"]
  from: '', // (required) commit sha from where the diff is done. [default : git rev-list --max-parents=0 HEAD]
  output: '', // source package specific output. [default : "./output"]
  apiVersion: '', // salesforce API version. [default : latest]
  repo: '', // git repository location. [default : "."]

/* {
 *   config: config,
 *   diffs: { package: {...}, destructiveChanges: {...} },
 *   warnings: []
 * }

Changelog is available for consultation.

Built With

  • fast-xml-parser - Validate XML, Parse XML to JS/JSON and vise versa, or parse XML to Nimn rapidly without C/C++ based libraries and no callback
  • fs-extra - Node.js: extra methods for the fs object like copy(), remove(), mkdirs().
  • ignore - is a manager, filter and parser which implemented in pure JavaScript according to the .gitignore spec 2.22.1.
  • lodash - A modern JavaScript utility library delivering modularity, performance & extras.
  • micromatch - a file glob matcher utility
  • xmlbuilder2 - An XML builder for node.js.


Versioning follows SemVer specification.



Contributions are what make the trailblazer community such an amazing place. I regard this component as a way to inspire and learn from others. Any contributions you make are appreciated.

See for sgd contribution principles.


This project license is MIT - see the file for details

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