Beware The Technical Debt Imposters: How To Tell The Difference

May 27, 2022


There are quite a few companies out there claiming to be experts on how technical debt can impact your Salesforce org. I encourage you to look closely at their claims. Do they just “detect” technical debt, or can they actually remove it? Do they build sophisticated tooling for org splits and merges, or do they lack this core competence? Another red flag is when a company can’t really define what technical debt is in the first place. If their description of technical debt sounds vague then they can’t help you fix it. Metazoa has assembled a suite of automated tools that help you discover technical debt and remove it as well. Let me take you on a quick tour of the big differences between the tools Metazoa provides and the Technical Debt Imposters.

Impact Analysis Solutions

Some vendors promote Impact Analysis as a method for discovering technical debt. The argument is that these tools can help you understand your org and see where the technical debt is located. We don’t recommend that Salesforce administrators spend lots of time searching through metadata looking for problems. For one thing, they’re busy. Automated solutions are much better at this. But still, Impact Analysis is a useful tool for understanding complex dependencies once they have been discovered. Another use case is evaluating the impact of planned changes.

Let’s take a minute to compare the different Impact Analysis solutions out there. Look at the table and chart below. This information was found on the websites of three Impact Analysis vendors. Their Impact Analysis solutions both cover about 10% of the available Metadata Types. The Metazoa Impact Analysis solution covers all 220 different Metadata Types. If you can’t see all the connections, then you might make a big mistake during org cleanup. Metazoa provides vastly better results for mission critical change analysis.

Looking at the comparison, we see that the other vendors cover (more or less) the same Metadata Types. That’s because they are both using the Salesforce Metadata Component Dependency API. This API has been deprecated by Salesforce. The Dependency API only covers about 50 different relationships. The custom algorithm developed by Metazoa covers more than 1200 different relationships. Our engine works on live orgs and static developer projects as well. We are the industry leader in Impact Analysis by an order of magnitude

Detail Comparison of Metadata Coverage for Impact Analysis

Discovering Org Complexity

Discovering technical debt is a good first step in fixing the problem. General purpose org documentation for audit, compliance and governance is also important. Of course, the Technical Debt Imposters have various reports that you can run on your org. But if you want comprehensive coverage of all 220 Metadata Types with our Metadata Dictionary, Data Dictionary, Impact Analysis, Apex Coverage, and Apex Quality Reports then you should check out our new Documentation Center on the AppExchange. This is a free application suite with paid upgrade, here is the link:

Documentation Center:

Managing Org Security

Our new Org Security Center provides matrix reports on all Profiles, Permission Sets, and Permissions Set Groups. The Combined Security reports show all assigned permissions by user. These reports are fundamental for understanding org security. These capabilities are definitely useful for technical debt cleanup as well. For example, we can merge similar Profiles, automatically create Permission Set Groups, and rapidly change user permission assignments in bulk. This is a free application suite with paid upgrade, here is the link:

Org Security Center:

Removing Technical Debt

Now we’re getting serious. Our new Technical Debt Center provides multiple solutions that both discover technical debt and automatically remove the problem as well. What is technical debt? Check out the listing and watch the movie. We explain exactly how problems like inactive users, forgotten assets, stale reports, and underutilized fields can be fixed with cleanup and optimization. This is a free application suite with paid upgrade, here is the link:

Technical Debt Center:

FIELD & PICKLIST USAGE • Report field usage by distinct, empty and default values. Report on picklist usage by record type. Make changes with Smart Deploy.

LAST ACTIVITY DATE • Discover stale Reports, Dashboards, and Email Templates. This report shows first used date and last seen date.

CHANGE IMPACT ANALYSIS • Explore the impact of changing any asset. Generate ERD diagrams. This report covers all 220 metadata types and all 1200 relationships.

FORGOTTEN ASSETS • Discover 50 different metadata asset types that are inactive, hidden, or no longer in use. Find problems and fix them with Smart Deploy.

USER CONNECTION CLEANUP • Inactive users can remain connected to your org in over 40 different ways. Discover the problems and replace or delete the bad connections.

LICENSE EXPENSE MANAGEMENT • Compare the cost and benefit of your Package, Feature, Organization, and Permission Set Licenses. Reassign idle licenses and save money.

Core Competence

Removing technical debt is a challenging and mission critical problem for Salesforce customers. When you are looking for a company to help with this problem, take a moment to ask yourself what capabilities they really have. At Metazoa, we built the first Release Management and Data Migration tools back in 2006. Our professional services team regularly handles the most difficult tasks on the Salesforce platform, such as org splits and merges.

Many of the Metazoa products we discussed earlier feature Smart Deploy. When you need to remove technical debt, we drop you into the world’s most comprehensive toolset for Metadata Deployment. Likewise, when it comes time to make changes on the data side, our Monarch Data Migration tools are available. Do the Technical Debt Imposters have capabilities like this, or are they just faking it? We have the core competence you need for org transformation.


Metazoa has been working for over a decade on technical debt reduction, org documentation, and org security. These are related concerns, and most of the features we support have come from thousands of helpful suggestions made by our enterprise customers over many years. Check out our battle-tested product line on the AppExchange. If you are a power user, our Snapshot product delivers all of these capabilities under one roof with a visual interface.


Bill Appleton

Metazoa CTO

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