There are 3 deployment tools:
- Change sets: Change sets, accessible through the configuration menu, allow to move metadata between production org and its sandboxes. It is accessible through point & click.
- Com IDE: Force.com IDE allows you to deploy an organization’s metadata to any organization (affiliated or not) using a standard development environment.
- com Migration Tool: The Force.com migration tool lets you deploy an organization’s metadata to any organization (affiliated or not) using an Apache ANT script.
NB: Force.com IDE and Force.com migration tool allow you to modify or delete metadata before deploying it to another organization and to manage changes in a source control system.
- Change sets are limited to 2500 components per set.
- Once loaded, the set can no longer be changed, it must be cloned to make changes.
They do not support every type of change (see on-line help)