Not Using Your Salesforce Sandbox?
Here’s 5 Reasons to Start Using Yours Today
You’ve been working with Salesforce for a while now, and you’re feeling confident. You’re a pro at organizing a production and cleaning it up. You’re also getting all of the bells and whistles figured out. Then your boss tells you that he wants you to apply a new app to the production, but doing so may cause data to be lost. What to do? Don’t panic–all you need is a Salesforce sandbox.
A Salesforce sandbox is an ideal testing ground for app development, as you can try new things without fear of breaking your app. Here are a few frequently asked questions that can help you jumpstart your Salesforce sandbox development skills.
Reason 1: Test (and Build) in Peace
The Salesforce Sandbox is a copy of your organization in a separate environment—it’s like copying and pasting your organization onto another page so you can keep your original work. In a Salesforce sandbox, you can play around with different features and tweak or test different aspects of that organization. You can use a sandbox for development, testing, and research without losing data in your production organization. It’s a great tool that goes highly undervalued in most Salesforce organizations.
Reason 2: Plan Updates
Schedule updates or releases for your company. For example, here at Simplus, we use 2 week “sprints.” Any requests are submitted to the admin team, where they determine which updates will be included in each sprint. This allows the entire organization to understand the release schedule and see what changes will be coming down the road. The admins and developers can build and test to ensure everything works and even prepare training on the new updates before they go live in the production organization.
Reason 3: Keep Your Production Org Safe
You can test your customizations—like your workflows, validation rules, and data migrations. Let’s look at an example. You just acquired 15,000 new leads from different sources, and you want to clean them up and organize them without the chance of losing information. If you flow the leads into a sandbox, you can organize and clean up the leads before you publish them. Plus, you never have to worry that some information will be lost. Sandboxes allow you to perform custom development and track quality assurance. When Salesforce rolls out new updates, or when developers put their apps in the AppExchange (the business developers app store), you can test them out before applying them to your production organization. That way, nothing will be permanently changed before you know exactly what it does.
Reason 4: Salesforce Sandboxes are Easy to Create
It’s really very easy to create a sandbox. There are several different ways, but the easiest is to simply type “sandbox” into the quick search bar within the setup menu. However, if you are the type of person who enjoys the scenic route on your vacations, you can also navigate to the setup screen on Salesforce and, under the “deploy” heading, choose “sandboxes.” From there, you can create, edit, and work in your sandbox.
Note: when you name your sandbox, keep in mind that Salesforce identifies everything with your email. Use your email to name your sandbox, and use the ending “.sandbox” to keep your organization neat and clean.
Reason 5: There’s a Sandbox for You
When you create a sandbox, you have different options to choose from. The type you choose depends on your needs (usually storage, copy configuration, and refresh needs). There are four different types of sandboxes that fulfill different needs and support different activities.
1. Developer Sandbox: A Developer Salesforce sandbox environment isolates changes under active development until they’re ready to be shared. It is designed for a single developer to use at one time, but more than one person can log in to the sandbox. It’s free, as well. The Developer Sandbox gives you 200 MB of storage for your own use.
2. Developer Pro Sandbox: A Developer Pro Salesforce sandbox environment provides the same functionality as Developer sandboxes do, with increased file and data storage. A Developer Pro sandbox can host larger data sets. Use it for tasks such as data load and integration testing, user training, and the development tasks you’d do in a Developer Salesforce sandbox. It is also free and gives you 1GB of storage.
3. Partial Copy Sandbox: Partial Copy Salesforce sandbox environments include all of your organization’s metadata and a sample of your production organization’s data that you define by using a sandbox template. Use Partial Copy sandboxes for virtually any development, testing, or training purpose. The only task they aren’t good for is full performance and load testing. Partial copy sandboxes provide 5GB of data storage. This type of sandbox environment has a price, and you can contact your Salesforce AE for a quote.
4. Full Sandbox: This is an environment with a replica of your entire production organization and all its data. Use Full sandboxes for any development, testing, or training purpose, including full performance and load testing. Use a template so that your sandbox contains the specific records you need for testing or other such tasks. This one also gives you the same amount of data storage as your production organization (so you can do a lot more with it) and has a price on its head, as well. Contact your Salesforce AE for pricing.
Check out www.developer.salesforce.com for more information about the different parts of each sandbox.
If you are interested in learning how to better utilize your Salesforce sandboxes, come talk to us at Simplus. It’s our job to help you integrate and incorporate the features available in Salesforce into your own company.
Just ordered our full sandbox for these very reasons. Great blog!
Thanks Nikole! The sandbox is awesome. If you have any other questions with yours, just let me know!
Does the 29 day refresh Interval in the full sandbox mean we can only refresh our sandbox every 29 days? Can you clarify?
Hey Nikole, good question. I know we spoke about this offline but I thought I would post the gist of our discussion for the benefit of anyone else who may have the same question. Yes, the Full Sandbox refresh is limited to every 29 days because this is the most robust version of the Sandbox by taking a snapshot of all of your data and moving it to the sandbox. Other versions only take a limited amount of data from Production environments. You are still able to export, or promote, pieces of code or configuration to Production during that window, but can not fully refresh the data in the sandbox but for every 29 days. Please feel free to reach out with any more questions, thanks for reading and commenting!