A sandbox is nothing more than a separate, “cloned” instance of your real Salesforce organisation (the latter herein referred to as “Production”). They serve a vital purpose in allowing Engineers, Salesforce Administrators, or anyone else to make and review changes in a test environment – before being applied to Production. Without sandboxes people would make and test their changes in Production, and if those changes were not implemented perfectly the first time around, then the data and applications in your Production organisation would become compromised. For these reasons, Salesforce sandboxes are very important!
Different types of Salesforce sandboxes
There are a range of different Salesforce sandboxes. Generally speaking, developer sandboxes contain your organisation’s Salesforce configuration – whereas partial copy and full sandboxes contain your organisation’s Salesforce configuration as well as production records and data. Unless your instance is quite customised a developer sandbox is usually fine – often it is possible to bring across bare-bones data into your developer sandbox using manual entry, data import or scripting methods.
- Developer Sandbox: Free with Salesforce. Includes a copy of your production configuration.
- Developer Pro Sandbox: 5% of net Salesforce spend. As per Developer Sandbox, but can host larger data sets.
- Partial Copy Sandbox: 20% of net Salesforce spend. Includes a copy of your production configuration and sample production data as defined in the sandbox template. A Partial Copy sandbox makes it easier to undertake quality assurance tasks such as user acceptance testing, integration testing, and training.
- Full Sandbox: 30% of net Salesforce spend. As per Partial Copy Sandbox, but supports the ability to load in a complete replica of your production data (including object records, attachments, metadata etc). Supports higher-intensity development tasks including performance and load testing.
For more information on pricing and inclusions visit https://www.salesforce.com/editions-pricing/platform/environments/.
Managing Salesforce Sandbox Environments
To successfully manage your organisation’s sandbox environments you need to know how to create and refresh sandboxes.
Creating a sandbox environment
- From Setup, enter Sandboxes in the Quick Find box, then select Sandboxes.
- Click New Sandbox.
- Enter a name and description for the sandbox. We recommend you choose a name that reflects the purpose of this sandbox, and has only a few characters (Salesforce will append the sandbox name to usernames on user records in the sandbox environment – names with fewer characters make sandbox logins easier to type).
- Select the type of sandbox you want.
- If you use a partial copy or full sandbox, select the data to include in that sandbox.
- Click Create.
When your sandbox is ready to use, you will receive a notification email that your sandbox has completed copying. Users can log in to the sandbox at https://test.salesforce.com by appending .sandbox_name to their Salesforce usernames. For example, if a username for a production organisation is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the sandbox is named “test,” then the modified username to log in to the sandbox is email@example.com. Some extra and important notes:
- Salesforce automatically changes sandbox usernames, but not passwords.
- New sandboxes have the default email deliverability setting System email only. The System email only setting is especially useful for controlling email sent from sandboxes so that testing and development work doesn’t send test emails to your users.
Refresh a sandbox environment
- From Setup, enter Sandboxes in the Quick Find box, then select Sandboxes. A list of your sandboxes displays. Sandboxes that you can refresh have a Refresh link next to their name.
- Next to the name, click Refresh.
- Review the Name, Description, and Create From values, and edit these values if needed.
- Select the type of sandbox environment you want (note: if the sandbox you’re refreshing is a clone, this option isn’t available – a cloned sandbox refreshes from its source organisation and retains the source organisation’s sandbox license type).
- If you use a partial copy or full sandbox, select the data to include in the refresh.
- If you want to activate your sandbox immediately after you refresh it, select Auto Activate. In this case, you don’t receive an activation email.
- Click Create.
A complete guide to managing sandboxes is available as part of the Trailblazer Community at https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=deploy_sandboxes_parent.htm&type=5.
Still have questions?
If you have any questions about Salesforce Sandboxes with Nonprofit Success Pack then leave a comment below – we’ll receive a notification and quickly respond. If your question is more private in nature then feel free to send us a message using our contact form.