Salesforce sandboxes are a powerful tool that can help you develop, test, and deploy customisations and new features more efficiently. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of using a Salesforce sandbox and the best practices for using it.
What is a Salesforce Sandbox?
A Salesforce sandbox is a copy of your production environment that you can use for development, testing, and training purposes. Sandboxes are isolated from your production environment, which means that you can test new features and customisations without affecting your live data.
Looking for help with Salesforce?
Looking for help with Salesforce?
Benefits of Using a Salesforce Sandbox
- Reduced Risk: Sandboxes provide a risk-free environment for testing and trials of new code, configuration changes, and other customisations. This helps to minimise disruptions to your day to day operations in your production environment.
- Increased Efficiency: Sandboxes can increase the productivity and efficiency of admins and developers by catching issues earlier in the development process. This means that code is easier and less costly to fix.
- Realistic Training Environment: Sandboxes provide a realistic training environment for users. Users trained in a real-world environment transition seamlessly to the production environment.
- Shortened Cycle Times: Sandboxes enable shortened cycle times for testing and trials. This means that you can test changes against copies of your production data and users.
Best Practices for Using a Salesforce Sandbox
Understand the Different Types of Sandboxes:
There are four types of sandboxes: Developer, Developer Pro, Partial Copy, and Full Copy. Each type has its own use cases and recommended best practices:
- Purpose: Ideal for individual development and testing by a single developer.
- Characteristics: A lightweight, personal environment with a copy of production metadata.
Developer Pro Sandbox:
- Purpose: Suitable for more extensive development and testing by a single developer or a small team.
- Characteristics: Larger storage capacity compared to Developer Sandbox.
Partial Copy Sandbox:
- Purpose: Intended for testing configurations, customisations, and new features with realistic data.
- Characteristics: Contains a subset of production data, allowing for more comprehensive testing.
- Purpose: Provides a full, exact replica of the production environment for comprehensive testing and staging.
- Characteristics: Includes all data and metadata from the production environment, suitable for performance testing and training.
Use Sandboxes for Development, Testing, and Training:
Sandboxes are ideal for developing, testing, and training purposes. They provide a safe and isolated environment for testing new features and customisations.
Refresh Sandboxes Regularly:
Sandboxes should be refreshed regularly to ensure that they are up-to-date with your production environment. This helps to ensure that your testing and development efforts are based on the latest data. Tip: Ensure that there are no ongoing modifications by others in the sandbox before initiating a refresh, as any unreleased functionality currently present will be lost in the process. It’s also important to note that Salesforce, as part of its maintenance strategy, automatically deletes inactive sandboxes after 180 days. This means that if a sandbox remains untouched for an extended duration, it will be removed from the system.
Use Sandboxes for User Acceptance Testing (UAT):
Sandboxes are ideal for User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This enables you to test new features and customisations with a small group of users before rolling them out to your entire organisation. Tip: Make sure that anyone testing has been granted access to the sandbox.
Use Sandboxes for Quality Assurance (QA):
Sandboxes are also ideal for Quality Assurance (QA). This enables you to test new features and customisations before deploying them for UAT or to your production environment.
In conclusion, Salesforce sandboxes are a powerful tool that can help you develop, test, and deploy customisations and new features more efficiently. By following the best practices outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that you are using your sandboxes effectively and getting the most out of your Salesforce investment.