What are Lightning Sandboxes and what can they do for you?

by Doug Gardner - December 10, 2019
What are Lightning Sandboxes and what can they do for you?

One of the main announcements from Dreamforce 2019 that got us Salesforce geeks extremely excited was Lightning Sandboxes. A Sandbox is basically a play area in which you can try things out, make mistakes and build code for deployment to Production.

If you work with the Admin side of Salesforce then you certainly should be using Sandboxes, and you will be aware of some of the current issues. But if not, here is a short list:

  • They get out of date quickly
  • Most people only have a single org with relevant data in (a Partial Copy Sandbox)
  • It can take a long time for a Sandbox to be created, especially if you have a complex Org
  • If you need your data to not be visible to a third party working in a Sandbox, you need to build an Apex class on Sandbox creation, carry out a manual data alteration or use fake data entirely

In order to counter this, Salesforce are bringing out Lightning Sandboxes and they have the following main features:

  • Unlimited number of Sandboxes can be created and all with up to date data
  • Easy ability to anonymise data using Salesforce Data Mask
  • Creation of the Sandbox is complete in minutes
  • The Sandboxes can be updated more frequently
  • A full audit of changes created automatically which can be rolled back or deployed

User Experience

You might be thinking, great but why are you all so excited? Well, it means a much better User Experience for everyone who uses your Salesforce Org.

For instance, it will really help if a Sales Rep finds a problems with an Opportunity. The Admin can immediately create a Sandbox with the Opportunity in it and poke around until they find the cause. This means no disruption for the Sales Rep whilst the investigation is taking place, and a much faster resolution.

Also if you use complex tools which rely on records and meta-data (such as Salesforce CPQ), you can create and investigate items in a Sandbox before moving to a UAT Sandbox and then Production. At the moment this takes a long time and is prone to manual error.

Audit Tool

Ever carried out work in a Sandbox which took a while to get signed off, or was just complicated? You are going to love the audit tool.

This tool automatically logs all setup changes which have taken place in a Sandbox and allows you to roll them back if required, or move them to deployment.

This will save a lot of time building the Change Set or going through the Setup Audit Log trying to remember what you did. Therefore deployments will be smoother which is good news for everyone.


All in all, if you are involved in the admin of Salesforce this is going to make your life better. If you have any questions about how it will work or how it can improve your deployment mechanisms then please get in touch.

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