What is a Salesforce Sandbox? – Comprehensive Guide

In this article, you will learn What is a Salesforce Sandbox, its usability, how to set them up, and how to use it effectively.

Salesforce sandbox is a virtual copy of your Salesforce org that you can use to test and experiment with different features, configurations, apps, and setups without affecting your production environment.

Salesforce sandbox let you work in an isolated environment that’s separate from your production data and system configuration, so you can try things out on a copy of your data without changing anything in your main environment.

Here we will provide an overview of the Salesforce sandbox, how it works, how to get started using it, and common use cases where they can be helpful.

What is Salesforce Sandbox?

Salesforce sandbox or sandboxes are safe and isolated copies of your Salesforce org that let you test and experiment with new configurations, applications, and data without compromising the integrity of your live systems or data.

It is a test environment for testing and training or experimenting with configurations, apps, or setup without compromising the data and applications in your production organization.

Salesforce sandbox or sandboxes let you work in an isolated environment that’s separate from your production data and system configuration, so you can try things out on a copy of your data without changing anything in your main environment.

Why do we need Sandbox in Salesforce?

The term sandbox originates from computer games, where it’s used to describe an area in which gamers can safely try out new features without being penalized.

The same principle applies when creating sandbox or sandboxes in Salesforce: they are environments that you can use for development, testing, and training purposes, without compromising your actual production org.

In other words: every time you test something in a sandbox environment, you don’t have to worry about damaging your live system or upsetting colleagues who use that data.

This way, you can experiment with new configurations and applications at will.

If something goes wrong (which it sometimes does), you won’t break anything important; if things go well (which they often do), then there’s no reason not to deploy those changes into your production environment as soon as possible.

How does a sandbox differ from an org?

In simple terms, a sandbox is an environment in salesforce that mimics your production org and allows you to test changes before applying them in your live environment.

Although there are several characteristics that differentiate sandboxes from each other, one of them deals with data isolation more simply put, it isolates any data stored in its databases and limits exposure if something goes wrong during testing.

Another characteristic deals with what can be done within these environments: for example, certain actions cannot be performed in a sandbox but can be performed in an org.

For instance, you cannot create new users or edit existing ones when using a sandbox; however, you can do so when using an org.

Lastly, as mentioned earlier, sandboxes have no impact on your production systems or data; they’re created separately and do not affect each other whatsoever.

Related Article: Salesforce Organization – What it is and How it Works?

When to Use a Sandbox?

A sandbox can be used in many different ways, depending on what your team needs, Some use sandboxes for training new hires, and others use them for developing and testing different configurations or changes.

There are other times when it might be necessary to have multiple sandboxes based on roles or projects.

  1. Keep your development environment separate from your production environment until you’re ready to deploy any changes
  2. Work changes on copies of your production data and verifies it with users
  3. Enrich the company’s culture
  4. Merge changes across individual environments, then deploy the updated content to production

Sandbox Types in Salesforce

There are four different types of Sandbox: Developer Sandbox, Developer Pro Sandbox, Partial Copy Sandbox, and Full Sandbox, Each has its own capabilities and restrictions.

1. Developer Sandbox

A Developer sandbox is where one does development and testing, A Developer Sandbox is a copy of your production environment’s configuration.

2. Developer Pro Sandbox

Developer Pro sandboxes are ideal for development and testing and can have much larger data sets than Developer sandboxes.

Developer Pro features a sandbox that contains a copy of your production organization. Use Developer Pro Sandbox to perform tasks such as developing or testing quality assurance or user training.

3. Partial Copy Sandbox

A partial copy sandbox serves as a testing environment, with a copy of your production org’s configuration and sample data to get you started.

Run quality assurance tasks using Partial Copy sandboxes such as user acceptance testing, integration testing, and training.

4. Full Sandbox

Due to the different nature of their function, full sandboxes are typically only used for performance and load testing.

When you enable sandboxes, they mimic your production environment, including the data, such as objects and attachments, and the metadata.

The one-minute refresh interval of these browsers makes it tough to use them as developmental tools.

Sandbox Setup Considerations

There are many things to consider when setting up your sandbox If you’re considering leveraging a sandbox for development, test, and training purposes.

Here are some important Setup considerations in Sandbox:

1. Determine how large of an environment you need, Do you want one that replicates your production environment or something smaller and more targeted in scope?

2. Decide whether you want to use a dedicated sandbox or leverage your existing production org.

3. Decide whether you want to create multiple sandboxes with different configurations (e.g., dev/test/training) or use one single sandbox for all of these purposes.

Sandbox Action and Status Reference

Sandboxes are powerful tools that allow you to test, train, and experiment with different configurations in an isolated environment without impacting your production data.

In the Salesforce sandbox, we can perform different types of actions including login, Refresh, Activate, Del, Discard, and So on.

A sandbox contains an exact copy of your production database except for one attribute: it’s status.

The status indicates whether or not a sandbox is connected to production.

Unlock a Sandbox

Before you can create your sandbox, you need to create an org in your organization. To do so, log into your Admin Console and select Setup > Create > Orgs & Groups.

Choose your company from the drop-down menu in Step 1 and enter a name for your org in Step 2.

Then click Save & New.

In Step 3, enter details for an Administrator and click Next.

Click Submit on Step 4 to save your changes and return to Setup.

How to Deploy your Changes?

Before you click that save and deploy button, it’s important to understand what you’re actually deploying.

It may not be exactly what you think, Deploying your changes means making all of your configuration and code changes available to your users.

There are two types of deployments: Full Force (also known as Full Deployment) and Incremental Deployment.

This guide will walk you through both types so that you can decide which one is right for your team and organization.

How to Deploy your Changes in Sandbox Salesforce?

How Secure Sandbox Data in Salesforce?

Ensure that your sandbox data remains secure and protected with Salesforce Data Mask, an encryption tool that masks both standard and custom fields.

When you mask your sandbox data, users will not be able to view or edit sensitive data in these fields, allowing you to secure your sandbox data.

Data Mask also masks any objects referenced in custom fields, making it useful for securing records during testing, development, and training.

How Secure Sandbox Data in Salesforce?

How to Manage Your Sandboxes Programmatically?

There are several ways you can programmatically manage your sandbox program, and in some cases, it makes sense to use more than one.

For example, if you plan on creating multiple sandboxes during your development cycle, create those sandboxes through Custom Metadata Setters so you have complete control over each new sandbox’s security and configuration.

Related Article: Salesforce Workbench: A Comprehensive Guide

Conclusion

Salesforce sandboxes are used for development, testing, and training, A sandbox environment provides an isolated copy of your production organization that can be managed by different teams with varying privileges.

A sandbox environment isn’t limited to any one type of configuration or use case; it enables you to configure and test customizations in an isolated space before deploying them in your production environment.

It also helps minimize risk by providing a clean slate environment to train users on new functionality.

And when coupled with effective data governance tools, like record types and field history tracking, sandboxes help protect sensitive customer data from unauthorized access during tests and training sessions.

Related Article: Salesforce Trailhead – A New Way to Learn Salesforce

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