How to Create and Use Salesforce Sandboxes

A sandbox is a developer environment that allows you to create and test your software without endangering the content in your production platform. Sandboxes operate in isolation therefore any modifications you make while in the sandbox cannot affect anything in the production platform.
Salesforce has the following sandboxes:

Developer Sandbox

Used for developing code and testing. It includes a copy of your production environment’s metadata.

Developer Pro Sandbox

This is also used for developing code and testing. It includes a copy of your production environment’s metadata. Their storage capacity is larger than that for developer sandboxes, which means you can work with huge sets of data and handle more tasks in this sandbox

Partial Copy Sandbox

This provides an environment for testing software; checking of quality, software integration and training also happen here. This sandbox environment includes a copy of your production environment’s metadata and data from the production platform.

Full Sandbox

The full sandbox replicates your production environment and allows for loading, staging and performance testing. You can decide the field tracking history and chatter to include. However, it is good to limit or omit as it slows down the environment.

You should use the Salesforce continuous integration Jenkins during the building and testing phase in order to improve your productivity.

Steps for creating a new sandbox

1. Go to Setup and click on Sandboxes

2. Choose New Sandbox.

3. Type in name and describe the sandbox

4. Select sandbox type (choose any of the options discussed above).In case there is an option missing, you can order more sandboxes from the sales force team.

5. If using the partial copy or full sandbox, choose the data to be included in the sandbox. You need to create templates for this step. See below on how to create a template.

6. Lastly, choose create. This may take anytime from a few minutes to several days based on the scope of your project.

How to refresh an existing sandbox:

1. Go to Setup and click on Sandboxes

2. Click on refresh, which displays next to the name. (You will see refresh next to every sandbox that can be refreshed).

3. Choose data to copy. Define parameters for the data you want to copy into the full sandbox. You should avoid importing too much information

4. Refresh. Data will copy into the sandbox.

5. Activate. You will receive an email from salesforce informing you that the sandbox is ready for activation. Follow the steps below to activate your sandbox:

i. Go to Setup and click on Sandboxes

ii. You will see activate next to every sandbox that can be refreshed. Click on activate, which is shown next to the name of the sandbox. A page will load informing you that the action will delete your sandbox.

iii. When you activate a sandbox, the older sandbox is deleted. All data and changes will be lost. If this is your intention, click on activate.

How to create a sandbox template

You need a sandbox template to copy data and regulate the amount of data you will import to a sandbox. You can only use sandbox templates in the partial and full sandboxes. To create a sandbox template, follow the following steps:

1. Go to Setup and click on Sandboxes

2. Select the tab showing Sandbox Templates

3. If creating a new template, select new template. If editing a template, click on edit.

4. Next, type in the name and description for the template.

5. Choose objects you want to add to the template. The system will automatically add some objects will automatically.

6. Once satisfied with the objects selection, click on Save.

About the Author: Charlie Brown is a technology professional with 7 years’ experience in CRM and cloud computing. He now specializes in Salesforce Release management and has valuable insights to offer on SalesForce continuous integration Jenkins. Visit his site to read more.

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