You are a part of an organization that utilizes the power of Salesforce. Your organization contains a lot of information, some of that information is very sensitive and you do not want to jeopardize the security or integrity of your data by making any changes that could potentially mess things up. That is what Sandboxes are for. They give you a platform to develop and/or test out changes in a closed off environment that has no influence at all on your production org. There are some basic limitations with your Sandboxes though, some Sandboxes are bigger than others and have different functionality and use cases. Lets chat about those different sandbox types and the use cases for each.
A Developer Sandbox serves purely as a development environment, containing only metadata and zero actual data. While you don’t have any access to data from your production org, you will have the opportunity here to create something new. You have the ability to refresh this Sandbox daily, which essentially deletes and recreates a Sandbox using the same name. Developer Sandboxes have 200 MB of file storage and a 200 MB data storage limit. The Developer Sandbox is not to be confused with it’s older brother, the Developer Pro Sandbox. The Developer Pro Sandbox serves the same purpose as it’s little brother, only it has 1GB of file storage and a 1GB data storage limit.
Partial Copy Sandbox
Looking to work with some data from your production org? Partial Copy Sandboxes are for you. As the name suggests, these are partial copies of your production org. The Partial Copy environment contains all metadata from your production org and some data. You define what data gets copied into your Sandbox via a Sandbox template. Partial Copy Sandboxes have 5GB of storage for files and a 5GB data storage limit. You can refresh a Partial Copy Sandbox 5 days after its creation or from when you last refreshed it. That 5 day period holds true with deletion as well, as you are not allowed to delete and create a new one until 5 days after its last refresh or creation.
This is the boss hog of Sandboxes, folks. Full Sandboxes are a direct replication of your current Salesforce org, all the way down to the attachments on an account that hasn’t been active in years. Feel free to do whatever you want here, there are no limitations! You can do anything you could normally do inside of your Salesforce org with minimal repercussions. Something to be aware of is that since it is a direct copy, you can still trigger email alerts like you would in Production. Full Sandboxes’ primary use case is testing changes, particularly big changes that would otherwise have major ramifications if done incorrectly in your production org. One of my favorite features of a Full Sandbox is that ID’s are exactly the same as Production. This makes performing data migration that you did in your Sandbox very easy to duplicate in your Production org. You have the ability to refresh a Full Sandbox 29 days after its creation or last refresh. If you delete a Full Sandbox within the 29 days, you need to wait until after that 29 day period has expired to create a new one. This Sandbox comes with the same file and data storage limit as your production organization. It is important to note that since a Full Sandbox does come with everything that is inside of your production org, it can take as long as a few days to create.
What Do I Get?
Like Sandboxes, Salesforce comes in several different types, or editions. Each edition has a different amount of Sandbox licenses included with it:
Enterprise Edition orgs come with licenses for 25 Developer Sandboxes and 1 Partial Copy Sandbox.
Performance Edition orgs come with licenses for 1 Full Sandbox, 5 Developer Pro Sandboxes, 100 Developer Sandboxes, and 1 Partial Copy Sandbox
Unlimited Edition orgs include licenses for 1 Full Sandbox, 5 Developer Pro Sandboxes, and 100 Developer Sandboxes and 1 Partial Copy Sandbox
Professional Edition orgs include licenses for 10 Developer Sandboxes
If you have an org and wish to obtain a Sandbox that did not come included with your edition, you can purchase additional Sandboxes by contacting Salesforce (typically this is for testing big changes in full sandboxes).
So What’s Next?
If you are happy with the changes that you’ve made, you can deploy your changes via something called a change set. This moves your changes from the Sandbox to Production after undergoing some pre-deployment testing provided by Salesforce.
Sandboxes are great for every need. It doesn't matter if you are an organization looking to implement big changes or an admin who wants to show off your amazing ideas that could propel the organization to the next level. The only limitation is your imagination!
Do you love or hate Sandboxes? Want to share your experiences or opinions? Let me know on the Arkus Facebook page, in the comments below, in the Success Community, or to me directly via Twitter at @RyanOwensRPO.