Salesforce is all about data management. It allows users to record, store, track, and access their valuable data in a way that they are able to cater to their clients in the best way possible. However, Salesforce often deals with data that is sensitive to your organization. It is always important for a Salesforce user to differentiate between production data and testing data.
A Salesforce sandbox allows you to test and develop data-driven platforms in an effective manner. It helps you in testing your Salesforce offerings and tailors your database according to the needs and preferences of your organization.
What Is A Salesforce Sandbox?
In simple words, Salesforce Sandbox is a replica of your production environment that can be used for production and testing purposes. If you are willing to try new ideas on your Salesforce org and want to see how well they work, a Salesforce sandbox allows you to do the same.
With a Salesforce sandbox, you can make changes in the data pertaining to your original production environment without making any changes in the same. This helps you test the credibility and sustainability of your new ideas without impacting the data on your production organization.
What Can You Do With Your Salesforce Sandbox?
Here are some of the major ways in which you can use your Salesforce Sandbox:
Testing New Features
If you are willing to test new features within your Salesforce org without hampering your production environment, you can create a Salesforce sandbox to do the same with utmost ease and efficiency. With a copy of your production org, your Salesforce sandbox helps you test every new feature you are willing to introduce within your Salesforce org.
Installing And Testing AppExchange Apps
AppExchange allows Salesforce developers to create and publish native Salesforce applications on a portal that reaches out to millions of users and organizations.
By creating a Salesforce sandbox, you can install and test an AppExchange application without disturbing your production org. This is especially helpful for organizations that are willing to work on new rollouts or expand their Salesforce org with fresh functionality.
Developing And Testing Applications
Apart from being a platform for storing and tracking customer records, Salesforce can also be used by developers to build and test new applications. However, this can be risky for the security of your production environment.
Salesforce sandbox allows your Salesforce developers to develop and test new applications before deploying them within your Salesforce environment. This allows you to assess the functionality of your applications before they use your production org and make any changes in the data stored within the same.
Testing Data Migration
By creating a Salesforce sandbox, you can test the process and application of your data migration process in the best way possible. Whenever you are willing to migrate data from any external source to your Salesforce org, your Salesforce sandbox allows you to test the migration process and ascertain the effectiveness of the same. This way, you can work on data migration without affecting the data stored within your production org.
Tips To Optimize Your Salesforce Sandbox
Simply creating and implementing a Salesforce Sandbox is never enough to cater to all the needs of your organization. It is important to make the most of your sandbox to cater to all your organizational needs and obtain the best results by using the same.
Here are some of the most important tips to keep in mind for optimizing your Salesforce sandbox:
Select The Most Suitable Type Of Sandbox
There are four different types of sandboxes you can choose from in order to go ahead with your processes. It is advisable for an organization to select the most suitable sandbox according to the purpose to be solved and the data to be managed.
Here are the four different types of Salesforce sandboxes you can choose from:
- Full Sandbox – As the name suggests, this sandbox creates copies of all your Salesforce data to help you develop and test applications in the best way possible. You can use this sandbox for undertaking quality assurance checks at the end of your production cycle before implementing changes into your production environment. A Full Sandbox can be refreshed after 29 days.
- Partial Copy Sandbox – As opposed to a Full Sandbox, a Partial Copy sandbox helps you create a partial sampling of your production data for development or testing purposes. This sandbox can be used for testing specific areas of a Salesforce application by dating particular data sets from the production environment. A Partial Copy sandbox can be refreshed after a period of every 5 days.
- Developer Sandbox – A Developer Sandbox does not create a copy of your records but allows you to store up to 20 MB of the test records pertaining to your CRM. It is advisable to use this Salesforce sandbox for development focused on metadata, obtaining proof of concept, or for reviewing the impact of potential changes to be made to the production data. A Developer Sandbox can be refreshed on a daily basis.
- Developer Pro Sandbox – The functionality of this sandbox is the same as that of the Developer Sandbox. However, it provides users with a higher storage limit for the test records (1 GB). This sandbox can be used for loading records and testing new features of your Salesforce applications. Just like the Developer Sandbox, this sandbox can be refreshed every day.
Appointing A Manager To Overlook Relevant Activities
It is always advisable for an organization to have a dedicated manager in place to monitor and manage the operation of Salesforce sandboxes. This allows you to delegate responsibility and keep a track of all the sandboxes you have created within your organization.
This manager would handle activities such as planning the development/testing processes, executing the processes, making decisions on the final layout, and other activities to be undertaken regarding your Salesforce sandboxes.
Moreover, having a dedicated manager provides you with the much-needed expert assistance and knowledge pertaining to your sandboxes and their implications.
Taking Time To Develop And Implement Your Sandboxes
It is never advisable for an organization to hurry when it comes to developing and implementing Salesforce sandboxes. Always take enough time to understand the specific needs and requirements of your org before going setting up your sandboxes.
Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself before finalizing which sandbox to implement and which processes to undertake using the same:
- How often do you need to refresh your Salesforce sandbox?
- Which functions do you need to undertake using your Salesforce sandbox?
- By whom will the Salesforce sandbox be used?
- What is the quantity of data needed to be migrated or processed by the sandbox?
When you answer these questions, you would be able to assign specific user permissions, ascertain data migration plans, and select the most suitable type of Salesforce sandbox to be implemented within your organization.
Taking Data Security Into Consideration
In 2021, data security should be of utmost concern for an organization while setting up a Salesforce sandbox. In most cases, the entire purpose of setting up a sandbox is to protect the production environment from being accesses by personnel with no permission to do so.
Always make sure that you ensure the utmost security of the data processed and managed using your Salesforce sandbox. One of the most ideal ways of doing so is to mask the production data while being operated by the Sandbox users. This prevents you from providing access to any of your valuable production org records to users developing or testing your applications.
Moreover, it is advisable to have complete control over the user access and permissions pertaining to the use of sandboxes created by your team. This helps you protect your Salesforce org from threats like data leaks, unauthorized access, cyberattacks, and other unwanted circumstances.
Thoroughly Testing The Applications And Codes
One of the biggest highlights of implementing a Salesforce sandbox is that it allows you to test the applications built and codes written using the production data. It is always advisable to undertake thorough testing of these tools and platforms before deploying them within your production environment.
This helps you identify the errors, ascertain the strengths, and conducting efficient trials of new applications on your sandboxes before they are utilized in the production environment.
Documenting All Your Processes
Especially when there is more than one developer on board, it is advisable to document all your processes pertaining to your sandboxes. Make sure that you have well-defined procedures and records for all the processes undertaken by different developers while working on your sandboxes.
This helps you in keeping a track of the activities undertaken by your team members and measure the effectiveness of the same while using your sandboxes.
The Final Word
These were some of the most important tips to keep in mind in order to optimize your Salesforce sandbox. It is always advisable to take some of your valuable time out and choose a sandbox that meets all the needs and requirements of your organization.