A Guide to Salesforce Sandbox Uses and Refresh Intervals for Effective Project Planning

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Business Success

Many organizations are using the benefits of Salesforce Sandbox for their software development processes. For those who are new to the concept of Sandboxes and their functionalities, this post will give them an insight into what they are and how they can boost the quality of software processes in the organization.

What does a sandbox do?

The Salesforce Sandbox is an independent copy of your company’s production environment deployed for testing and development. The production org contains the live data with active developers logging in for coding, configuration, training, testing, and other software development processes. The Sandbox will have a copy of all the components of the metadata, like page layouts, fields, objects, and more. However, it may or may not have a copy of the production org’s data like contact records, accounts documents, files, etc.

Suggestions by experts when it comes to the use of Sandboxes 

Experts in Salesforce state that the development and the customization of Salesforce Sandboxes are complicated to new developers who do not have training in the above. There are four different types of Sandboxes, like Developer, Developer Pro, Partial Data, and Full Sandboxes under Salesforce. Each of them has unique functionality and can be used for all phases of a software development process like quality assurance, testing for user acceptance, etc. However, all companies do not need detailed software cycles if they are working with basic software programs and apps. The time and costs for the deployment of multiple Sandboxes are vital factors that the organization should take into consideration when it comes to the software development process.

What are the best Salesforce Sandboxes for the software development process of all organizations?

Specialists in Salesforce Sandboxes state that the choice of the Salesforce Sandboxdepends upon the software development task a developer needs to do. However, experts recommend that when the company is working with a Salesforce team, using the Full and Developer Pro Sandbox is recommended. You should ascertain what your company needs to choose the right Sandbox for the task.

The Developer Pro sandbox contains a copy of your production org, and you can store about 1GB of data. It can be used for software development solutions before you decide to upgrade to the full sandbox. If you are a new developer and using Sandbox for the first time, do not focus too much on customization. You can stick to the Developer Pro sandbox that will perform flawlessly for your needs.  

If you are an experienced developer and have some knowledge about Salesforce Sandboxes, you can rely on the Full Sandbox that gives you the complete duplicate copy of the production org you are working with along with the metadata and its complete copy. If your company has plans to create some complex customizations in the software programs or apps, the deployment of the Full Sandbox becomes mandatory for the job. In case you do not work with the Full Sandbox, you might risk losing out on dependencies in the company, and your work will be subject to errors and behavior that is unexpected. The above factors will hinder the efficiency of the organization’s operations as well as the end-users of the software program. Again, here you need to devote more time to find a solution to the errors caused in the production org leading to a waste of time. The above issue could have been avoided if you have relied on the Full Sandbox at the beginning of the deployment.

License and project planning

Note that when you buy a license for a sandbox, the length of its activation varies. After that time, the sandbox expires, and active users are not able to access it anymore. This is why when you are planning your projects, ensure that you mark your calendar date at least a month before the date of the Sandbox expiration so that you have sufficient time in hand to determine how you can schedule your software development tasks and whether you need to extend the activation time of the sandbox for completing the project. When you are planning your project, you must ensure that you include the refresh interval of the sandbox as well.

Understanding the refresh interval of Salesforce Sandboxes 

The refresh intervals for every sandbox environment are generally calculated from the date when the copying process for the sandbox began. The status of the sandbox changes over time and says “pending” and then changes to ”processing” when the copying process starts. Pending implies that there are other requests that you have placed for sandbox refreshes, and this is why it is directed to a queue where it waits. This is why you get the prompt “pending.” When the wait or queue ends, it changes to “processing.” The duration depends upon what is inside your sandbox, so it might take a day or even a week or even a month to complete. This means when you are planning a project, you need to consider this time as well.

Know the refresh interval for each Salesforce Sandbox for effective project planning 

When it comes to Salesforce, note that there are limits on how frequently the sandboxes can be refreshed. The Full sandbox contains the complete production.org, and so Salesforce generally places tight restrictions on how often you can refresh this Sandbox. For any Full Copy Sandbox, the refresh interval is once every 29 days.

The partial copy sandbox has some of the production org, and so it has a shorter refresh interval. However, you cannot refresh the contents of the sandbox every day. It can only be done once every 5 days.

Note that if you need to delete the partial copy of the full sandbox, you need to wait for at least 5 and 29 days respectively, to make a new one. Both the Developer and the Developer Pro Salesforce Sandboxes have a refresh interval of once a day. They are beneficial for incorporating continuous integration for the software development process in the organization.


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