What is a Salesforce Sandbox?

What is a sandbox and why do I need it?

A Salesforce Sandbox is a testing and development environment that allows users to create and modify Salesforce applications and configurations without affecting the production environment. It is a separate copy of a Salesforce organization, or org for short, that can be used to experiment with new ideas, test new features, and make changes to the system before implementing them in the production environment. Production is your live, client facing system. You do NOT want to break production.  Testing in Production is never a good idea. Don't be this person.

Not a good way to make a name for yourself.

Note: The ability to create Sandboxes is generally owned by the Administrator. Additionally, you will need access to one of the following versions of Salesforce:

  • Professional Edition
  • Enterprise Edition
  • Unlimited Edition
  • Performance Edition

Sandbox environments are useful for a variety of tasks, such as developing custom code, testing new applications, training users, and creating new workflows. They provide a safe and isolated space for developers and administrators to work without worrying about interfering with the production environment or affecting live data.

Salesforce offers several types of sandboxes, including Developer, Developer Pro, Partial Copy, and Full Copy,  each with different levels of data, storage capacity, refresh frequencies, and metadata available. Users can create and manage sandboxes using the Salesforce Setup menu or through the Salesforce API.

Key terms

Metadata - Salesforce configuration data, i.e. fields, layouts, profiles, and automations.

Refresh Interval - How often you can update the sandbox from the source.

  • Developer - 1 day
  • Developer Pro - 1 day
  • Partial Copy - 5 days
  • Full Copy - 29 days

Sandbox Types: 

  • Developer Sandbox - Intended for development and testing purposes in an isolated non production environment. This type of sandbox includes the source org's metadata. It provides 200MB of storage capacity.
  • Developer Pro Sandbox - Intended for development and testing purposes, like the Developer sandbox. The main difference is the larger storage capacity. It provides 1GB of storage capacity.
  • Partial Copy - Intended to be used for Quality Assurance testing (QA), User Acceptance Testing (UAT), Integration Testing, or even as a training environment. Includes a copy of your Production org's configuration (aka metadata), and a sample of the org's data. It also provides 5GB of storage capacity.
  • Full Copy - Intended to be used as a testing environment. This type of sandbox supports performance and load testing. Additionally, these types of sandboxes are a replica of your Production org, meaning that all data, and metadata is copied over. The storage capacity is the same as your Production org.

Steps for Creating a Salesforce sandbox (Step by Step Slide Deck)

Video Tutorial