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Setting Yourself Up for Success with Sandbox Refreshes
By Himali Shah | March 28, 2019

Setting Yourself Up for Success with Sandbox Refreshes

Salesforce Sandboxes are crucial to testing new releases and functionalities in a controlled environment before they are placed in your live production environment. Before you test on your Sandbox environment, we highly recommend taking the time to refresh your Sandbox’s metadata with the production org. However, many associations overlook the importance of planning a sandbox refresh.  Here are a few things that you need to do in preparation of a Sandbox refresh.

Looking for other ways to power-up your Salesforce org?  Check out some of our latest blog posts Common Issues for Organizations New to Salesforce (And How to Avoid Them!) and Falling in Love with Salesforce Reports!

Find out the ‘why’

This may be obvious, but solidifying why you need to do a Sandbox refresh should be the first planning step. Sandbox refreshes are often done for the following reasons:

  1. A Salesforce upgrade is scheduled to be released
  2. Major updates are being made to existing functionality

Based on your needs, you can then decide if you need a Partial Sandbox or a Full Sandbox. Partial and Full Sandboxes contain different default objects, data limits, and refresh intervals. In most cases, we highly suggest a Full Sandbox. Full Sandbox is the most exact copy of your production environment, which is important if you’re adding a major new functionality or if you’re upgrading.

You want to have the most accurate copy of your live environment, so there are no surprises when the changes are then deployed.

Build a Plan with Stakeholders

Prior to refreshing your Sandbox, we highly recommend communicating with other vendors and internal staff on the timing of your Sandbox Refresh.  Sandbox refreshes will overwrite any development that is in progress on your Sandbox environment, so it is important that any approved development or maintenance tasks on Sandbox are moved to production before it is overwritten. Full Sandbox refresh can only be done once every 29 days.

Post-Refresh Tasks

Once your Salesforce Sandbox Refresh is completed, there are still a few post-refresh tasks that still need to be done!  Since the refresh copies all data and metadata from your production org, it is important to make sure that Sandbox information does not affect your production users or integrations.

Here are just some of the tasks that you need to do once Salesforce has completed the Sandbox refresh:

  1. Turn off Email Deliverability
  2. Add ‘.zzz’ to the end of all emails
  3. Update URLs in your Sandbox to point from Production to Sandbox
  4. Custom URLs are updated to link to staging environments
  5. Verify integrations are not pointing to Production
  6. Update Staff Users so they have access to Sandbox

Once your Sandbox is refreshed, you are able to start development or test your Salesforce upgrade! If you have any additional questions, our talented Customer Success team is here to help.

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Himali joined fusionSpan in May 2017. She brings her expertise and passion for working with associations and enjoys helping them use Salesforce as a tool to make their jobs easier and provide a better service to their members/customers. Prior to joining fusionSpan, Himali was a Senior Membership Associate at Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) for four years. Himali graduated from the University of South Carolina, with a B.A. in International Studies. In her off-time, Himali is an amateur photographer, and has a penchant for laughing while attempting to tell a horrible corny joke.

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