Creating a sandbox environment in Salesforce is an important step in every organization’s release management, data backup and security solution processes. A sandbox is a development and testing environment used to deploy new features and test changes before they get released to customers and users. Companies use sandboxes to quickly evaluate new products, troubleshoot existing problems, and explore potential software additions.

Most large organizations with established enterprise-level Salesforce development frameworks utilize sandboxes to ensure their ability to implement distributed software releases while protecting their business data. In this article, we will discuss the different types of Salesforce sandbox environments, the benefits of having a sandbox in your company, and the steps to create a sandbox environment.

Types of Salesforce Sandbox Environments

The two primary types of sandbox environments used in Salesforce are full and partial copy sandboxes. A full copy sandbox creates a replica of the entire production environment, including all object definitions, data, page layouts, and administration settings. This is the most comprehensive type of sandbox and the closest simulation available to the actual production system.

A partial copy sandbox is a smaller version of the full copy sandbox, where only a few operation system components are copied. Depending on the development needs, data, page layouts, and objects can be selected during the partial copy cloning process and copied over.

Benefits of Having a Salesforce Sandbox Environment

Sandboxes are immensely useful when it comes to making changes to Salesforce. Having a sandbox allows organizations to quickly and safely evaluate any code changes, new products and services, or troubleshooting existing problems without risking or impacting the production environment.

Aside from flexibility, using sandboxes cut down development and testing time drastically because test data can be easily reset in a sandbox. All customer data stays safe and secure in the production environment since only the code and configuration related data is sent to the sandbox.

The availability of sandboxes also eliminates downtime and disruption to users. Without a sandbox, organizations have to plan for extended downtimes or roll out changes in stages by creating multiple production environments.

How to Create a Salesforce Sandbox Environment

The process for creating a sandbox environment will depend on the particular sandbox type chosen. A full copy sandbox typically takes longer to create and makes more data requests than a partial copy sandbox does. We will now outline the high-level steps to create both types of sandboxes:

1. Create a Sandbox Request

The process begins by submitting a sandbox creation request, which outlines the details of the test environment. The request should include the sandbox type (full copy or partial copy), expiration date, and the purpose of the sandbox.

2. Provision the Sandbox

The sandbox is then provisioned by administrators and sales managers. Depending on the size of the sandbox, this process can take up to 36 hours.

3. Clone Data

The next step is to clone production data, page layouts, and object definitions into the sandbox environment. When creating a full copy sandbox, all data and dependencies will be copied into the sandbox. For partial copy sandboxes, users can select which components should be copied over into the sandbox.

4. Test and Execute

Finally, the sandbox can be used for development and testing. Administrators can also choose to validate any new application before executing it in the production environment.


Creating a sandbox environment is an important part of any enterprise-level Salesforce development framework. Sandboxes enable companies to quickly test out new software, troubleshoot any existing issues, and evaluate potential additions without compromising or impacting the production environment. By copying data, configurations, and objects from the production system, administrators and sales managers can create a comprehensive testing environment in a relatively short timeframe.


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“Flosum is the best native release management tool that you will fall in love with. I have gained confidence in my role and has given me the ability to view release management from a whole different perspective.”

Faizan Ali

Faizan Ali
Salesforce Consultant at Turnitin