Salesforce: How to Create, Configure, Access and Refresh a Sandbox

Table of Contents

What is a Sandbox?

A Sandbox is an environment to test functionality, features, data changes, applications, integrations, SSO, and new releases before implementing them in your production environment. This will ensure your intranet is functioning as intended before going live with your employees!


What's the difference between a Partial Sandbox and a Full Sandbox?

Partial sandbox includes configuration, such as integrations and a small amount of data that’s copied over from your production org. This can include things such as images, articles, feed, and dashboard content. A Partial sandbox can be used to test integrations and upgrades. It will not include any posts on the feed, and copied over sites will have no members. It is important to note that all features will work and can be tested. 

  • Has limited storage space: 5GB of data and another 5GB for files.  
  • Is included with your license.

Full sandbox includes everything in your production org and is an exact replica of it. The storage limit in the full sandbox has the same storage limit as the production org. This means that anything in the production org can be copied over (excluding Newsletters and Native videos). Similarly to a partial sandbox, a full sandbox can be used to test integrations and upgrades. The difference between is that the user can see exactly how existing content, sites, site membership, files, etc. interact after changes are made. 

Additional information on sandboxes can be found here

SANDBOX TYPE STORAGE LIMIT WHAT’S COPIED
Partial Copy Sandbox

Data storage: 5 GB

File storage: 5 GB

Metadata and sample data
Full Sandbox Same as your production org Metadata and all data

 

Partial Copy Sandbox

A Partial Copy sandbox is intended to be used as a testing environment. This environment includes a copy of your production org’s configuration (metadata) and a sample of your production org’s data as defined by a sandbox template. Use a Partial Copy sandbox for quality assurance tasks such as user acceptance testing, integration testing, and training.

Full Sandbox

A Full sandbox is intended to be used as a testing environment. Only Full sandboxes support performance testing, load testing, and staging. Full sandboxes are a replica of your production org, including all data, such as object records and attachments, and metadata.

 

Best Practices - Sandbox Expectations (Please read!)

  • Due to the storage limitation of a Partial Sandbox, if you are looking to fully replicate your Simpplr environment it is recommended to test in a private site in your Production environment instead of your Partial Sandbox. (If you have a Full Sandbox, your environment will be fully replicated, minus integrations)
  • You will most likely not need to refresh your Sandbox unless you have a specific use case. We recommend you just create a new Sandbox instead of performing a refresh. We provide you with one Partial Sandbox. Additional Partial Sandboxes are available for an additional cost. (Full Sandboxes are available up to the limit that you purchase)
  • Simpplr Support does not have access to your Sandbox environment by default. Take the necessary measures to remember your Simpplr Service Account password and setup multiple Sandbox users with admin privileges to log in if needed.  

 

Getting Started - Prep work before creating your Sandbox

  • We recommend that you use the Simpplr Service Account to create the Sandbox
  • Ensure the Simpplr Service Account’s username in Salesforce starts with simpplr.serviceaccount@
  • Please ensure you have the password for the Simpplr Service Account. (If you do not have it, reset the password)
  • Your Sandbox users are all given 'dummy' accounts and will have '.invalid' appended to all users' email addresses
  • To login as a Sandbox user, use your Production password (Be aware Production passwords will transfer to the corresponding Sandbox user account!)

Back to top 

Create a Partial Sandbox

  1. From your Salesforce dashboard, navigate to the Setup menu
  2. From the Quick Find box, type Sandboxes and search
    sandbox_locate.gif
  3. If you haven't created a sandbox template yet, click the Sandbox Template tab, then New Sandbox Templatesandbox_template.png
  4. Give your template a name (i.e. SimpplrSandboxTemplate)
  5. Type Simpplr into the object search box
  6. Click the checkbox next to "Selected" to select all Simpplr Objects
  7. Uncheck the following checkboxes next to these Objects:  
  8. Simpplr__Analytics
  9. Simpplr__Simpplr_social_analytics
  10. Simpplr Log
  11. Click Save
    sandbox_2.png
  12. Once your template is created, click New Sandbox
  13. Name your sandbox environment and choose Partial Copy and click Next. Note, do not choose Developer or Developer Pro when choosing your Sandbox type. For Simpplr purposes, you will only ever need to be concerned with either Full or Partial Copy.
  14. Assign the template to your new environment
  15. Ensure the appropriate Objects are selected and click Create. It may take up to several hours before your Sandbox is fully created and ready to use. You will receive an email once it's ready.
  16. Your Partial Sandbox is now created! You can now test any Simpplr functionality in your Sandbox environment before going live.

Back to top 

Create a Full Sandbox

  1. From your Salesforce dashboard, navigate to the Setup menu
  2. From the Quick Find box, type Sandboxes and search
    sandbox_locate.gif
  3. If you haven't created a sandbox template yet, click the Sandbox Template tab, then New Sandbox Templatesandbox_template.png
  4. Give your template a name (i.e. SimpplrSandboxTemplate)
  5. Type Simpplr into the object search box
  6. Click the checkbox next to "Selected" to select all Simpplr Objects
  7. Uncheck the following checkboxes next to these Objects:  
  8. Simpplr__Analytics
  9. Simpplr__Simpplr_social_analytics
  10. Simpplr Log
  11. Click Save
    sandbox_2.png
  12. Once your template is created, click New Sandbox
    blobid0.png
  13. Name your Sandbox (i.e. SimpplrFullSandbox01) and click next in the Full column.
    blobid5.png
  14. Select All and check the Include Chatter Data checkbox
  15. Click Createblobid6.png
  16. It may take up to several hours before your Sandbox is fully created and ready to use. You will receive an email once it's ready. (Full Sandbox will take longer to create since it's syncing all of your Production data)
  17. Your Full Sandbox is now created! You can now test any Simpplr functionality in your Sandbox environment before going live.

Back to top 

Configure the Sandbox

  1. Once the Sandbox is created you can login to your Sandbox at test.salesforce.com with your Simpplr Service AccountClick the Login button from the Sandbox settings you just set. Please note you can click this button ONLY ONCE
  2. As a security precaution, Salesforce will make your Sandbox user email addresses "invalid" by adding ".invalid" to the end of each Sandbox user's email address
  3. From Setup in your sandbox, type Users into the Quick Find box
  4. Locate the user(s) you want to allow access to and click Edit next to their name
  5. Remove the “.invalid” next to the email address of each user that will retain access to the sandbox. This will need to be done manually before they are able to login to the Sandbox: Check the box next to Generate new password and notify user immediately and click Save. Users will receive an email from Salesforce to create their password. Note: Please inform users of their sandbox username, as it will differ from production.  remove_.invalid.gif
  6. Go to Salesforce Setup and search for Remote Site Settings.
  7. Go to Salesforce Setup > Company Information. Please note what your Instance number is in the "Instance" field (i.e. CS97)
    blobid8.png
  8. Click on Edit next to Rest_API_URL and change the instance to match the one of your Sandbox (i.e. Instance is CS97 = https://cs97.salesforce.com)
    blobid7.png

 

Access the Sandbox

  1. Sandbox Users can now access the Sandbox at test.salesforce.com with their Sandbox user account
  2. You may have to clear your web browser's cache before logging into the sandbox environment
  3. Your username is your Production account's username + .sandboxname. For example, if your username for production is joe@yourdomain.com, and your sandbox environment is called 'YourDomainSB', the sandbox username will be joe@yourdomain.com.yourdomainsb.
  4. The password to login to the sandbox is the same as your Production user account

Back to top 

Refresh the Sandbox (Not recommended)

Disclaimer:  As stated above, we do not recommend you refresh your Sandbox unless you have a specific business case that can't be fulfilled by just creating a new Partial Sandbox. Refreshing is a time-consuming process and in most cases is not needed.  

Please review the limitations and risks for Sandbox refreshes:

  1. You will lose ALL data when you perform a Sandbox Refresh (content, SSO, etc)!
  2. If your goal is to upgrade to a newer version of Simpplr you can request an upgrade to one of your current Sandboxes here: https://calendly.com/simpplr 
  3. Partial Sandbox - You can refresh your Partial Sandbox once every 5 calendar days
  4. Full Sandbox - You can refresh your Full Sandbox once every 29 calendar days
  5. Refreshing your sandbox can move it to a different Salesforce instance. For example, the sandbox can move from Instance CS40 to CS50. If you’re subscribed to Trust Notifications, check your subscription settings to ensure that you continue to receive updates about unforeseen incidents and planned maintenance that affect your sandbox.

Refreshing a sandbox updates its metadata from the source org. If the sandbox is a clone or if it uses a sandbox template, the refresh process updates the org’s data and its metadata.

Getting Started: 

  1. As your org's Salesforce System admin, with the Service account login credentials, log in to Salesforce with the service account credentials.
  2. From the Salesforce Dashboard, go to Setup
  3. In the Quick Find box, type Sandboxes and click enter
  4. Find the Sandbox environment you want to refresh and click Refresh SB_refresh_1.gif
  5. Select the Sandbox copy you want and click Next
  6. Ensure the Salesforce objects you want are being carried over, then scroll down and click Create
  7. To activate your Sandbox immediately after you refresh it, select Auto Activate (You'll receive an email when the refresh has completed instead of an activation email)SB_Refresh_2.gif

Updating Simpplr after a Sandbox Refresh

  1. Update or Add Remote Site Settings

    1. Login using the Simpplr Service Account
    2. Go to Setup and type Company information into the Quick Find box and click it
    3. Navigate to your Instance in the right column (You should see it begins with "CS"). This will confirm you're in your sandbox environment.t.gif
    4. Go back to the Quick Find box and type Remote Site Settings and click itremote_site_settings.gif
    5. Scroll down until you see REST_API_URL and click Edit
    6. Replace the url shown with https://csxx.salesforce.com ("xx" being your instance number such as "cs55" which would be https://cs55.salesforce.com)
    7. Click Savey.png
    8. Go back to the Remote site Settings menu and click New Remote Site
    9. Name your new Remote Site (i.e. CompanyName Sandbox 1) and assign the url as https://staging.api.simpplr.come.png
    10. Click Save
  2. Update your Post-Install Instructions

    1. From the Quick Find box, type Installed Packages and click it
    2. Choose Simpplr and then scroll down to Post Install Instructions and click View (This will open a new page)
    3. In the Service Account Setup box, click Connect account
    4. You will be asked to allow Simpplr access to Salesforce functions, Click Allow  
    5. You can now access Simpplr in your sandbox environment!Screen_Shot_2021-09-15_at_9.25.12_AM.png
  3. Import Chatter Groups (Simpplr Sites) using Dataloader 

    1. Ensure that you have Dataloader installed: For instructions, click here. You'll also need to be a Salesforce System admin user.
    2. Open the data loader on your desktop and login as a Salesforce System Admin and
    3. Click Export All.
    4. Log in to your Production environment and check the box next to Show all Salesforce objects.
    5. Select Group (CollaborationGroup) from the dropdown menu, add the file name GroupExport.csv and choose the location where you want to save the .csv file, and click Next. Groupexport_1.png
    6. Check the boxes next to the query fields: CollaborationType, Id, Name, and OwnerId. This will auto generate a query as shown below. You can edit this query as needed. Or you can copy and paste the query into the field as shown here: Select CollaborationType, Id, Name, OwnerId, owner.isactive FROM CollaborationGroup. The owner.isactive field will need to be typed into the query, as shown below. export_simpplr_sites_data_loader_query.png
    7. Click Finish, then in the popup, choose Yes when asked if you want to proceed. Then click OK. You can now close the data loader.
    8. Navigate back to your sandbox Salesforce environment and open Simpplr. Go to Manage Application > Troubleshooting and uncheck the Collaboration Group box. Then click Save. This step is going to prevent duplicate sites from being created.remove_collab_group.gif

      Import and export sandbox data using the data loader

      Back to top

      Before completing this next series of steps, you'll want to make sure all inactive users from your Production environment of Salesforce have been removed by removing any "false" values from the GroupExport.csv spreadsheet you just created in the owner.isactive column. This step was completed above.

      You'll also need to log out of your data loader in Production (File > logout) before starting these steps.

      1. Reopen the data loader and click Insert.Screen_Shot_2021-09-15_at_2.16.27_PM.png
      2. From the dropdown menu, choose Sandbox (remember, you should be logged out of the Production environment right now). Enter your sandbox username and password, then click Log in. Then click Next
      3. Check the box for Show all Salesforce objects and find Group (CollaborationGroup).
      4. Upload the GroupExport.csv file you downloaded from before using Browse.... Then click Next.Groupexport_2.png
      5. From the next page, choose Create or Edit a Map and select Auto-Match Fields to Columns. Then click OK. Screen_Shot_2021-09-16_at_8.47.37_AM.png
      6. Once the map is created, choose a location to save your success and error files on your computer. Click Next then Finish, then Yes. Your data is now syncing to your Sandbox environment.
      7. From the data loader home, click Export All. Then check the box for Show all salesforce objects. Once again, locate Group (CollaborationGroup) and select it. Click Next.
      8. Enter the following query into the box at the bottom, or select the fields from the list, then click Finish:
      Select id, Name, OwnerId, CollaborationType FROM CollaborationGroup where Owner.isactive=TRUE order by name asc

       

      Export Simpplr__Simpplr_Site__c data

      Back to top

      1. From the data loader, click Export All. Ensure you're still logged in to your sandbox environment. Then select the Simpplr Site (Simpplr__Simpplr_Site__c) object from the dropdown list. Choose a target for extraction. This is where you'll name your file and choose the saving point on your computer. Name your file SimpplrSiteExport.csv. Then click Next.data_loader_site_export_new_1.png
      2. Either choose the following fields from the list, or enter the query below:
        Select id, name, simpplr__Chatter_group_id__c from Simpplr__Simpplr_Site__c order by name asc
        The query should read like the image shown below. Once input, click Finish, then Yes.data_loader_sandbox_refresh_1.png
      3. Once the SimpplrSiteExport.csv file is exported, you'll need to replace the Simpplr__Chatter_Group_Id__c column with the ID exported from the file you just created. Copy the Id column from the file you created at the end of the last step and paste it to the Simpplr__Chatter_Group_Id__c column in SimpplrSiteExport.csv. Save the SimpplrSiteExport.csv file (file 2).
      4. When logged in to your sandbox environment, upload the modified SimpplrSiteExport.csv file back to the data loader using the Update function. Screen_Shot_2021-09-16_at_9.27.51_AM.png
      5. Select the Simpplr Site (Simpplr__Simpplr_Site__c) object and upload your SimpplrSiteExport.csv file using Browse....Site_data_loader_export_new_2.png
      6. Click Next.
      7. From the next page, choose Create or Edit a Map and select Auto-Match Fields to Columns. Then click OK. Click Next.
      8. Once the map is created, choose a location to save your success and error files on your computer. Click Next then Finish, then Yes
      9. Close the data loader. Navigate to your Sandbox Simpplr environment and from Manage > Application > Troubleshooting, and check the box next to Collaboration group to reenable the trigger. Click Save.

        Back to top
         
Was this article helpful?
0 out of 1 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

3 comments
  • How do we connect our CSV file to our sandbox for the purposes of testing user data changes?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Simpplr Team, we have a partial sandbox and we use that to test releases prior to them being pushed to production. We have spent countless hours going back and forth between Simpplr support and our team to nail down the steps to refresh the Sandbox and upgrade with new release (we've actually created our own version of the instructions as feel that some key bits have been missed). After the refresh has been done, we have to then advise that we need you to reconnect analytics, search, newsletter, video etc which can take 1-2 weeks. We also have to check our user synching and reset permissions for key users. 

    The above states "we do not recommend you refresh your Sandbox unless you have a specific business case that can't be fulfilled by just creating a new Partial Sandbox. Refreshing is a time-consuming process and in most cases is not needed".

    But then if we scroll to the top of the page, it says "
    We provide you with one Partial Sandbox. Additional Partial Sandboxes are available for an additional cost"

    Can you please confirm then that if we're not going to refresh the sandbox (due to the ongoing issues we have each time we do it), we will then have to pay to add another partial sandbox? Or will the new partial sandbox just replace our existing one at no cost?


    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Natasha. I went ahead and created a ticket with our Support team to get more in depth here, but in short, if you have a partial sandbox active right now, and want another in addition to it, there is a cost. you'd need to speak with your Account Manager to set that up. But if you delete the current partial sandbox in favor of a new one, there is no cost. What I mean in the document is that we recommend deleting the current sandbox and configuring a new one to test new features, as opposed to refreshing all the time. This is true if you plan on doing a lot of testing.  

    Also Simpplr does not play a role in connecting or reconnecting your analytics, search, newsletter, etc. We cannot gain access to your org's sandbox environment. With your own version of the instructions, do you have a lot of System admins testing things in sandboxes that need to refer to them? I'm happy to improve our documentation if you could help me understand what steps are missing. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Articles in this section

See more