Salesforce administrators and developers alike know all too well the challenges of maintaining a clean and safe production environment. Whether it’s bad code or bugs, various factors can affect the quality of business data sets. That’s why, to mitigate these risks, teams often implement sandbox seeding into their development cycles.
What is sandbox seeding?
Sandbox seeding involves filling a new or modified org with record data. This process allows admins and developers to safely tweak data before going live with a project, eliminating the need to make changes in production.
In Salesforce, there are four distinct sandbox types, including:
- Full Copy
- Partial Copy
- Developer Pro
While all of these sandboxes are used for testing, they each play a unique role in the development process. For example, Partial Copy sandboxes are intended for Quality Assurance (QA) activities, while Full Copy sandboxes are reserved for load testing, performance testing and staging. If the developers and admins at your company operate in different types of sandboxes, each one will need to be seeded with data.
Benefits of sandbox seeding
There are numerous advantages to sandbox seeding that make this practice worthwhile. Not only does it increase efficiency when resolving issues and finishing projects, but it also provides a safe environment for testing and developing. Consider how Salesforce sandbox seeding can impact the following scenarios:
Admins typically work in their own environment when starting a new Salesforce initiative. Through sandbox seeding, admins can use individual Developer sandboxes to deliver fast results without obstructing the project or affecting end-user activities. This process also helps minimize privacy risks.
You might need to make quick fixes to data before ushering it into production. While this action allows for smoother production, it can lead to syncing problems with orgs. Seeding helps prevent this issue because it allows you to update testing and training sandboxes with the newest data and structural changes.
Before new projects can go live, developers and administrators must ensure their changes work well together. Sandboxing seeding allows each person to place their modifications in a shared environment for testing, making it easier to see how their changes will operate in production with the data in one location.
Using real data
Sandbox seeding lets you precisely house real data in environments, making it easier to train new employees and users. Real data can also help you detect errors quickly and predict how adjustments will impact production and user workflows.
Sandbox seeding challenges
While sandbox seeding can enhance numerous business activities, it can impact operations if conducted incorrectly. Before seeding Salesforce sandboxes at your enterprise, consider the following challenges:
- Data security risks: Sandboxes used for development and testing often store sensitive information. Protecting this data can be difficult, leading to potential privacy risks with long-term impacts.
- Data refresh issues: Each seeding instance comes with new requirements that may obstruct the development cycle from accessing the most up-to-date metadata. As a result, refreshing your sandboxes can be a tedious process.
- Extraneous data: If there is too much irrelevant data in your databases, you may have trouble moving vital information to the right sandboxes. This issue can lead to production errors and hinder your ability to test systems.
- Higher costs: Partial and Full Copy sandboxes can raise Salesforce production costs. Using a data loader tool to shift data between orgs manually can be expensive, as well.
- Conflicting data: If your sandboxes have data inconsistencies, you may experience bugs that delay development. If you need to manually compare differences in sandbox and production environments to fix this problem, it can lead to inefficiencies.
Streamline Salesforce sandbox seeding
Companies that wish to enhance Salesforce sandbox seeding activities need the right tools at their fingertips. At Own, our Sandbox Seeding solution helps customers innovate rapidly from customized templates while mitigating re-work costs and protecting sensitive information. Learn more about our Sandbox Seeding solution here.