What are the salesforce sandbox refresh best practices

Salesforce Sandboxes are the backbone of a well-structured development environment, providing a dedicated space for testing, innovation, and ensuring the smooth deployment of changes to the production environment. Navigating the complexities of Salesforce Sandbox refresh requires a strategic approach to maintain an efficient and robust development ecosystem. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the nuances of Salesforce Sandbox refresh best practices, providing a roadmap for developers and administrators to optimize their development workflows.

Understanding Salesforce Sandboxes:

Before delving into the best practices for Sandbox refresh, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the different types of Salesforce Sandboxes:

  1. Developer Sandbox:
    • A lightweight environment primarily for individual developers. It allows testing and development with a subset of production data.
  2. Developer Pro Sandbox:
    • Similar to the Developer Sandbox but with more storage space, Developer Pro is suitable for larger datasets, making it ideal for individual developers working on substantial projects.
  3. Partial Sandbox:
    • A replica of the production environment with a subset of data. Partial Sandboxes are useful for testing specific use cases with a more realistic dataset.
  4. Full Sandbox:
    • A complete replica of the production environment, including all data and configurations. Full Sandboxes are crucial for comprehensive testing but are resource-intensive and take longer to refresh.

Salesforce Sandbox Refresh Best Practices:

  1. Understand Sandbox Types:
    • Each type of Sandbox serves a unique purpose. Developer and Developer Pro Sandboxes are suitable for individual development, while Partial and Full Sandboxes are designed for more comprehensive testing scenarios. Understand the characteristics of each to choose the most appropriate type for your needs.
  2. Regularly Refresh Developer Sandboxes:
    • Developer and Developer Pro Sandboxes are lightweight and quick to refresh. Consider refreshing these sandboxes frequently to ensure that developers work with recent data and configurations, promoting a more accurate development environment.
  3. Plan Full Sandbox Refresh Strategically:
    • Full Sandboxes are resource-intensive and time-consuming to refresh. Plan Full Sandbox refreshes strategically, aligning them with major development milestones or when a comprehensive set of data is required for testing.
  4. Use Partial Sandboxes for Realistic Testing:
    • Leverage Partial Sandboxes when testing with subsets of production data is sufficient. This reduces the data volume and refresh time compared to Full Sandboxes, making it an efficient choice for realistic testing scenarios.
  5. Backup Critical Data Before Refresh:
    • Before initiating a Sandbox refresh, especially for Full Sandboxes, ensure critical data is backed up. This precautionary step prevents data loss and allows for easy recovery in case of unexpected issues during the refresh process.
  6. Communicate Refresh Schedules:
    • Establish a clear communication plan regarding Sandbox refresh schedules. Notify team members in advance to minimize disruption, ensuring that everyone is aware of the impending changes to the development environment.
  7. Leverage Templates for Partial and Full Sandboxes:
    • Salesforce allows the creation of templates for Partial and Full Sandboxes. Use templates to include specific objects, fields, and data subsets, tailoring your sandbox to closely match the desired testing and development scenarios.
  8. Refresh in a Staging Environment First:
    • Consider refreshing a Sandbox in a staging or testing environment before applying the process to a production-like environment. This practice helps identify any issues or unexpected behaviors that may arise during the refresh.
  9. Document Customizations and Configurations:
    • Maintain comprehensive documentation of customizations and configurations in your Sandboxes. This documentation proves invaluable during the refresh process, allowing for quick verification of settings and reducing post-refresh troubleshooting efforts.

External Links:

  1. Salesforce Sandbox Overview
  2. Salesforce Sandbox Setup Guide


Q1: What is the difference between Developer and Developer Pro Sandboxes?

  • Developer Pro Sandboxes provide more storage space and can hold larger datasets compared to Developer Sandboxes. Both are suitable for development and testing purposes but have varying data and storage limitations.

Q2: How often can Full and Partial Sandboxes be refreshed?

  • Full and Partial Sandboxes can be refreshed every 29 days. However, it’s essential to plan refreshes carefully, considering the data volume, development timelines, and potential impacts on ongoing projects.

Q3: Can data be retained in Full and Partial Sandboxes after a refresh?

  • No, data in Full and Partial Sandboxes is replaced entirely during a refresh. It’s crucial to back up critical data before initiating a refresh to avoid any loss of information.

Q4: Can configuration changes be retained across Sandbox refreshes?

  • Yes, configuration changes such as custom objects, fields, and settings are retained across Sandbox refreshes. However, data is refreshed, and any manual changes made in the Sandbox are overwritten.


Effectively managing Salesforce Sandbox refreshes is pivotal to maintaining a robust and reliable development environment. By adhering to best practices, understanding the nuances of different Sandbox types, and leveraging external resources and FAQs, development teams can ensure seamless transitions, minimize disruptions, and optimize the overall development lifecycle. Strategic planning and thoughtful execution of Sandbox refresh processes contribute to a more agile, collaborative, and efficient Salesforce development ecosystem.