Did you receive an email from Salesforce that your sandbox is expiring? Don’t panic!
Salesforce’s sandbox policy is that any unused sandbox will be deleted after 150 days. We think this seems reasonable. Remember that your sandbox functionality won’t disappear completely, just that one specific unused sandbox. You can always create a new one whenever you need it; you can even create up to 7. (Besides, just like those unworn sweaters in the back of your closet, if you haven’t used it in the past 150 days, do you really need it?)
The only reason we think you might need to prevent your sandbox from being deleted is if you have a configuration in the sandbox that hasn’t yet been deployed to production.
What’s a sandbox anyway?
A sandbox is a copy of your database used for testing. Say you want to add new fields without showing them to your users. Or you want to download a great app from the appexchange and use it in a testing environment without fear of affecting your real data. Maybe you want to practice mass importing new contacts. Or you want to show what your Salesforce could be like to your colleagues and get their buy-in. We’ve had clients use a sandbox as a training environment for new employees – they become familiar with their Salesforce configuration and can get hands-on training – without the risk of affecting data.
Test all you want in a sandbox and then implement in your production database whenever you’re ready. The only caveat is that by default sandboxes do not include your data (unless you purchase a specific type of sandbox). That means you create a copy of your configured database…but none of your data gets copied over with it. So you will need to create test records in your sandbox. But we think that’s a small price to pay for all the benefits a sandbox can offer your organization.
See how it all works: