Before I helped start Full Circle Insights I worked with many companies and often encountered out of date sandboxes. Mind you, these were often companies that only had one developer sandbox. What this indicates is that the organization is making changes on the fly in production and not necessarily exercising proper QA and forethought in changes they are making.
If your organizations sandbox falls out of date frequently, you create liabilities for the development that is done in your sandbox – for example fields may be missing and QA will not reflect production QA. So it’s important to develop good habits around managing your sandbox.
- Stage all changes in the Sandbox first.
- QA changes in the sandbox before deploying to production.
- Use Salesforce Change Sets to deploy most changes. Using Salesforce change-sets has made deployment from the sandbox to production fairly painless and also creates a deployment history if you need to revert.
- If you do have to create something in production first – deploy it to the sandbox via a Change Set.
The bottom line is that any of us can make a mistake, and if you exercise the discipline of keeping your sandbox current, using the sandbox to stage all changes, and doing thorough QA before deployment to production, you are far more likely to identify issues and make adjustments before it impacts your production org and users. Of course, it’s important to do another run of QA in production – but in most cases using the sandbox in this manner will serve you well.