Testing changes in your sandbox (Enterprise) Follow

enterprise plan

The Enterprise plan provides two help desk instances: a customer-facing production instance and a development instance known as the sandbox. Use the sandbox to test, learn, and make mistakes before making your changes public. For example, you can use the sandbox to test and fine-tune a new trigger without affecting your customers.

After you're done testing and deploying your changes, you can reset the sandbox for a fresh round of development.

How the sandbox works

The sandbox borrows its initial settings from your production instance of Zendesk Support. This matching ensures your starting point is as close to the current production instance as possible.

The following settings are carried over from your Zendesk Support instance to the sandbox:

  • Branding (colors, account name, and so on)
  • Templates (standard email, welcome email, and so on)
  • Settings (channels, agent permissions, and so on)
  • Administrators (names, identities, roles, and so on). Note that if any of the administrator account information is incorrect in your production environment, an error might appear.

The following settings and content are not copied to the sandbox:

  • Agent and end-user profiles
  • Agent groups
  • Triggers, views, automations, macros, and targets
  • Custom ticket fields
  • Tickets
  • Help Center content
  • Zendesk Talk channel

This configuration helps to prevent mistakes such as emailing live data to customers during testing.

The changes you make in the sandbox cannot be copied automatically to the production instance. Once you're satisfied with the changes, you must reproduce them manually in the production instance. If you need to configure additional syncing from production to your sandbox, you can do so using our REST API.

Creating your first sandbox

Before using your sandbox for the first time, you must initialize it. The sandbox is created with settings from your current production instance of Zendesk. See How the sandbox works.

To create a sandbox

  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Manage > Sandbox.
  2. Click the Create my Sandbox button on the right side of the page. (You might have to scroll the page to the right to see it.)

The sandbox has a unique URL with a ten-digit number after your domain name. Example: mycompanyname2234644375.zendesk.com. You can use it to create a bookmark in your browser for quick access to the sandbox.

Working in your sandbox

Make sure you initialize the sandbox before using it for the first time. See Create your first sandbox above.

To switch to the sandbox from the production instance of Zendesk Support

  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Manage > Sandbox.
  2. Click the Go to Sandbox button.

    You can also bookmark the sandbox and access it from your browser.

  3. Log in to the sandbox with your normal administrator credentials.
  4. Make changes, test, and fine tune.

Sandbox changes can't be copied automatically to the production instance. Once you're satisfied with the changes, you must reproduce them manually in the production instance.

Resetting your sandbox

After you're done with a round of testing and updates, you can reset your sandbox for a fresh round of development and testing. Resetting is also useful if you mess up and want to start from scratch.

Resetting the sandbox deletes the existing sandbox and creates a new one based on the settings of your current production instance of Zendesk Support. See How the sandbox works.

To reset the sandbox

  1. Switch to the production instance of Zendesk Support.
  2. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Manage > Sandbox.
  3. Click the Reset Sandbox button.

A new URL is assigned to the sandbox.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • 0

    Hello, i have created user in my sandbox but i want to be connected to my sandbox with the user i have created. But when i click on "forgot your password" i recieve no mail. Is it possible to do that ?

  • 0

    Hi Dorian!

    You should be receiving the email at the email address that user uses to log in to your Sandbox. If that's not working, you can try <yoursandboxURL>.zendesk.com/access/help.

    Otherwise, when you're logged into your Sandbox, you can always go to that user's profile, click the "down" arrow in the upper right corner, and assume their identity.

    Hope that helps!

  • 0

    Jessie,

    Has Zendesk changed the way that the Sandbox works? As an Admin, I reset the sandbox and went to it, but come in as an end user and not as an Admin agent. Previously, the Admins were able to login as Agents under the new Sandbox. It seems that only the Account Owner has initial access to the new Sandbox now?

    Thanks.

  • 1

    In my Sandbox, i can be connected as an agent (I am an Admin), but I can't be connected as an end-user, I have this mistake : {"error":"Couldn't authenticate you"}.
    Is it possible to be connected as an end-user in the Sandbox ?

  • 0

    Hello,
    I followed the tutorial above.
    The sandbox is created but when i login with my account, the sanndbox is completely empty.
    There is only two links "SEND REQUEST" and "CHECK YOUR REQUESTS".
    When i click on those links i get this error message "Oops. The page you were looking for doesn't exist.

    I have an admin account using Zendesk Plus Entreprise.
    Thanks for your help.
    Regards

    Edited by Ahmed Bahet
  • 0

    Hey guys! Sorry for the delayed response, Tate and Dorian!

    I believe that this was a bug recently, but I need to do some research to find out if it's been resolved yet or not. I'll let you know what I find out!

  • 0

    Hey guys!

    I was able to confirm that this is a known issue and we're currently investigating. If you'd like, you can submit a ticket about it support@zendesk.com so we can link it to the Problem ticket. This way you'll get notified when the issue has been resolved.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  • 2

    Hi

    Even though i like the SandBox you really should rethink how it works.

    The best way to work with a Sandbox environment is to copy Everything from the production environment, not just part of it... If you have to sit and spend time on manually duplicating triggers, automations etc its not really useful.
    If you are worried about sending emails from the sandbox environment to your existing customers, prevent the Sandbox from actually sending any emails. Instead provide a console where you can see and debug output from your sandbox...
    The way it is now its just not up to your usual professional product...

  • 1

    I second Carsten's comment. A full mirror image sandbox is really the only way proper testing can happen. Otherwise, we risk making mistakes in front of customers.

  • 1

    Hello,

    I also agree with allowing full duplication of production settings into the sandbox environment in addition to voice so that the sandbox environment can also be used as a training environment for new agent hires.

    There should be full control for output (emails, voice etc) so that testing emails or voice calls are not mistakenly made to customers.

  • 0

    I can't get my sandbox to send emails when an agent replies to a ticket. I'm testing email templates and need to see these emails in our template. Any suggestions?

  • 0

    Hi Paul!

    The first thing you'll want to do is make sure that your Notify Requester of Comment Update trigger is set up properly and active.

    The next thing you'll want to do is make sure that you're not using an agent email address in the requester field. Zendesk treats agents differently from end-users, so if you're testing with an agent email with the default triggers in place, the notification won't go out. I have a couple of dummy email addresses that I use when I need to test something for the end-user experience.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  • 0

    Thanks Jessie. I do have another question.

    How can I get emails generated when users follow categories in the Knowledge Center to recognize the "Huge" and "Large" text in the articles that it's mailing out?

    I have a ticket here: https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/1335810

    We're putting a new knowledge base into production on Monday, so I'd love to solve this in time.

  • 0

    Where is the option to convert the sandbox? Help notes show not available but we need to test conversion for help center!!

  • 0

    Hi Paul,

    The 'Huge' and 'Large' options for text in articles are generated as <span> HTML elements with a specific class which is dependent on the CSS of your Help Center. Since these elements don't have any inherent properties in the notification email, they are rendered at a "normal" size.

    If you would like to show larger text in your email notifications, I would like to recommend using heading elements (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) for your titles instead. I've tested, and those heading elements do show as larger text in the subscription notifications. If this isn't your optimal solution, please share your use case in our product feedback forum for our product managers and other users to see.

    @Ken - It looks like you mean converting from Web Portal to Help Center. It appears maybe your Sandbox does not have a Web Portal. Please know that you can copy the Help Center multiple times in your "live" account before activating it. We have a great Migration Guide here which will help you know what to expect upon migration. We also have a handy migration checklist in this article.

    Hope that helps!

  • 0

    Hi Jake,
    We must have a newer version of Zendesk 2014. I looked at the migration guide and it does not give an option to copy multiple times. Our mail concer ins the URL name change. We do have the help center url and the access to it from Admin to the wheel button. Should this inquiry go to support?

  • 1

    I reset our sandbox today and it comes in with a blank slate. Is there a way to reset it to mimic what it is in our production instance today?

  • 0

    @Stephen Unfortunatly no - You have to manually recreate everything. Before you say anything - i agree with you that this is far from an optimal solution! :-)

  • 1

    I have been building out our sandbox, but because of the myriad of integrations and in-house tie-ins, the sandbox testing is not always relevant. 

    Is there an in-product feature that allows for automated testing on the actual instance? For example, I was looking into ways to automatically test our response and receipt triggers daily without having to manually create and respond to a test ticket.

  • 0

    Hi Jeremy!

    There isn't anything built into the product to do this, but you might be able to set up something custom using our API: https://developer.zendesk.com/

    Hope that helps!

     

  • 1

    Hi it would be nice to have a feature that creates a duplicate of your tested help center to production. Now I have to manually copy everything. (Layout, sections, articles etc)

     

  • 0

    Hi, Can I upgrade to the new communities in the sandbox before I do this in the live site?

  • 1

    @Lana the Help Center in your sandbox is independent of the Help Center in your live account. So yes, you can upgrade to the new community in the sandbox before you enable it in your production account.

  • 1

    I know its been noted that zendesk doesnt have the ability to copy your production system into sandbox, but is this even being considered?

  • 0

    Is there a complete list of settings and content that are not carried over to the sandbox?

  • 0

    Hi Patrick

    I think the most comprehensive list is at the top of this article - I'm not sure you can get more specific than that from Zendesk... Maybe the PM can enlighten us... and even answer if there is anything in the works on making the sandbox behave like a real sandbox ;-)

  • 2

    @Patrick Pretty much nothing is copied over. No custom ticket fields, org fields, user fields, views, triggers, automations, dynamic content, macros, tags, users, organizations (list goes on).

    Unfortunately, the sandbox feature is not very useful in its current implementation as it can't make a 1:1 copy of production (which is the purpose of sandbox testing) and it cannot push the current sandbox configuration to production, which means you need to manually copy the settings BACK to production.

    It would be great if a Product Manager from Zendesk could chime in to provide some input on future plans for the Sandbox feature. It really needs some TLC, especially for your customers with large Enterprise deployments.

     

  • 1

    @Dan Aside from some design fluff, there is little value to the sandbox in its current state.

    For what it's worth, we're aligned - As a customer, I would like the ability to replicate what I have in prod today, modify and test, then push the final settings to prod on-demand or on a schedule.  Having a test/dev environment with prod settings, and the ability for two-way communication and easy rollback, is an absolute must.

    There is a third-party tool that posts occasionally saying they have this functionality, but I just can't justify the extra cost, nor get excited using that when this is something that should be available out of the box.

  • 1

    I do agree with @Dan, @Carsten and @Jason.

    The ability to have a real sandbox and a "deploy to production" feature is a must-have nowadays.

    I'm actually evaluating this product for my company (still in trial mode) but I'm not confident to push its adoption due to the absence of testing environment.

  • 0

    Hey Serena!

    You're definitely not the first person to give us this feedback. We have a really active thread on this in our Product Feedback forum which you can find here: Deploy from Sandbox to Production.

    I encourage you to add your vote and use case to that thread...it's the best way to make sure that our Product Managers see your suggestions!

     

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk