Creating a premium sandbox with data replication

Return to top


  • Goggins Ginni

    Having just used this for the first time, there are a number of things that I think are important to know - 

    1.  Before you use this you must delete any existing sandbox.  This is a huge leap of faith for those of us with very customized instances.  Luckily for me, I have multiple instances and was able to work with a newer one with less overhead than our main instance.  If I had used this with that one I would have been extremely unhappy.

    2. Although a number of items were created, they were not usable as is and required significant review to get correct: Not all views were created, triggers were not in the correct order, customer lists were not created, etc.

    3. Custom ticket fields do not have the same field numbers and any reference to those fields will be incorrect.  So references within emails to to a custom field must be reviewed and revised; also triggers, automations, and anything else.

    4.  All agent login emails are changed.  That's not a problem except that the passwords are also changed, so an agent can't log in with the changed email to reset their password or their email.  An administrator must manually change either the password or the email for each agent that will be using the sandbox.  If you have a lot of agents and light agents this can be a huge time waste.

    5.  The sandbox doesn't include even a stripped-down version of the Guide, so there's no way to test/train using a new request form.

    Given these restrictions, it's not as easy as we are lead to believe to create a new test or training environment.  Using my starter instance it took many days to confirm that everything was the same as production.  For the primary instance, which has over 150 triggers, macros, and views, over 30 custom fields and 10 forms with conditions, I'm not sure that this is usable as is.  If I need to review every item I'd rather maintain the existing sandbox and review anything that's changed.  In my opinion, this needs more work to be usable for anyone maintaining a more complicated system.



  • Ash


    My feedback would be:

    1. Provide ongoing Production to Sandbox Sync
    2. Make two sandboxes a standard for all enterprise -Dev sanbox - Test sanbox
    3. Dev sandbox will be used for dev work to design new solutions.
    4. Test sandbox will be used for testing and UAT before moving stuff to production. 
    5. Sync - Production to sandbox and sandbox to production on demand.


  • Kim Nylander

    I was hoping to use the sandbox environment to test a new information architecture in Guide and then push those structure changes to production. This would help avoid interruption to our Guide users. 


    • No sync of guide content to sandbox
    • No push from sandbox to production
    • No bulk article move

    As far as guide content development goes, sandbox, whether premium or regular sandbox, is useless. 

  • Goggins Ginni

    I also forgot to mention that your sandbox will disappear if you don't use it within a certain amount of time, so if you use it twice a year for training or testing, all the work you've done to get it set up will be wiped out by the next time you want to use it, so even if there were no changes you need to start from scratch and check everything again.


  • Mark Johnson

    Whilst it's great to see some proper sandbox options become available - I'm pretty disappointed that it's yet another feature put behind Suite Enterprise. 

    As a customer who has been with Zendesk for 9+ years, the biggest barrier to adoption of all the functionality you have released over the last few years is our lack of ability to sync Sandbox properly so we can validate behavior changes correctly (or re-train Agents). 

    Just want to put forward a recommendation that you have better sandbox options for ALL plans - so that your customers can take appropriate steps to adopt new functionality. 

    What's the point in building a brilliantly simple feature - if it's incredibly complicated to validate (and therefor adopt it?)

  • Terence Tam
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hey Joel Hellman, thank you so much for your time in reaching out. 

    The current behaviour is exactly how you've described it. Different types of Sandboxes are assigned to different plans. We understand the limitations and challenges this presents.

    Given that, we are currently working on a new feature (Sandbox Lower Tier Creations) targeting Q4 release which enables users to create Sandboxes below their entitlement level just as you have illustrated.

    This will allow you to create either a Premium Partial or a Metadata Sandbox as per your Enterprise Suite Plan

  • Ryan Mumby

    I'm noticing upon partial copy sandbox creation, it completely unorganizes our entire trigger list. We have them organized very meticulously and in multiple categories. It dumped them all into a single category from what I can tell. As I'm sure you're aware, the order in which triggers are processed is critical. Reorganizing 150+ triggers is not exactly pleasant.

    It also launched most of the brands as "deactivated" - I'm fine with the brands being named different/having different URLs, that makes sense, but this also affects and breaks tons of triggers referencing them.

    Is this expected behaviour?

  • Daniel

    Hi team, I can't seem to change the premium sandbox selection to any option other than to include the replication of tickets. It won't let me click them at all.  I don't want to do this as we don't want real customer data in our testing environments. Any help would be appreciated

  • Craig VanDeVenter

    I would echo @... comment.  Plus 1 on ongoing replication.  I have upgraded sandbox but the idea that I have to delete and create a new sandbox to get updated prod seems silly.  I'm paying extra for the sync of metadata... that should be on weekly sync or even an on-demand.  
    Setting up access for the teams that need the sandbox after updates seems crazy.  If we set up an SSO then the next time we need a snapshot of prod...we have to delete it, create new one, set up SSO and move on again.  IF that is indeed true.. this seems super odd and not well thought out.

  • Hi All

    Worth noting that you can't test Talk in the Sandbox. Talk isn't there as a product option to enable at all.

    So no testing voice workflows, IVR's, greetings etc. I suspect it's because it's a billing calls are paid and Zendesk can't bill a sandbox account.

    This is a decent enough missing feature but understand why it can't be done.

    Just FYI.

  • Dylan Lopez

    Our team would like to have our Premium Sandbox sync to our current production environment on a frequent basis (once a week/month) if possible.

    I've seen people mention this above but I'm not sure if it has come to fruition.

    The only option I can currently see is to delete our current sandbox instance and generate a new one which is not ideal in our current configuration.

  • Joel Hellman

    According to Zendesk support today (ticket 9782592), Enterprise Suite doesn't include Sandbox Premium Metadata, it only includes the more "premium" product Sandbox Premium Partial.

    Instead of using Sandbox Premium Metadata, we should then choose Sandbox Premium Partial, and then manually delete the production tickets after replication? This doesn't make much sense to me.

    Why cannot I as a custom choose if I want to use the Sandbox Premium Metadata or the Sandbox Premium Partial as the premium sandbox that is included in Enterprise Suite? Why are you forcing the Sandbox Premium Partial on me when Sandbox Premium Metadata is what I need and seems to be the inferior/simpler product? 

  • Joel Hellman

    I have the same issue as some other users in this thread has reported (such as Daniel), in that the option for copy with metadata is disabled and only partial production with tickets is possible. Same use case, I'd rather not copy production tickets into a sandbox for various reasons. 

  • Sally Anne Dishong

    I wanted to provide a bit of an update. We did receive confirmation from a Zendesk product manager that the creation of a new premium partial sandbox would not delete and did not require us to delete our existing sandbox. So we have started the process of creating a new sandbox, and it is still in progress. It has taken over 2 hours so far and is not completed yet. We will begin testing soon.

  • Sally Anne Dishong

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am very interested to see the response to your comments, Virginia! We have just this week upgraded our account to the new Enterprise Suite plan from an older mix of Professional and Enterprise features. We look forward to taking advantage of the many new features and functionality. However, the new Premium Sandbox, which initially appeared as quite an advantage, is now seeming to be more of a major concern. Having been "burned" when resetting the Sandbox a couple of years ago to take advantage of new features - and then realizing it deleted all the Sandboxes we had created for various brands as well as creating a new URL that was very inconvenient for developers working in the Sandboxes and APIs, I am hesitant to even test this out until more information is provided about what to expect in our situation.

  • Christopher Johnson

    I am experiencing the same as Daniel. And even when trying to create the premium partial production sandbox, it immediately fails with no indication of why. 

  • Joe Anderson-McAulay

    This may already be answered however just setting up my Premium Sandbox.


    Will my End Users get a link to setup and access the Sandbox?

  • Joey

    It seems like ticket sharing triggers are not copied over, any other type of triggers that won't copy over to the sandbox?

    Prod: 378 - Sandbox: 347 = 31 missing triggers.

  • Hiedi Kysther
    Zendesk Customer Care

    Hi Chuck Hemesath

    Investigating this kind of issue requires reviewing our logs. So, in order for us to assist you further - I have created a ticket on your behalf. One of our advocates will reach out to you to further assist you on this. 

    Have a great day! 

  • Jared Sloan

    Up Vote Mark's comment!!! Please Make this sync better and help users test and develop with more confidence! 

  • Chuck Hemesath

    Chad Susa (Gravity CX - Zendesk Partner), sounds like the same problem, different symptom.  I have not been able to figure out any sort of logic as to why some things are being copied while other/similar things are not.  It's been a real show stopper for us as we really need for these particular ticket forms to be replicated in the sandbox and for some reason they are not being replicated.  Very frustrating.


  • Gabriel Manlapig
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Joe,
    To answer your question, no they will not get a link to set up and access your Sandbox account. As documented on this article

    User emails will be invalidated before being added to the sandbox instance by the use of the domain. This is to prevent emails from being inadvertently sent to your users. This includes both agents and end-users. An administrator can reverse the invalid emails for testing by editing the users' email addresses.

    I hope this answer your question. Thank you!
  • GS Admin

    Hi ,

    I am trying to synch my data from prod instance to sandbox so that i can test anything i want to implement in prod.


    We are currently using Zendesk suite - Enterprise Plan


    So could anyone please suggest how can i copy all my triggers,automations ,schedules,SLA's and fields to my sandbox?

  • Christine Diego
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Joey,
    I would suggest to contact Zendesk Customer Support to further check your account. 
  • Chuck Hemesath

    I just created a Sandbox to be used as a testing tool for some new customer care agents.  I have Zendesk Enterprise Suite so essentially it allows me to generate a full production replica in the sandbox.  One thing I noticed it doesn't fully replicate is that only 4 of the 8 ticket forms that we use were replicated.  Unfortunately, those 4 were not any of the ticket forms I really needed to be replicated.  Does anyone know why this may be happening or how I can ensure that all (or at least the forms I want) are replicated?  I have stared at this for a while now and cannot figure out the logic as to why it is pulling the forms that it is and not the others.

    Anyone else experience this?

  • Terence Tam
    Zendesk Product Manager

    Hey Joel Hellman and PAUL STRAUSS!

    Just thought I'd follow up to let you guys know that you can now create Sandboxes of any tier up to your entitlement level!

    If you're on Zendesk Suite Enterprise Plus plan, with the entitlement of a Premium Production Sandbox. 
    You can now create one of the following Premium Sandboxes:

    Check out Lower Tier Creations for more information :)

  • GS Admin

    Hi ,

    i have placed a request to create a partial premium sandox on 19th Oct, but the sandox is still not created and it is showing in progress.

    Please let me know how many days it takes to create a partial premium sandbox.

  • Diego Bechi

    re: Apps and EAP functionality are disabled within the sandbox.

    I have a question about it. is there any way to create the sandbox account with all the Apps I have in production? (besides doing it manually)

    For context, I'm trying to replicate the same UI & functionality from production in order to test it as a whole while adding new internal developed apps. For now I have been adding the apps one by one which takes time if you have quite a few.


  • Dekbi
    Zendesk Customer Care
    Hi Diego,
    Since the App functionality is disabled in the Sandbox instance, I'm afraid that the |apps installed will also not be replicated from the production to your Sandbox. You may need to re-install them manually for UI purposes but functionality will not be guaranteed to work.
  • Goggins Ginni

    @Sally - Thanks for the updated information.  When we created our sandbox account back in February there was no way to get the "Create Sandbox" button other than deleting our original sandbox and starting over.  I'm so glad they changed that!


Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk