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An Overview of Development Environments in Salesforce

An Overview of Development Environments in Salesforce

What You’ll Learn


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In our previous blog, we delved into the critical role of the “Production Environment in Salesforce” and how it forms the backbone of live business operations. Now, we shift our focus to the exciting realm of the Salesforce development environment. 

Whether you’re an aspiring Salesforce developer, administrator, or simply eager to enhance your CRM knowledge, this guide will shed light on the pivotal role development environments play in shaping the Salesforce experience.

Let’s uncover everything in this blog!

What is Salesforce Development Environment?

As a student or candidate entering the world of Salesforce, you might be wondering what a Salesforce development environment is and why it matters. Simply put, it’s your digital launchpad—a place where you’ll build, test, and perfect your Salesforce skills.

Imagine it as a workshop where you craft your Salesforce solutions, ensuring they meet the highest standards. Salesforce development environments provide you with a safe and controlled space to hone your skills, experiment with new features, and innovate without the risk of affecting the live Salesforce instance used by your organization. Some characteristics of Salesforce development environment are: 

  • It is a free and fully featured copy of the Enterprise edition with fewer users and storage. 
  • You can sign up for as many development environment organizations as you may need. 
  • It allows for building applications designed for any Salesforce production environment. 

Next, let’s discuss the Sandbox development environment as a type of Salesforce development environment.

What is a Sandbox development environment?

Sandboxes are development environments that cater to various development and testing needs. They are almost identical copies of the production environment available for customers with Enterprise or Unlimited licenses.

It can include data, configurations, or both at the same time. You can create multiple sandboxes in your production environment for different purposes without compromising data or applications. 

Note: Since the Force.com edition runs on top of the Enterprise or Unlimited edition, you can potentially have the same number of Sandboxes listed in the following table:

Development EnvironmentUser LicensesData StorageAPI EnabledNotes
Developer Edition2 full CRM (Salesforce) licenses 3 Force.com platform licenses5 MB Data, 20 MB file storageYesSign-up is Free!
Partner Developer Edition20 full CRM (Salesforce) licenses, 20 Force.com platform licenses250 MB (about 125,000 records)YesIt is a DE org with more storage, features and licenses. Free for enrolled partners.
Full-copy SandboxSame as the production environmentYesIt is a copy of your production org, including both data and customization. You may order up to a max of 3 full sandboxes. The unlimited edition includes 1 full sandbox. Enterprise edition customers may purchase a full-copy sandbox for an additional fee.
Partial-copy SandboxSame as the production environment5 GB (about 2.5 million records) 5 GB file storageYesIt includes all your metadata. Partial data sandboxes can consist of attachments of up to 5GB of data and 10,000 maximum records. It has a shorter refresh interval than a full sandbox.
Developer SandboxSame as the production environment200 MB (about 100,000 records) 200 MB file storageYesIt can copy all application and configuration information. It doesn’t copy production data. You can refresh it once per day.
Develop pro-SandboxSame as the production environment1 GB (about 500,000 records) 1 GB file storageYesIt is similar to developer sandbox but holds more storage than developer sandbox

Next, let’s discuss some of the best practices and development considerations you need to follow in the development environment as a Salesforce developer.

Best Practices For Salesforce Developer

You must develop in developer edition or Sandbox and then deploy to a production environment. 

Also, you need to identify whether or not the available environment is the best fit or larger is required. If you need a large development environment as DE is not upgraded to Partner DE in an instant.  Before building a customer editing app for Salesforce CRM, check the supported features for each edition. 

In other words, do not assume that if a feature is present in your developer edition environment, it is also available to customers with group or professional editions. Additionally, it’s crucial to perform testing before deployment. Remember to keep your development and testing environment separate.

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In a Nutshell

We have uncovered the essential foundation upon which innovation, customization, and application development thrive within the Salesforce ecosystem. These specialized spaces empower developers and administrators to craft, test, and refine their solutions, ensuring they align perfectly with the unique needs of their organizations. 

But our journey through the Salesforce environment landscape doesn’t end here. In the next instalment of our tutorial series, we’ll embark on a deep dive into the world of testing environments in Salesforce.

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