Many Marketo customers have both a sandbox and a production instance. The sandbox instance has essentially the same standard functionality as a production instance, although it has a built-in restriction that you cannot run a campaign to impact more than 25 leads at a time. You may find that your sandbox does not have some add-on products provisioned, such as Revenue Cycle Analytics, which needs production data in order to be used effectively.
In general, we recommend that the sandbox environment be used for testing new code changes and for experimentation with new functionality when this could impact the production data or assets. In particular, we use sandboxes for:
- Integrations with CRM sandboxes or development environments
- Testing out custom integrations
- Testing out the use of new or complex functionality, such as webhooks, web services using the API, and LaunchPoint services
We do not recommend building programs in sandbox with the intention of migrating them to production for launch. Testing of programs in sandbox should only be done when using new functionality where you are unclear of the impact and want to experiment. Be aware that there may be variables on production that will impact the program’s performance that are not present in sandbox. In addition, errors may be introduced during the program migration process - user error during the import process or technical issues arising from the import. Consequently, all programs built in sandbox will then need to be re-tested in production following migration, which adds additional time to the launch process. Instead, precautions can be embedded in the building and testing phases to allow you to safely and efficiently build and test directly within the production environment. Those precautions will be the subject of my next few blog posts, so stay tuned!