What to Use a Marketo Sandbox For

Anonymous
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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!

10 Comments
Anonymous
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Thank you for this candid review. Marketo product team, Is there a roadmap for improving sandbox?

Anonymous
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What kind of improvements would you want to see?

Anonymous
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Based on some of the user feedback I've received,

  1. You have to import from Sandbox to Production, there's no change management process, and usually it requires rebuilding a quite a bit of the program
  2. You can't refresh your sandbox with the latest version of Production so keeping the two in sync is manual
    1. Plus if you test something and choose to not use it, you can't just wipe over Sandbox with your current Production system
  3. There's limited logins for users, which is difficult for user acceptance testing
  4. Marketo support is needed to make many updates (such as when your SFDC sandbox is refreshed)

I have heard that it's useful for testing syncs between systems and processes.

The ideas that Emily mentioned are really very interesting. It would be great to see some improvements towards points 1 and 2 on Marketo side. We faced the same issues.

Anonymous
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Thanks, this is good feedback. I'm adding it to my list for product management.

I do know that we're working on some single sign on type options for Marketo instances so hopefully that will address #3.

Anonymous
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I am trying to test out a dupe management platform in my Marketo sandbox, but I have been unable to complete the integration because I cannot find where I can create a webhook in my sandbox environment.  When I am in my production org, I click "Admin" and I can see the link to create a webhook (right under the "LaunchPoint" icon).  In my sandbox, the webhook icon doesn't seem to be there.

Is it possible to create a webhook in my sandbox, and if so, how?

Anonymous
Not applicable

Not all functionality in production is automatically enabled in sandbox. You could file a support case and ask them to enable that in your sandbox. You have a legitimate reason so I'm sure Marketo will be helpful.

HI Kristen Carmean,

Unfortunately, this is not what is happening. In such a case, Support always say they are not responsible and we should talk to our sales rep. In turn the sales rep says that this is a provisioning issue and forwards it to the Customer Success Manager, who does his best to have it sorted out quickly.

We had a case recently were a few people in the middle dropped the ball and we had to wait 15 days to have it fixe, delaying the whole project by the same delay.

So I really think that the process could and should be streamlined:

  • Enabling the support to activate all options that are available on the prod would probably be the first step.
  • Making sure that the sandbox automatically comes with the options activated as in the production instance would be event better

-Greg

Anonymous
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Kristen Carmean​ - has been a bit since this was discussed, but we are running into the same issues and questions. We would like to leverage the Marketo SBX more for testing but are continually frustrated that the config isn't mirrored and we have to reach out to support for this, with delays. Has there been any improvement since feedback was provided to Marketo product team over the last couple of years?

Anonymous
Not applicable

No, unfortunately no changes that I'm aware of.

On Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 5:30 PM, Sarah Herrmann <marketingnation@marketo.com