What is a 'Sandbox' Testing Environment?

How to test your CRM implementation in a safe way

Laura Montgomery-Hurrell avatar
Written by Laura Montgomery-Hurrell
Updated over a week ago

We provide dedicated CRM Sandboxes for any customer upon request, for a fee. Your Sandboxes can be seen in the 'Sandboxes' tool in the Data Manager app:

Each Sandbox is completely separate from the live Student CRM and is provided to allow Customers to run tests in a safe environment without affecting any data or settings in your Live Student CRM.

For example, Sandboxes can be used to check your SRS integration, upload new Course information, or test complex signposting forms.

Your Sandbox runs a copy of the current Student CRM codebase on a unique URL and includes a static copy of your existing live settings (the University’s Faculties, Depts, Marketing Units, Apps, Occurrences, Courses & Subjects, Workflows, Touchpoints, Templates, etc).

Please note:
The Sandbox does NOT contain any copies of your live web forms, so to test a web form, you will need to recreate it.
While data can be transferred from your Live CRM to the Sandbox, data cannot be transferred the other way. Any changes you make to your Sandbox settings you wish to keep will need to be recreated in your Live CRM.

A note on "refreshing" your Sandbox

As the data and settings on your Sandbox are static, this means that after some time the Sandbox will be out of date compared to your Live CRM. If you wish to continue using the Sandbox, this means it will need to be "refreshed", and a new copy of your live data transferred over.

There is a fee for this. If you think you will require multiple refreshes, please talk to your Account Manager about the bulk refresh package.

Anonymised and personal data

During provisioning or resetting, any existing CRM user accounts are copied over from Live but are only made available upon request to us.

If Student records are copied over from your Live CRM when the Sandbox is created have their personal data anonymised including First name, Last name, Gender, Title, Mobile, Tel, Email, Postcode, Address lines, UCAS Personal ID, and MIS ID. Any previously uploaded documentary evidence to support an application and all historic communications are expunged. Internal keys between related records are however preserved.

Comms off or comms on

Student data subsequently created in the Sandbox (manually or from incoming test data feeds) does not get anonymised upon creation. The Sandbox maintains all the personal data exactly as entered, so it will contain a mix of anonymised old student records and personally identifiable new student records.

For this reason, all Sandboxes are provisioned by default as ‘comms off’.

In the ‘comms off’ state no emails or SMS can be sent out to students (also no system messages can be sent out to users) however API responses still function.

To learn more about this, please visit the Development Centre.

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