Note: This article is on Freshservice's current Sandbox version. Click here to learn more about its phase-out plan. The new Sandbox is being rolled out for Enterprise plan customers in batches currently. Learn more about the new Sandbox here.

As an admin, making changes to automation rules in your production account can be tricky. To help, we're introducing Sandbox to Freshservice. Sandbox lets you test workflows and configurations in a safe environment before syncing them to your production account, without affecting tickets, customer data, or contacts.


Note: Refer to this solution article for the sandbox created after January 4th,2023. Refer to this solution article to know about sandboxing in the workspace.


What are the modules that get copied to your Sandbox account?

Business Hours, Departments & department fields, Requester Fields, Roles & Permissions, Agents, Groups, CAB, Locations, Form Fields(Tickets/Problems/Changes/Releases), Service Catalog, SLA policies, Workflow Automation, Change lifecycle, Asset Automations (Deletion of asset types and fields, product, vendor, and domain is not possible), Business Rules, Custom Objects.

What are the modules that do not get copied to your Sandbox account?

Tickets data, Ticket list views, Portals - logo, favicon, customization, Gamification, Apps and integrations, SSO and SSL settings, Asset Data, Knowledge Base.


How to set up your Sandbox account?

  • Navigate to Admin -> Account Setting ->Sandbox
    If your account has more than one workspace: 

    To modify global workflows, navigate to Admin > Global Settings > Account Setting > Sandbox

    To modify workspace-level workflows, navigate to Admin > Workspace Settings > {Workspace Name} > Account Setting > Sandbox.

    Important Note:

    Workspace admins can view the list of global and local workflows applicable to their workspace. 

    The global workflows execute first, followed by the workspace-level workflows, to allow for the workspace-level workflows to take precedence over the global workflow. 

    For example, A global workflow can be configured to route tickets to the right workspace based on the subject/description. 

  • In the Sandbox Details tab, click on Create Sandbox and once the Sandbox account is created, admins will be notified via email. This will take some time based on your service desk configuration.

  • Click on Open Sandbox to log in to your Sandbox account in a new tab. Here, you can test out configurations before syncing them to your Freshservice account.


Note: The banner on top of the screen will indicate if you’re in your Sandbox account. Also, the URL of your sandbox account would look like this https://companyname-fs-sandbox.com.


How to sync changes from Sandbox to my Freshservice account?

  • Once you test out the configurations in Sandbox, go to your Sandbox account, navigate to Admin -> Sandbox in Helpdesk Productivity

  • Click on View Changes to fetch all the changes made in your Sandbox account.

  • You can then click on Regenerate Change List -> Regenerate to ensure all the changes created are included in the change list before syncing them.

  • In case of any errors, they’ll show up as Conflicts in your sandbox account. 

  • To resolve a conflict, you can simply select either the Product account (a.k.a Freshservice account) value or the Sandbox account value from the Select sync source column and click Resolve Conflicts

Note: If you click the Regenerate Change List before Test sync, all your resolved conflicts will be rolled back.

  • Once the conflicts have been resolved, you can go ahead and click on Test Sync to ensure there aren’t any errors while syncing.

  • In case duplicate entities are created with the same name in both your Sandbox account and your Freshservice account, they’ll be shown as Warnings in your Sandbox account.

To address a warning,

  • You can manually change the name of the duplicate entity either in your Sandbox account or Freshservice account

  •  You can proceed with Sync Now (this will automatically discard the name of the entity in your Sandbox account)

  • Once test sync is successful, you can click on Sync now to sync your changes to the Freshservice account and your sandbox account will automatically get destroyed.

  • If your sync was unsuccessful after all conflicts and warnings were resolved please do reach out to support@freshservice.com


Note: The sandbox account created will automatically be destroyed in 180 days


Tips:
1. Ensure you, or other admins do not make any changes in the production environment when the sandbox is active.
2. Always regenerate changes: with the latest data in the sandbox account once you fix the conflict errors.
3. Make sure other admins have finished making all changes before you sync your changes to your production account so that all admin changes are copied.
4. Keep your sandbox account life for short periods of time. This prevents differences from adding up between your two accounts.  5. Plan your sync from the sandbox to the production account during off-peak hours.


When does a conflict arise?

Conflicts in your Sandbox accounts are simply errors that arise whenever modifications are made simultaneously to both your Sandbox account and Freshservice account after the Sandbox account is created.



Here are some scenarios of what changes lead to conflicts after the Sandbox account is created


Module Value

(After Sandbox creation)

Freshservice account

Sandbox account

Output

(before Test sync)

Role name - IT Head

Role name changed
 IT Head -> IT Head Operations

Role name changed
 IT Head -> IT Manager

Conflict

Operations Department with the description “Members from the US and UK shift”

Changed description to  “Members from the India and UK shift”

Changed description to  “Members from the US and Australia shift”

Conflict


Changes that don’t lead to conflicts after the Sandbox account is created



Module Value

(After Sandbox creation)

Freshservice account

Sandbox account

Output

(before Test sync)

There is a department called Sales


Department name changed 

Sales -> Inbound Sales

-
here is a role called “Purchase Manager” with a Restricted Acces scope

Role name changed

Purchase Manager -> Procurement Manager 


-

Procurement Manager with Restricted Access scope




To resolve a conflict, you can simply select either the Product account (a.k.a Freshservice account) value or the Sandbox account value from the Select Sync source column and click Resolve Conflicts


When does a warning occur?

If duplicate entities are created with the same name in both your Sandbox account and your Freshservice account after your Sandbox is created, they’ll be shown as Warnings in your Sandbox account.

To address a warning,

  • You can manually change the name of the duplicate entity either to the name in your Sandbox account or Freshservice account

  •  Or you can proceed with Sync Now (this will automatically discard the name of the entity in your Sandbox account)


Where can I view all the sync history?


  • You can navigate to Admin -> Sandbox -> Sync History tab in your Freshservice account and check the sync history for any particular date.



Faq's:


1. How to deactivate my Sandbox account without syncing changes?


As admins, you might not always want to sync the changes to your Freshservice account. In that case, you could also directly destroy the Sandbox created by navigating to Admin -> Sandbox -> Destroy Sandbox from your Freshservice account.


2. What are the changes skipped in Sandbox?


A few cases such as deletion of an Agent/ CAB/User/Group/Location/Department/Service item/ Service category are not captured in the change list and will not be synced to your Freshservice account as deleting such key entities would have a huge impact on existing tickets in your Freshservice account.