As a helpdesk administrator, you would want to test out a configuration or feature before enabling it on your Freshdesk account. For example, when you add a new workflow, you need to make sure it doesn't affect your customers or agents before you’ve had a chance to test and fine-tune it completely.
With the Sandbox feature you can avoid making irreversible changes on your Freshdesk account. The sandbox is a replica of your Freshdesk account. Over here, all configurations from your account get copied to the sandbox. However, customer data like tickets do not get copied.
What gets copied into your Sandbox account?
The Sandbox is designed to copy all settings that can impact the workflow of your helpdesk. Here is a comprehensive list of configurations that will be copied into your Sandbox account.
Email settings (except for the support email)
Groups and corresponding settings (business rules, ticket assignment, escalation rules,..)
Roles (with permissions)
SLA & Business Hours
Products (names only)
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Note: All the above-mentioned configuration changes are copied back. However new agents created in your sandbox, or changes to agent profiles, are not copied back into your Freshdesk account.
What does not get copied into your Sandbox account?
Tickets data, customer and contacts
Ticket list views
Portals - logo, favicon, customization
Apps and integrations
SSO and SSL settings
The features and configurations above can be tested independently on your sandbox account, but any changes made will not be copied back to your Freshdesk account.
Tickets, customer or contact data will not be copied since they're likely to have confidential information. However, sample data that can be used for testing is pre-populated into your sandbox account, on creation.
An email is sent to all administrators once the Sandbox is ready. Admins and agents can log in to the Sandbox account with their Freshdesk credentials.
Note: We recommend keeping the sandbox active only during testing phases. You can always rebuild your sandbox from the Sandbox page.
How do I setup my Sandbox account?
Go to Admin > Sandbox
Build your Sandbox to start testing out features and configurations on sample data.
Once you hit the ‘Build Sandbox’ button, a replica of your existing configurations will be created. This can take a while based on your helpdesk configuration. An email is sent to all administrators once your sandbox is available with a link to access the Sandbox account.
Hit the Go to Sandbox button to start testing out configurations and features on your Sandbox account, before you implement them on your Freshdesk account. A banner on top of the screen will indicate whether you are in your sandbox account or your Freshdesk account.
How do I review and sync the changes from my Sandbox account to my Freshdesk account?
Once you have tested the configurations in your Sandbox, you can sync these changes with your Freshdesk account. Navigate to Admin > Sandbox on your Freshdesk account and click on ‘Review changes and sync’.
The Sandbox will fetch all the changes that you’ve made, and depending on the number of changes, this may take a while.
Conflicts: When a configuration is edited on both the Sandbox and your Freshdesk accounts, it can lead to conflicts. For example, it is possible that an admin changed the name of a ticket field from ‘Issue Type’ to ‘Bug type’ in the Sandbox account.
At the same time, a different admin changed the name to ‘Type of Issue’. When this change has to be synced, Freshdesk would not know which name to pick - ‘Bug type’ or ‘Type of Issue’ - this is a conflict.
The account administrator would have to decide which change to persist with. All such arising conflicts need to be resolved before the sync. To avoid situations like these, Freshdesk recommends that only one admin work on changes to workflows, and all changes are communicated to all admins upfront.
Once you’ve reviewed all the configurations, and resolved any conflicts, click on ‘Sync now’ to move these changes to your Freshdesk account.
Once the sync is complete, all administrators get a confirmation email with all the changes that have been synced between your Freshdesk and Sandbox accounts.
Once the sync is complete, your Sandbox account is automatically deactivated. To test new workflows, set up a new Sandbox.
How do I deactivate my Sandbox without syncing any changes?
As an admin, you may want to try new features even when you have no changes to sync or want to test a different set of configurations. For example, you’d like to try how Skill-based agent assignment works and you don’t want to copy it to your Freshdesk account.
You can deactivate the Sandbox by navigating to Admin > Helpdesk Productivity > Sandbox on your Freshdesk account.
A quick video on how you can set up your Sandbox:
Here are some best practices we recommend:
Inform all your admins that you’re building a sandbox and how long you think it’ll be active. Freshdesk will email all admins when the sandbox is ready, but it’s a good idea to let them know upfront.
Communicate why you’re building a sandbox - what changes you’d be making, what settings you would be changing. This ensures you get feedback from all admins about changes they might want.
Make sure you, or other admins, are not making changes to your Freshdesk account configurations when a sandbox is live. This avoids any conflicts between your two accounts.
Make sure other admins have finished making any all changes before you sync your changes to your Freshdesk account so that all admins’ changes are copied.
Carefully review all changes before syncing them back to your Freshdesk account.
Keep your sandbox account live for short periods of time - this prevents differences from adding up between your two accounts. A single cycle of testing the features or workflows involves building the Sandbox, making changes, testing the features or workflows, and syncing the changes back to your Freshdesk account.
Plan your sync from sandbox to Freshdesk account during off-peak hours. Depending on the volume of your changes, syncing can take some time, and you’d want to be alert that changes you make do not impact a lot of your users.
For any questions or feedback, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.