Refreshing your NetSuite Sandbox is the action an administrator needs to take in order to keep the Sandbox as up to date as possible. If you are troubleshooting in your Sandbox environment then having a testing area as close to your live is going to be key. Similarly, during periods of development it is going to be far more beneficial and lower risk to be performing the testing in an instance that closely represents your production account.
When you perform a NetSuite Sandbox refresh you essentially take a snapshot of your production account and copy it in to a separate environment. The build and configuration is replicated as well as all the transactional data, user notes, everything.
You might have more than one Sandbox environment, in which case you can refresh at least one of them on a regular schedule. Even if if you have development projects on, you can bundle them up and move them between accounts so you always have one you can refresh.
If, like many customers, you only have the single Sandbox this is trickier but I would definitely still advise refreshing on a regular schedule when possible. You will see the benefit of this when someone comes to you with an issue that you are then able to replicate exactly in Sandbox.
Steps to Refresh NetSuite Sandbox
To find the refresh details of your Sandbox you should navigate to Setup > Company > Sandbox Accounts.
The page that loads will give you all the details of your last refresh as well as allow you to make a new refresh request.
The number at the top right of my screenshot shows how many of the allocated refreshes have been used. You will also be shown the last refresh request date and time, when the refresh was complete, who requested and various other characteristics of the most recent activity.
The Access After Sandbox Refresh selection is not something you want to get wrong. The selection made here will define who is automatically given access once the new instance of Sandbox is made live. Your two options are –
– All Users – this is everyone that currently has access in the linked production account that is being copied.
– Administrators Only – this choice will mean only users that have an Administrator role in the production account being copied will have access automatically.
There are very few scenarios in which that first option (all users) is the preference. Make sure you always double check the selection here before clicking that Refresh Sandbox button.
To make a new copy to your Sandbox environment you simply click the button and wait. A new refresh should normally take less than 24 hours but sometimes can take longer. If you are an Administrator and receiving notifications you will get an email to inform you once the refresh is complete.
Things to remember when refreshing Sandbox
You mustn’t forget that when you refresh your Sandbox environment everything you have built that is not yet moved to production will be lost and there’s no getting it back. If you are refreshing Sandbox on a scheduled basis to keep it up to date you need to have a process for this. One approach is bundling solutions and temporarily transferring to another account whilst refreshing. You can then download the bundle in your new Sandbox once the refresh is complete (learn how to move changes between environments here). You may also use your refresh schedule to drive the cadence and timespans of projects and get solutions deployed according to your upcoming refresh date.
If you have a third party contractor or any other administrator working in your Sandbox environment then never forget to speak to them first before you request a refresh. There could be days or weeks of effort lost if there is development work that isn’t moved or backed up before refreshing. You also want to ensure that all the relevant people gain access again after the copy is complete so speak to any internal or external teams that are working on NetSuite projects.
Fortunately you won’t see any downtime between instances. Your ‘old’ environment will stay live until the new copy is ready so trainings and troubleshooting sessions won’t be disrupted by this process.
Lastly, if you do not have a Sandbox account but this article has given you the idea that you might need one then you need to speak to your solution partner or NetSuite account manager. You can also find further information about NetSuite’s Sandbox here.
Don’t accidentally send test emails from Sandbox to other users. Make sure you set up the NetSuite Sandbox Email Settings.