AppExchange Partner Console is now available! How will it benefit Salesforce ISVs? Find out in this article from Dmitry Zhugin, Regional CTA.Read more
Imagine you’ve built a bridge and you need to test its strength. Should you roll a styrofoam wheel across it, or should you drive a car? The answer is obvious, and yet a surprising number of Salesforce developers end up conducting the equivalent of the styrofoam test.
When it comes to Salesforce, proper development and testing requires accessing realistic data & metadata in your sandboxes. While Salesforce does provide some basic sandbox seeding tools for its own sandboxes, there are limits on the frequency of refreshing, and fairly crude control over what data is seeded.
Luckily there are a range of solutions on the Salesforce AppExchange which tackle all aspects of these issues, enabling testing teams to populate developer sandboxes with high quality anonymized data, refreshing at a faster cadence and at reduced costs.
In this article, we are going to show you some of the best Salesforce AppExchange sandbox seeding tools that can automate and level up the way that you populate sandbox environments with data for testing development work. This is perfect for all types of companies, especially those who release frequent updates to the platform.
Salesforce provides its own tool to keep test environments secure through data masking to avoid leaking customers’ sensitive data. It is called Salesforce DataMask and it enables configuring different levels for data protection depending on the level of sensitivity through anonymization, pseudonymization and converting fields into empty datasets. However, it is a paid feature and it only solves one challenge of sandbox seeding. You cannot refine the subsets of data you want seeded to developer sandboxes and you are tied to Salesforce’s refresh limits.
With that out of the way, let’s discuss solutions that can elevate your sandbox seeding to a whole new level.
2. Druva – Salesforce data backup, recovery & sandbox seeding
What it is: Formerly SFApex, Druva’s Salesforce solution provides an all-in-one solution for protecting your Salesforce.org. It is a tool for populating sandboxes
Who it’s for: Testing teams
- It provides individual sandboxes and an option to populate partial, accurate related data to secure more relevant testing results
- To minimize the risk of releasing an unfinished code, it also offers dedicated sandboxes for development and support
- Ensures data privacy and compliance through data masking
- Protects data with automated backups and fast data restoration
- Maintains data relationship integrity
Pricing: $3.50 USD per user per month
What it is: 100% Native Full DevOps end-to-end Solution for Salesforce Customers offering various functionalities including downstream data deployment into Sandboxes.
Who it’s for: Developers, testers who already use the Copado suite
- Enables the deployment of relational data with smart filtering, sorting, and grouping with an easy to use Data Deployment Wizard
- Provides pre-built templates
- Allows creation of personalized and reusable data templates
- To secure customer privacy protection, it Includes data anonymization through data replacement or data randomization
- Automates the seeding process allowing the team to focus on development and testing rather than data deployment
Pricing: Starting at $250 per user per month
What it is: Cloud Data protection platform with a suite of tools including sandbox seeding.
Who it’s for: Developers, testers. Ideal if you have already invested in the OwnBackup suite
- Allows seeding of perfectly sized, relevant data
- Automatically maintains data parent-child relationship integrity
- Equips developers and testers with reusable templates and built-in filters which can be instantly updated anytime
- Prioritizes security of sensitive data through anonymization
- Provides an option to disable Salesforce automations (including pre-configured rules, Apex triggers) for the duration of the seeding process
- To avoid unnecessary mistakes it shows users a preview of sample data which will be seeded
Pricing: Starting at $2.75 per user per month
What it is: DataMAX is a Salesforce AppExchange app that enables users to quickly and easily populate sandboxes with a representative data subset based on production data while maintaining relationships.
Who it’s for: Development and UAT testing teams
- Secures reliable data for testing including ”IF” scenarios (based on hypothetical datasets), stress and capacity load testing
- Provides pre-set migration templates with objects, fields, relationships & attachments. Developers can also create their own templates and use them repeatedly
- To protect client data and stay compliant with regulators it enables developers to seed sandbox data using masking to generate anonymized representative data sets repeatedly
- Speeds up the processes by offering on-demand data uploads in place of a standard 30-day refresh cycle
- Provides cloud-based disaster recovery support with granular backups from the production Org to a sandbox
- Streamlines the DevOps process and makes it scalable, more efficient and quicker
- By eliminating the need for full copy sandboxes it reduces overheads
Pricing: 3-Tier pricing model depending on data hosting requirements.
6. Flosum’s Native Data Migrator
What it is: Data migration tool built specifically for Salesforce to effortlessly allow developers to move relational data.
Who it’s for: Developers and testers
- Enables quick population of complete data sets or sub-sets
- Ensures security with data masking and the elimination of any third-party servers
- Offers full choice as to which fields, records, and objects users would like to migrate and gives an option of testing the size of migration before proceeding
- Maintains data hierarchy between various objects
- Makes both downstream and upstream migration easier
Pricing: Starting at $1 per year
To make your decision easier, we have prepared a table that helps you compare the tools’ feature sets. As you can see, all products provide the same core functionality, but DataMax stands out from the rest thanks to its unique qualities.
Which Salesforce AppExchange sandbox seeding tool is right for you?
Hopefully, this compilation will help you decide which sandbox seeding tool is the best match for you. These are all great platforms, especially Copado and OwnBackup who are our trusted partners. Your choice depends on your situation, number of developers, required volume of sandboxes, and whether you need a wider suite of tools to match your needs. However, we are partial to DataMAX, because our developers created it for developers, driven by our own need. The combination of templates, filters, automation and data manipulation tools separate it from other sandbox seeding apps, saving QA time, ensuring data regulation compliance, and reducing development overheads. If you need any additional expert advice, contact us and we will be more than happy to find the best option for you.
You can Download DataMAX now or Request a Demo.
Head of Architecture
VRP Consulting UK
About the Author
Mark Hartnady is one of our global architecture leaders, based in our London office. Mark has been working with CRM solutions, with a particular focus on the Salesforce platform since 2012 and has been instrumental in transforming enterprises with scalable, extensible solutions in the Manufacturing, Automotive, Hi-tech and Media sectors.