As the Forcedotcom terminology goes, Environments and organizations are equivalent to one another. This article will be focusing on Salesforce Environments, their types, uses, characteristics, and licensing and upgrades.
Types of Salesforce Environments
Salesforce Environments are of three main types:
Production environments are the environments that consist of active paying users with business-critical data accessible to them in Salesforce. Live data that is vigorously used to run business is stored in Production Forcedotcom environments.
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Development environments are the environments that have the scope of integrating, extending, and developing on Forcedotcom, with no effect on production environments at all. These environments are put to use when it comes to developing and testing applications. They consist of test data that are not business-critical.
Production or Development Environments used especially for the purpose of testing an application’s functionality prior to its deployment to production or its release is known as Test Environment. Test Environments allow integration tests with huge data sets, provide security checks for multiple profiles and users, and help expose bugs.
Use of Environments
The use of Environments depends on what kind of relationship a user has with Salesforcedotcom. A Production Environment will be used to run a business in case of a prospect or a customer. If the user is a partner or a developer, the chances are that he/she will require several Development and Test Environments to create functionality and test thoroughly. In case of the user being a developer, a customer, and a partner as well, then he will require all kinds of Environments.
Characteristics of Environments
Salesforce Environments are jam-packed with various characteristics, some of which are discussed below:
- Salesforce Environments are used for the purpose of development, test, and production.
- Salesforce Environments can be accessed from the Forcedotcom IDE, SOAP, although, all Salesforce Environments can be accessed via web browsers.
- They contain huge data and records, and customizations (Custom Database Objects and Fields).
- Every single Salesforce Environment is on the basis of an Edition that consists of a particular functionality, storage, objects, and limits.
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Licenses And Upgrading of Environments
Each Salesforce Environment comes with a license. Licenses are used to outline and define the type of Environment.
Production licenses are of four kinds:
- Group Edition
- Professional Edition
- Enterprise Edition
- Unlimited Edition
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The one condition that comes along with the licensing is that they can only be upgraded to the next Edition and not downgraded. For instance, Group Edition can be upgraded to Professional Edition, which can be upgraded to Enterprise Edition, and so on. There’s no way back to the previous Edition.
There is another kind of special development license, called the Developer Edition, which prevents the conversion to production. Same goes for Sandbox as well. Sandbox cannot be upgraded but can be additionally bought if the user has Enterprise Edition, Unlimited Edition, or Forcedotcom Edition.
It is imperative to note that upgrading a license is not the same as upgrading the platform. When a fresh version of the Forcedotcom platform is released, every Edition and license is automatically upgraded to the latest version.