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Reference - https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=data_sandbox_clone.htm&type=5

  1. How do you think it may impact the Release Process from dev to QA?
  2. Rather than moving code base for testing what is stopping anyone to just create a clone or refresh the cloned sandbox to get updated metadata and data?

Any other impact issues from release management perspective?

  • As worded, this is an opinion-based question (and thus not a great fit). There's probably a way to re-word this to be less opinion-based, and I think a decent answer is possible. The question I have is this: why do you think this would impact release management? After all, Salesforce doesn't require any coverage or tests when deploying between sandboxes today. – Derek F Jul 17 '18 at 19:02
  • I drafted it a little similar but was edited by other participants, so some of those details got lost – Kaushik Ray Jul 18 '18 at 8:02
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Because I had come across this feature recently in one of my engagements, so I will try to provide some PoV here (as providing it in comment is not an option).

First things first - This feature is still in Beta, so choose carefully.

If you are looking from a Release Management perspective, there's no impact as such. If you read the below from the documentation for Cloning feature it mentions that its a feature to allow users work in parallel and expedite the sandbox creation process altogether.

Save time by customizing a sandbox with a set of data and metadata and then replicating it. Sandbox cloning simplifies having multiple concurrent streams of work in your application life cycle. You can set up a sandbox for each type of work, such as development, testing, and staging. Your colleagues can easily clone individual sandboxes instead of sharing one sandbox and avoid stepping on each other’s toes.

Personally, I won't recommend to clone a sandbox for your Release Management when you want to move your code from say DEV to QA or any higher test environments. One of the primary reasons is that DEV is always a working copy and that when you Clone a sandbox from it, it will end up having some untested features being moved to a higher environment.

This feature can save your time, say if you want another developer or say another tester test out in parallel without impacting your "active" dev/qa environment, that's where this feature will be helpful. In that case, you don't need to refresh a new sandbox from scratch from Production, rather just "replicate" the one which you want to test out. And with this, you are also getting a set of data that was created in the source sandbox so that you don't have to recreate any data out there.

If you are looking for a robust Release Management, always go through the route of a "source of truth" using a "Version Control System", so that you don't have to rely on any sandbox but a repository where you have all your metadata in there.

  • Makes sense in terms of extra features and content which will also be cloned to new sadnbox. – Kaushik Ray Jul 18 '18 at 8:03
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To echo Jayant Das, here's a practical use case:

  • Developer A, sandbox XXX creates a Platform Event and consuming trigger; The trigger invokes handler classes that do work (updating the database); the 'work" is complex and non-trivial. Developer A gets enough of this working so that "happy path" testing works great.
  • Developer A then clones sandbox XXX to sandbox YYY.
  • Developer A continues working in sandbox XXX, adding code, tweaking code, breaking stuff, fixing, breaking again, etc.
  • Developer B, who is responsible for generating (publishing) Platform Events from third party systems wants a sandbox to do end-end testing against. Sandbox YYY is perfect; it supports happy path testing and hence the end-end proof of concept between publisher and consumer (SFDC) can be verified. performance testing can be done.

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