Chidi Okwudire IT Professional. ERP Enthusiast. NetSuite Certified (Administrator, SuiteCloud Developer II, and ERP Consultant). Passionate About Empowerment Through Knowledge Sharing. Always Eager to Learn.

Tip: Easy Way to Expose Sandbox Refresh Date to All Users

2 min read

Last updated on April 4, 2022.

  • April 4, 2022: Changed the format a bit to place the Sandbox number right after “SANDBOX” as the previous location made it hard to see when the name got long. Note: Screenshot still shows old position!

When working with NetSuite sandbox environments, one often needs to know how stale a sandbox is, that is, the sandbox refresh date. While this information is accessible to Administrators via Setup >> Company >> Sandbox Accounts, there is value in making it available to business users as well, and it is quite simple to do!

Add SB refresh info in the company name

Add the Sandbox Refresh date to the company name to make the information easily accessible to everyone!

The steps are very easy; right after activating a sandbox refresh, do the following:

  • Log into the sandbox environment and navigate to Setup >> Company >> Company Information.
  • Change the Company Name to include the sandbox refresh date and any other data that you care about.

Reference Naming Convention

Here’s the format that I typically use (adapt as needed to match your use case):

SANDBOX [<sandbox_number>] [- <project_or_description>] - <refresh_date> - <original_company_name> [from <source_environment>]

where:

SANDBOXHelps the user orient. Although NetSuite includes the orange “SANDBOX” watermark next to the Oracle NetSuite logo, I’ve periodically seen users who miss that so this extra notice is handy.
<sandbox_number>In case of accounts with multiple sandboxes, it is useful to distinguish them by their numbers. NetSuite captures this information in the account URL but to make it even more accessible, I include it here. Subsequently, it is easier to tell a user to go to “SB1” to test something.
<project_or_description>This is an optional explanation of the current use of the sandbox, if applicable, e.g., “Proj A UAT” to denote that the sandbox is actively being used for UAT for a specific project. This will help users logging in to validate that they are in the right environment and is particularly useful if you have multiple sandboxes. It can be changed over time as the sandbox gets allocated for something else, even if it is not refreshed.
<refresh_date>The sandbox refresh date is the key information that we are after. Use your preferred date format. I use YYYY.MM.DD prefixed with an “R” for “Refresh”.
<original_company_name>We preserve the original company name that was in this field before editing for reference.
<source_environment>Again, optional and useful if you have multiple sandboxes as NetSuite allows you to refresh a sandbox from Production or from another sandbox associated with the account.

The following are valid examples as per the above naming convention:

  • SANDBOX – R2022.02.14 – Asoville Inc.
  • SANDBOX (SB1) – R2022.02.14 – Asoville Inc.
  • SANDBOX (SB2) – R2022.02.14 – Asoville Inc. from Prod
  • SANDBOX – Proj A (UAT) – R2022.02.14 – Asoville Inc.
  • SANDBOX (SB1) – Proj B (Dev) – R2022.02.14 – Asoville Inc.
  • SANDBOX (SB2) – Miscellaneous – R2022.02.14 – Asoville Inc. from SB3

How to Infer an Approximate Refresh Date

There are situations where you need to quickly access the sandbox refresh date but you cannot accurately determine it, for example, because you do not have access to the Production environment. In that case, you can run a system notes saved search as illustrated below to infer the refresh date. An alternative is to run a Login Audit Trail saved search (not illustrated). Shout out to Vikas Som for sharing these insights on LinkedIn some time back.

Note that, this approach captures the first activity after the refresh which often will occur on the same day as the refresh. While this is a reasonable assumption, the actual refresh date might be earlier.

When inferring an approximate refresh date based on system logs, remember that the actual refresh date might be earlier and thus, the data might be staler than we think

I hope that you found this tip useful. It is one of those extremely easy things that, once you see it, you wonder why you never thought of it earlier!

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Chidi Okwudire IT Professional. ERP Enthusiast. NetSuite Certified (Administrator, SuiteCloud Developer II, and ERP Consultant). Passionate About Empowerment Through Knowledge Sharing. Always Eager to Learn.

2 Replies to “Tip: Easy Way to Expose Sandbox Refresh Date to All Users”

    1. My exact response when I stumbled on this idea recently. I updated all sandboxes in that account right away. The best part is that it is so intuitive that one seeing it “just gets it”. Cheers!

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