Can we add our sandbox to or remove it from the release preview without a refresh?
|Knowledge Article Number||000229348|
|Description||You may find that the sandbox preview release upgrade date has already passed and your sandboxes are no longer on the desired release version leaving you wondering what's next?
|Resolution||The sandbox release preview instructions are made available approximately a month prior to each planned major release via Salesforce Blogs. For a list of when each instance will be receiving major releases, please see http://trust.salesforce.com/trust/calendar
It is your responsibility as an Administrator or Developer to watch for and carefully review the preview instructions once they are made available in order to plan a refresh strategy for your own development life-cycle needs while maintaining your contractual sandbox limits.
Q: Is it possible to move my sandbox that received the release preview off the preview without a refresh?
A: No, in order to move a sandbox off of the release preview you will need to submit a refresh to direct the copy to a non-preview instance.
There are no exceptions and a refresh is always required in this circumstance because the preview upgrade is applied to the entire instance and not at the org level which is why a refresh is required to move the sandbox currently located on a preview instance to non-preview instance.
Q: Is it possible to upgrade my sandbox to the preview after the preview release date has passed?
A: No, since your production environment is still on the current release it is not possible to move an existing or refresh a new sandbox copy onto the release preview. The release version of a sandbox will always match the version of its production organization at the time of the copy.
This is why the sandbox preview window is important because it is designed to allow you to direct copies to sandbox instances that will be receiving an early upgrade or preview of the next release. The preview instances are all upgraded on a specific date. The only way to have sandbox on the release preview is for the refresh to be completed with the sandbox located on a preview instance so it can be upgraded with the instance.
If the preview upgrade date has passed it is no longer possible to direct copies or move a sandbox onto the release preview. The next opportunity to refresh a sandbox to the next major release will be after your production instance has been upgraded.
Should you need to test in a preview org, the only recommendation is to sign up for a pre-release org. The sign up link is typically posted in the Salesforce Blog entry for each major release.
Q: Is it possible to refresh my sandbox and keep it on the release preview if production hasn't been upgraded to the next release yet?
A: No, since your production instance and the sandbox copy's target preview instance are on different release versions this is not possible from an architectural and versioning standpoint.
There may be alternative means to achieve the same goal as a refresh. For example, to move application changes to the sandbox, consider using Change Sets, the Force.com IDE or the Force.com Migration Tool to migrate your metadata. If it is a matter of bringing additional information input since the refresh you should be able to do so by utilizing the API (Apex Data Loader) to extract the data you need for testing from production and then import it into your sandbox.
Success Community Release Readiness Group