Update Your CRM Theme Colors to Differentiate Sandbox and Production

Authored By: John Hinchy

Within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there are mainly two types of instances. A Production instance and a Sandbox instance. To be clear, an instance is a version of your Dynamics environment or system where you do all your CRM work. A Production instance is where all your users make real-time live updates to accounts, contacts, and opportunities. A Sandbox instance is where you can make changes and test your data without any fear of it messing up data or getting to the live production environment. Sandbox environments (called Sandbox because it is where you go to ‘play around’ in CRM) are very useful because your admins can make and test configuration changes, developers can code in the system and work out bugs, and users can test and train in this environment. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online, Microsoft makes it very easy to copy your data from production and move it to the sandbox. There is no development or background sql work needed for this, within your Dynamics 365 Administration Center, you simply click on Copy in the instances tab. This will bring up a screen to copy into your Sandbox environment.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

When you copy your Production into your Sandbox, and even set up your Sandbox environment the setting will match on both your Production and Sandbox. Because of this it is important to differentiate between both environments. You would never want someone thinking they are in the sandbox environment, when really they are in live production and changing data and making system changes unknowingly. You can restrict Sandbox access so that users have to be aware they are in Production, but even Administrators and Developers can make mistakes and be in the wrong environment.

Dynamics 365 offers a convenient and helpful way to avoid getting confused through the use of Themes. Themes are simple color patterns, border controls, and visual updates to the CRM system controlled through the Customize button. To navigate here, go to Settings-Customizations-Customizations-Themes. 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

There are a few out of the box themes including the default and blue, your environment may vary depending on version.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

To create new themes click + New on the theme page. This will bring up the theme window where you will see the different options. You may have to look up the color code numbers and sequences to update your options. Here though, you can also update your company logo. As stated though, other than it being nice to have theme customizing availability. You can also update your sandbox (or production to differentiate the environments and avoid mistakes. In this example I have updated our Sandbox to Blue and published the theme.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

If you think that a CRM system is your next best step for your business, contact Logan Consulting your Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner of Chicago.



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