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How to Create a Copy of a Production Instance in Dynamics CRM Online

Post Author: HCLTech |

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online provides a sandbox (development and/or test environment) associated with your production CRM environment. You can create a "full" copy, which includes the data or you can also create a "minimal" copy, which only includes the customizations. In this post, we will cover how to make a copy of your production instance for this sandbox.

  1. Login to the Office 365 portal using the administrator credentials.Copy of a Production Instance in Dynamics CRM


2. Select the production instance and select Copy.

Copy of a Production Instance in Dynamics CRM


3. When you select Copy, the following form will pop up to fill in. Select a target instance (i.e. the sandbox instance), select copy type, edit friendly name and URL name (you are able to change the org name while you copy to the sandbox instance) if needed.

Copy of a Production Instance in Dynamics CRM


4. For security settings, select a security group in the form. All users of the Production instance are added to the sandbox instance if you do not select a security group (Security groups can be created under Users & Group in the Office 365 Administration Portal).

5. Click Copy. The status of the sandbox will show as "preparing instance" for a while. Once it's ready to use, the status will change to "Ready."

6. Use the new Org URL that you specified in the Copy step above to access the new sandbox instance.

7. After the copy, the sandbox instance is by default set to be in Administrative mode. Only users that have System Administrator or System Customizer Role can access the instance. You can change the Administrative settings for the instance by selecting the Admin icon on the sandbox instance shown in the screenshot below.

Copy of a Production Instance in Dynamics CRM

8. When you click on Admin a form will pop up (see the screenshot below). Uncheck Enable administration mode if you wish to allow all users to login to your sandbox instance. Click Save.

That is it—now you know how to create a copy of a Production Instance in Dynamics CRM Online! Find more great tips on how to manage Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 here! For other helpful CRM tips be sure to check out The CRM Book.

Happy CRM'ing!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

11 comments on “How to Create a Copy of a Production Instance in Dynamics CRM Online”

  1. I was looking exactly for copying for Sandbox or Production to Production. We wanted to prepare our data for production release on an acceptance instance and in case everythings good just shift it to production. Oh well, maybe in the future.

    1. Hi Tim - This does not cause any downtime or have any impact on the production org.

  2. Hi, i have a production instance with all managed solutions. If I have to use copy functionality for sandbox instance, will it create managed customizations on sandbox?

    1. Hi Sahil - Yes - if you copy a production org to a new sandbox org, all code, solutions, customization will be in your sandbox org exactly as they are in production (both managed and unmanaged solutions).

      1. Hi Joe, so is it better don't use the managed solutions for the production env? Otherwise when I'll go to copy the instances I'm going to lose my unmanaged solution in dev... right? Which are the best practise in this case? Thank you.

  3. I have added KB Articles in Sandbox instance and I really do not want to create the same KB Articles in Production Instance. Can I just add the KB Articles and few Custom Entities with their data. Because if I do a Full Copy it will lead to certain Test Data also go to Production for all Entities which we do not want in Production instance.

    1. Hi Ayan - When we move an entity from sandbox to production only the entity will be moved and not the data.......

      To move the data we need a 3rd party tool or use import/export.

      Now KB articles this is doable but it is tricky. Unless you have dozens or even hundreds probably faster to redo or use a 3rd party tool.

      Anyway - to do this out of the box, you owuld have to write a report to export you kb articles. There is no easy way to export them But importing them you an use the out of the box import tool. This does support kb articles. I recall a while back a client that did this with hundreds of articles and they claimed actually worked.

      A 3rd party tool such as scribe would be much easier.

  4. If we copy a instance from Production to sandbox will the existing data in sandbox will be removed or it remains as is.

  5. If we copy a instance from Production to sandbox will the existing data in sandbox will be removed or it remains as is.

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