Unless your plan includes access to a sandbox application, you should use the same account and application for all your environments, generating new indices and API keys for each of them.
For example, if you have three environments (development, staging, and production), you can create three indices:
prod_products. For each environment, you can generate API keys that can only access indices with specific prefixes:
To minimize the impact of testing and staging on your operation count, you should use a subset of your data in non-production environments. For example, you can test your staging environment with 10% of your records.
For more best practices, please read the guide on handling multiple environments in a single application.
What can I use a sandbox application for?
If your plan includes a sandbox application, you can use it for some testing purposes. Depending on the terms of your plan, you can use up to 5,000 units per month on your sandbox, or up to 5 million records and 50 million operations per month for legacy plans (before July 1, 2020).
Sandbox applications aren’t covered by the Service Level Agreement and don’t have availability, performance, or consistency guarantees.
Sandbox applications are intended for load testing and indexing experiments. Since sandbox applications don’t have the same performance and features as other applications, they aren’t suitable for performance testing nor staging. If you are doing pre-production testing, it’s best to do so on your production cluster since it has the same features and performance guarantees.
For more information about testing your applications, please read the guide on managing multiple environments.
Notes about your sandbox
If your plan includes a sandbox application:
- You can access your sandbox environment from your dashboard: click on the top left corner to list your applications, and then use the drop-down menu to access your sandbox application.
- Because your sandbox is a separate application, you have to (re)invite your team members from the team page of the dashboard .
- Your sandbox doesn’t have the same settings as your production environment.