What does sandbox mean?
A sandbox is a type of software testing environment that allows the isolated execution of software or programs for independent evaluation, monitoring, or testing.
It is used for many purposes, such as developing new features, testing patches, identifying and fixing bugs, or detecting cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
In an implementation, a sandbox may also be referred to as a test server, development server, or working directory. It should not be confused with the sandbox in the context of games.
Techopedia explains Sandbox
As one of the most common software testing techniques, sandboxing is useful in environments with one or more software programs running simultaneously.
A sandbox creates an operational environment in which the execution, operation, and testing processes of software are unaffected by other running programs. To allow for repeated use or a later test session, the sandboxing environment can be reformatted quite easily.
How a Sandbox Works in Software Testing
The idea is to be able to test new code or features under ideal conditions without affecting the environment or the platform on which they are executed. Typically, sandboxed software source code is not tested before isolation, which reduces unexpected behavior.
A sandbox environment is also created to mimic a production environment and its behaviors to test the functionality of newly developed APIs. This way, third-party application developers can verify and validate their code by testing it against a specific sandbox web service.
In the Java programming language, sandboxing is a major feature of the development environment. Programmers can use a specific sandbox area with its own rules to create new applets which are then submitted as part of a web page.
Sandbox in security
Additionally, sandboxing technique is implemented in information security to assess suspicious software or files containing malicious code.
An isolated environment is hosted on a network to simulate a real-world scenario where a malicious actor attempts to breach cybersecurity defenses.
Once malicious code is executed in this environment, its behavior is analyzed to understand how it works without harming any device or spreading across the network.
The sandbox environment is isolated so that whatever happens there stays there while vulnerabilities are assessed.
Sandboxing can be used for marketing purposes to demonstrate product functionality to prospects and customers. A sandbox program can be used in place of a sales demo or virtual proof of concept (POC) to allow a prospect to test the product in a much more interactive or engaging way.
It can also be used to allow customers to explore mock features before a new feature is fully implemented to allow further customization to suit their needs.
A sandbox is used to optimize and identify issues and limitations before they escalate to ensure the quality of the final product before it is delivered.