About non-production organizations

This is for:

System Administrator

A production Coveo organization powers your Coveo search page and/or components. Changes made in this organization affect the content your end users find in their search results, often in real time.

On the other hand, non-production organizations allow you to explore new features and test your configuration changes or development work without impacting your production organization. However, although non-production organizations are hosted in the same Coveo environment as production organizations, they have limitations and different licenses.


It’s strongly advised against going live with a non-production organization due to its limitations.

Definitions and use cases

There are three types of non-production organizations: trial organizations, test organizations, and sandbox organizations. Each type has its own purpose and limitations.

Trial organization

A free trial organization lets you experiment with Coveo for 14 days before committing to a full license. It provides a dashboard to guide you through the essential features you should test during your trial.

For a trial HIPAA organization, contact Coveo Sales.

You can also create a trial organization when installing Coveo for Salesforce, Coveo for Sitecore, or Coveo for ServiceNow.

  • A trial organization quickly becomes inactive when it doesn’t receive any queries. It’s automatically deleted 14 days after its creation.

  • To upgrade your organization, you must be a member of the Administrators group.

Test organization

A test organization is a disposable organization created with the organization picker in the Coveo Administration Console header. For a test HIPAA organization, contact Coveo Sales.

org picker

It allows its creator to make quick, small-scale tests or to explore features in their own environment, without disrupting the work of other Administration Console users. For example, one could create a test organization to try a feature as they follow a Coveo training. When the creator is done with their test, they can either delete the test organization or keep it for future use.

However, test organizations offer limited performances and can’t be upgraded to another tier of organization (for example, sandbox organization). You should consider creating a trial organization if you expect to need a license upgrade to conduct your tests properly.

A test organization quickly becomes inactive when it doesn’t receive any queries. It’s automatically deleted 3 months after its creation.

Sandbox organization

A sandbox organization is a permanent test organization that comes with your production organization. It allows you to test configuration changes and critical updates before introducing them into your production organization. Typically, Coveo customers have one or two sandboxes shared by all Coveo Administration Console users.


  • Minimized operational risk

    By conducting your tests in a non-production organization, you limit the disruptions to your production organization and ensure to maintain a stable live environment.

  • Additional release testing

    We release new features in sandbox organizations before production organizations. This allows us to test our new features against your real use cases, on top of our standard testing process. If a new feature introduces a previously undetected issue in your sandbox organization, we’re alerted before it goes to production. For this reason, it’s a good practice to keep your sandbox as similar as possible to your production organization. For instance, you should ensure that your sources are running and indexing the desired content just like in production. Using snapshots is a great way to ensure your organizations are identical.

  • Increased productivity

    Developers can work around the constraints of a production organization. When they implement changes within the sandbox organization, they don’t have to worry about causing downtimes in production.

  • Increased efficiency

    Coveo makes critical updates available to organizations weeks or months prior to their official activation date, allowing you to explore and test these updates in advance at your convenience.

Leading practices

All non-production organizations

To conduct your tests, you should have your non-production organization index sandbox instances containing demo or test data. This practice prevents an unnecessary load on your production servers and unauthorized access to your production data by developers or Coveo Administration Console users.

Sandbox-specific leading practices

  • Keep your sandbox in sync with your production organization. This means your sandbox should contain the same resources as your production organization, with the same configuration. This ensures that your tests are as realistic as possible. In addition, since Coveo releases new features in sandbox organizations first, a realistic sandbox works as an extra test with your actual configurations and data.

  • If possible, use snapshots to copy your changes from your sandbox to your production organization, rather than replicating them manually. This not only saves you time, but also minimizes the risk of error, thus ensuring your organizations are identical.

  • Establish a development strategy involving at least one sandbox.

    • When you have one sandbox organization, your development strategy could be the following:

      1. Develop features and resource configurations in the sandbox organization.

      2. Test your changes.

      3. Schedule a release date.

      4. Migrate the changes to the production organization.

    • When you have two sandbox organizations, you can use one as a development environment and the other as a QA/user acceptance testing (UAT) environment. Your configurations and code should deploy successively in these two non-production organization before being implemented in your production organization.

  • Use the sandbox organization to restrict the number of users that can access your production organization. For example, only the team in charge of production deployment could be allowed to make changes to your production environment, while your developers could have read-only access to this organization. They would therefore be able to perform development tasks and test their changes in your sandbox organization, but not to release their work in production.


Coveo always prioritizes customer production organizations. Therefore, non-production organizations are allocated less resources and run on an infrastructure that isn’t as powerful as that of a production organization. As a result, if your non-production organization index contains a similar number of items as your production organization, you should expect slightly longer indexing and query response times. Content refreshes in a non-production organization may also be limited. For the same reasons, non-production organizations aren’t well suited for performance and load testing, and don’t support multi-region deployments.

Moreover, non-production and production organizations aren’t covered by the same service-level agreements (SLAs). Should an incident occur, the Coveo team always prioritizes production organizations during incidents to comply with its SLAs. Also due to the discrepancies between SLAs, performance tests can only be conducted in production organizations under specific circumstances.


Because of the performance and SLA limitations, Coveo strongly advises against going live with a non-production organization, even in projects outside your main use case. Use your production organization for any project going live to benefit from the best possible service from Coveo.

License comparison

The following table highlights license differences between production and non-production organizations.

Difference Production Sandbox Test Trial
Minimum number of indexes1 2 1 1 1
Maximum number of sources 25 25 5 25
Monitoring Regular Basic2 None Basic2
Index backup3 Full Regular None Regular
License duration N/A N/A 3 months 14 days
Product type4 Base Sandbox Trial Trial
1: The number of indexes for each organization is optimized for performance and redundancy..
2: Alert escalation for incidents are delayed.
3: Full index backups are kept for 60 days while regular index backup are kept for 30 days. See About Coveo Organization Backups for details.
4: You can review the product type in your license details.