The PayPal sandbox mirrors the features found on the PayPal production servers. While some PayPal features do not apply to the sandbox, such as closing an account, issuing monthly statements, storing shipping preferences, and the support of PayPal Shops, the sandbox has parity with the PayPal API feature set supported by the live environment. This means you can test your PayPal processes and know they will behave the same on the production servers as they do in the sandbox environment.
By using fictitious sandbox test accounts and their associated authentication credentials in your PayPal API calls, you can test and debug your application without referencing any real PayPal users or their live PayPal accounts. The sandbox lets you operate your application in a safe environment and provides you a way to fine tune your PayPal routines before moving your product into production.
When you initiate a transaction by using a sandbox account, PayPal creates a mock transaction that behaves exactly like a transaction in the live environment. All sandbox transactions are tracked on the sandbox test site —
https://www.sandbox.paypal.com, just like live transactions are tracked in the PayPal live site —
The sandbox environment
The PayPal sandbox environment comprises the following:
- The Sandbox test site (https://www.sandbox.paypal.com/)
- The Sandbox > Accounts page (accessed through https://developer.paypal.com/developer/accounts)
During your testing phase, use the sandbox endpoints and your test account details in each PayPal API request you make. Create and manage your set of test accounts from the Sandbox Accounts page. Use the Sandbox test site to review the transactions associated with the calls you make using your test accounts.
Tip: Log in to the sandbox test site with the credentials from any of your test accounts to review the status of the mock transactions associated with that account.