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By: Spencer Hunter,

In 2014 we released our public Sandbox to third-party developers so they could test against the Dwolla API. Along with the release of the Sandbox environment, developers needed a way to simulate bank transfer processing, so we introduced a tool called the “Sandbox Console”.

The Sandbox Console’s primary function was to give developers the ability to view transactions initiated to and from test accounts, while providing a way to trigger the outcome (processed or failed) for bank transactions. Overall, it performed its function, but was missing key functionality to test various scenarios that may occur in production.

After consideration of the current state of the Sandbox Console and its increased usage we decided to go out with the old and in the the new…

What’s new?

Over the past few months we’ve been hard at work on enhancements to the developer experience within the Sandbox. Our main focus was to simplify our Sandbox and get developers up and running as quickly as possible with the Dwolla API.

Previously, the existing experience required a lengthy signup process with too much interaction between various Dwolla applications. After the introduction of our Dashboard and Admin, we thought the new experience would be a great fit for an all-encompassing UI for developers.

Simplified getting started

The signup process was updated to require a limited set of information in order to establish a test account. Once you’ve provided an email address, password, business name, and use case, you can create an an account and immediately be directed to a new applications page on the Sandbox Dashboard.

Behind the scenes, Dwolla auto-creates an application based on your business name and provides you with fake funds in your balance to test sending money.

The “Process bank transfers” button

A “Process bank transfers” button is now available in the Dwolla Dashboard. This button can be used to simulate bank transfer processing. Once the button is clicked, Dwolla will initiate or fail the last 500 bank transfers that occurred on your Sandbox account or the White Label Customer accounts you manage. Learn more below for how to trigger bank transfer failures.

Trigger ACH failures

A new improvement to the Dwolla Sandbox is that we now allow you to trigger various ACH failures by specifying an “R” code in the funding source `name` parameter when creating or updating a funding source for a Dwolla Account or White Label Customer. When a transfer is initiated using a funding source that has an “R” code assigned to its name, a transfer failure event will trigger and the status will update to failed when you click the “Process bank transfers” button (as mentioned above).

Learn more about ACH return codes.

Example of using a sentinel value to test bank transfer failures

POST https://api-uat.dwolla.com/customers/99bfb139-eadd-4cdf-b346-7504f0c16c60/funding-sources
Content-Type: application/vnd.dwolla.v1.hal+json
Accept: application/vnd.dwolla.v1.hal+json
Authorization: Bearer pBA9fVDBEyYZCEsLf/wKehyh1RTpzjUj5KzIRfDi0wKTii7DqY
{
  "routingNumber": "222222226",
  "accountNumber": "123456789",
  "type": "checking",
  "name": "R01"
}

Performance and stability

We made behind-the-scenes improvements to The Dwolla Sandbox environment to improve its performance and stability. These improvements were a result of feedback we’ve received over the past few years from the developer community.

We will continue to monitor the Sandbox environment usage, feedback from the community, and make adjustments to the platform accordingly.  Reference our testing resource article for more information on testing in the Sandbox, and join the discussion about the Sandbox improvements on our forums!

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Financial institutions play an important role in the Dwolla network.

Dwolla, Inc. is an agent of Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank and all funds associated with your account in the Dwolla network are held in pooled accounts at Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank. These funds are not eligible for individual insurance, including FDIC insurance and may not be eligible for share insurance by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Dwolla, Inc. is the operator of a software platform that communicates user instructions for funds transfers to Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank.