We would like to setup a test environment for our SharePoint online tenant with identical identities and directory sync with ADFS to simulate and troubleshoot the problems the issues.

Please share your thoughts and any guidance.


Set up a second tenant, and sync users from a separate local domain. You won't be able to sync the exact same users, but this will allow you to freely experiment with various syncing configurations, tenant level settings, etc.

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It may not be appropriate for production. But for my needs I made AD integration with Office365 using a sub-domain for dev/test purposes. You can find a lot of information about this problem in Chris O'Brien article series. I didn't find better knowledge source for this problem.

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  • adding sub domain doesn't suffice what exactly we are looking for. when you add sub domain you will tend to inherit all the office 365 and SharePoint level features and settings/configurations which means its not a ideal test/dev environment. – kesava Jan 6 '16 at 21:08
  • I don't understand. So you want or not to have the same settings as for production? – Tomasz Szulczewski Jan 6 '16 at 21:35
  • we would like the identies or users to in sync but not the office 365 features. – kesava Jan 6 '16 at 23:25

It is depends on the size of your tenant. We always create a new site collection for testing which contains the same tenant settings. The features we develop tested in test site collection and move to live site collection.

There are some cases you will have multiple live site collections. In this case, the test site collection going to be used and subsites will act as a replication to live site collection.

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  • 1
    However the test site collection approach require that you are VERY careful about your search scopes, otherwise the content from the test site collection will appear in production ;-) – Kasper Bo Larsen Nov 19 '17 at 10:45

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