Salesforce data export

Salesforce admins and others have been turning to the Salesforce data export feature as a way to backup their data and metadata from Salesforce. This is a semi-manual process and can be time-consuming! In this article we will go through the Salesforce data export feature, as well as an alternative that can make your life insanely easier. We’ll discuss exactly what the Salesforce data export is, as well as some of the pitfalls one may experience while using it.

What is Salesforce Data Export?

Salesforce has the ability to create backup (.csv) files on a monthly or weekly basis. A solid backup strategy can potentially save your organization millions of dollars in lost data costs. Performing a monthly or weekly backup is all dependant on the edition of Salesforce you own. If you have the professional or developer edition of Salesforce, you’re able to create a manual export once every 29 days (monthly export). Higher editions (Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited) can generate backup files once every 7 days (weekly export).

salesforce data export

Data Export Time

salesforce data export time

A downfall of the Salesforce data export is that heavy traffic in Salesforce can delay an export’s delivery. It can sometimes take the Salesforce data a week or more for your export request to process due to the processing queue of Salesforce.

Data Export from Sandbox

One of these limitations is the lack of Sandbox support. You will not be able to export data from sandboxes. Even though you’re able to request an export in the sandbox, the export will not complete. You will need to refresh the sandbox in order to cancel the export request.

Data Export Attachment Sizes

The Salesforce data export does support attachments, but this does come with limitations. Attachments can wreak havoc on your limited API calls. To export the attachments, Salesforce uses SOAP API calls. This means that if you have 1 million attachments, that’s 1 million API calls Salesforce has to make – yikes!

salesforce data export attachment file sizes

Another limitation is that if your Org size is large, multiple .zip archives may be created. Each of these .zip files will contain multiple .csv files. These can be cumbersome to name and upload into whatever data warehouse your organization is using.

How to Automate Data Export

Ultimately, it is up to you whether you use the Salesforce data export, or another tool to automate the process. Depending on your company’s budget and needs, there are many solutions on the appexchange to get the data you need pushed to the cloud.

Limited options exist for on-premise backup and replication. Reflection Enterprise is just one example of an on-premise solution that can easily automate the replication and backup of your data for you, as well as provide restoration capabilities. Your data is secure in your data warehouse, where you have full control.

Shoot us a message to see how we can help with your on-premise or cloud backup and replication goals!

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