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A Comprehensive Guide to Salesforce Data Backups

Whether you work in the cloud or utilize an on-premise solution, performing regular backups will not only safeguard you from data losses but will allow you to move and adapt the backed-up data elsewhere. All of this is especially relevant if you are using a Salesforce product. Regardless if it is a CRM or a service desk, backing up your stuff is critical to the success of your organization.

Yet, the question remains open, what data backup solution you should use? Should you try the basic stuff, or maybe it is better to opt for a third-party solution? All this and more in todays article. Thus, without any further delay, let’s dive directly into the matter.

Before We Begin

Now some of you might already know that Salesforce has a copy of your data somewhere on their servers and that you can restore whenever you like. However, that is no longer an option. Salesforce stated that:

“Effective July 31, 2020, Data Recovery as a paid feature will be deprecated and no longer available as a service”

The company cited poor quality, long restoration times, and high maintenance costs, as the primary reasons as to why they no longer wish to provide data restoration services. In fact, the company noted that it takes upwards of 6-8 weeks for a copy to be restored and even then you don’t get any guarantees that all of your stuff will make the cut. This change affects practically all Salesforce products, meaning that hundreds of thousands of users are forced to resort to a third-party solution, which leads us to the next section.

All Available Backup Solutions

And now for the Salesforce data backup solutions themselves. We will divide this section into two sub-categories, native solutions, and third-party solutions for enhanced readability. Thus, let’s start with the native ones and gradually shift to the custom ones.

Native Options

Salesforce offers three ways you can export and safeguard your data. Keep in mind that these functions are not perfect and will never substitute a proper backup system but they will allow you to get at least something out the platform.

Here are the methods themselves:

  • Export data through the UI. This method is limited to just 512 MB approximately. If the file is larger, the entire back-up will be divided into a bunch of .zip files. Another issue of this method is that it has no support for sandbox exports.
  • Export data through the API. While much better than the UI method, this process is significantly more involved and requires technical expertise to execute correctly.
  • Export data through the Reports Function. This is by far the least optimal method of them all. It will allow you to export up to 100,000 rows and 100 columns. Furthermore, you can export up to 5 reports at once, thus if you have a lot of data, the process will take a while. Lastly, you are limited to CSV and XML file extensions.

And that about wraps things up for the native options. Let’s take a look at the third-party solutions and what they have to offer.

Third-Party Options

Now when it comes to third-party options, the situation is not as grim as the native solutions. Most tools get the job done fairly well but do keep in mind that even they have their own limitations. As a disclaimer, we’ve followed Salesforce’s recommended algorithm of entering the term “backup” in AppExchange and sorting the results by popularity. Let’s take a look at three of the most popular export tools out there.

  • OwnBackup. A paid option that manages to backup practically everything in a fast and pretty efficient manner. The tool is often praised for delivering well-compressed backup files, as well as for having a nice extraction mechanism. Finally, the tool is equipped with a replication system that you can use to restore only certain parts of the backup.
  • HDM. This tool has been on the forefront of data management for years now. The solution allows you to no only backup your data to just about any format imaginable but import it without coding. The entire process is hassle-free and is quite fast. Another vital aspect of the system is its pricing system. You only pay for the records backed-up, nothing more nothing less. Finally, the tool doesn’t care what you want to backup, if you want to back up your entire account, you can do that, all while still being GDPR compliant.
  • Odaseva. This backup utility is another community favorite. It is equipped with all the right features such as partial restoration, selective archival, and even make archive data readable to the users. Yet, what most seem to like about the tool is that it doesn’t put a lot of strain on your system during the backup process.

So as you can see, third-party apps are much more effective in regard of Salesforce data backup. The only downside of these tools is that they are paid options, something that not all organizations can stomach. If you need pieces of advice as to which one you should go with, keep reading our next sections!

How to Pick a Backup Tool?

While there are many variables you can use to qualify a system, we highly suggest that you read the technical specification sheet (if available). Knowing the underlying technologies and features used in the system will allow you to better understand what the tool is capable of and what you can expect from it.

Another good indicator of a high-quality product are online reviews, especially user-generated ones. Scouting platforms such as G2, Capterra, and FinancesOnline will allow you to better understand the pros and cons of each system. Finally, if possible, check how long the vendor has been on the market. After all, bad products don’t last.

So Which One is the Best?

It is hard to tell which tool is the best from the list above. Yet, what is truly clear is that they are better than Salesforce native implementations. Your best course of action would be to ask for either a demo or a trial. After all, no amount of words can beat first-hand experience. Assess how much data you have, what kind of data you need to back up, and based on the experience, pick the one you need.

Final Notes

And there you have it, our take on Salesforce data backup. If you need help with data archival or maybe you want to migrate that data somewhere, we are just a few clicks away. Make sure to drop us a message! Thanks for joining and we’ll see you next time!

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