For enterprise users of Salesforce CRM, it is very important to have a backup strategy that will ensure routine backup of data and a tested method of instant restoration in case of a data failure. Having such a comprehensive data management practice and security model in place will ensure peace of mind in case of any data failure on the go.
While planning for a data backup strategy, it is very important to understand the major difference between the data types as data and metadata and what to include in the data backup strategy for each of these. Data is primarily the collection of all the enterprise records, including customer contacts, sales leads, opportunities, accounts, contacts, and so on. Data may also consist of the customer files, object records, content, and chatter, etc. On the other hand, metadata deals with all the configuration settings like the page layouts, custom fields, reports, dashboards, and the custom codes like Visualforce and Apex.
Data backup models
Even with the best intentions in terms of safeguarding data, the admins and users may be into situations where they either delete data by mistake or due to ignorance. Sometimes, it may be an accidental modification of data in unwanted ways. In many cases, we may know about this mistake only at a later stage. Using tools like the Data Loader makes it easy to update records or do mass deletion by error. A simple mistake of this sort in the source file or doing a field mapping may end up in the total destruction of your data. By expecting any such cases, it is always recommended that you maintain a practice of regular data backup and ensure an immediate point-in-time data backup is available before you proceed with any big data projects or changes in your organization.
It is easier for the users to delete or update data accidentally to modify the records. It is also easy for the developers and administrators to do the same by mistake. Users with advanced permission but with limited knowledge about safe data management practices may also cause the disaster. They tend to make changes in the configuration settings like deleting custom fields, modifying the layouts of pages, or change the dashboard reports, etc. Developers may sometimes modify the custom codes for adding features. Most of these changes may remain non-reversible, and once confronting such a scenario, it is vital to have a copy of the metadata for you to fall back on and restore instantly. Let us further explore more details about salesforce data backup recovery tools.
Salesforce backup tools
Salesforce offers many tools like Data Loader and API-based backup as a method to restore the data manually. Salesforce also has native data backup and restoration options in case of any failure. In any case, it is important not to restore the data so that connections and relations to it can be protected for restoration. The customers, too, can engage the native services by Salesforce Services to assist with the data restoration provided they have a backup copy of the data.
For helping the customers to back up the data routinely, Salesforce put forth many native options with no additional cost to the users. Apart from this, many third-party tools can also be leveraged for data backup and restoration as free or premium services. It is very easy now to choose a partner app for Salesforce data backups based on your specific use case. Further, we will discuss a few options available for backing up enterprise data.
- Data Loader: It can offer on-demand manual data exports through the API. You can find the Export Data command on the Salesforce interface.
- Data Export Service: It can be used for scheduled or manual data exports through the UI. With this, you can easily export data from Salesforce.
- Report Export: This is the approach of manual exports on-demand through reports.
For metadata backup, the users can adopt any one of the following methods.
- Change Sets: This will help copy the production org’s metadata to be put into a developer org or sandbox.
- Migration tool by Force.com: This is a Java-based CLI utility to move your metadata from a local director to Salesforce.org and vice versa.
- Sandbox Refresh: You can take the approach to refresh a related sandbox, and the configuration metadata will be copied automatically.
There are also a lot of third-party data backup solutions available by the partners on the AppExchange app marketplace of Salesforce. The users can do a custom search of the same to see which solutions will match best to their use case. Some of these are comprehensive in nature as they allow automated time-elapsed backups for data as well as metadata. Some others are specifically for short-term data backup or for standalone metadata backup only etc.
You can search for any of these by going to AppExchange and to keyword research by using data backup, metadata backup, automated backup, etc. It is also recommended that the customers explore various offerings to compare the features and review by the other users before choosing an apt offering for them. However, one thing to be remembered is that Salesforce does not testify or endorse any particular solution available on AppExchange.
To conclude, whatever approach you take for Salesforce data and metadata backup, including native options of third-party apps, it is important to maintain a solid data backup and restoration strategy. One thing to remember is that even when you have a backup mechanism in place, you must run a trial of restoration once in a while as a mockup of the actual scenario. This will help identify the possible data restoration challenges and the time and effort needed in an actual case scenario. By knowing this, you will be able to effectively avoid any business disruption or downtime in case of data destruction. Data backup and restoration service providers can audit your specific use case and offer customized Salesforce data management and security packages for you.