With the way Salesforce has provided efficient solutions to manage customer and partner data, it’s not surprising how it leads the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) services industry.
Alongside this powerful capability, however, comes the responsibility of providing adequate security for that data. Unfortunately, most SaaS providers primarily focus on providing a great platform and pass data security and management on to the customer.
And so, deploying Salesforce means acquiring the responsibility of managing, securing, and protecting not only your organization’s data, but the data of your customers and partners as well. If it sounds like a huge obligation that’s because it is.
With this blog post, we aim to empower Salesforce users to better manage their Salesforce data by providing the ultimate backup and recovery guide. Let’s get to it!
Why do you need backup?
How can we ever fully trust that our data is perfectly safe without it being backed up? Data center failures, power outages, disasters, human error—there are just too many possible causes of data loss. The deletion of an account, an object, or a contact is not something you can easily brush off.
Even if you can categorize data loss as minor or major, both still pose risks to your organization from a business and legal perspective; backing up your data saves you from all of that.
What needs to be backed up?
It’s important to know what data in Salesforce is essential and what should be protected for recovery. An efficient backup service should be able to secure all your main data types including Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, Cases, and Contracts.
In addition to the main data types, custom object records, files, and content should also be backed up. For some organizations, backing up the above is not enough as they have their own custom configurations, fields, page layouts, and metadata, these should also be covered in the backup.
Common Data Loss Scenarios in Salesforce
There are multiple instances when your Salesforce data can be deleted – intentional or not. These are the most common ones experienced by organizations that can be remedied by a third-party backup and recovery solution. Take a look at these scenarios to know what to avoid:
User-Driven: These are typical mistakes from users. Sometimes, users are not aware of why touching certain data led to that data’s deletion. There are also times when employees make changes to data prior to leaving a company, which makes it harder to resolve since they are no longer part of the organization and no one is aware of the data they left. There are even users who are overconfident that deleted items can be retained by the Recycle Bin and not entirely aware of its limitations.
Recycle Bins in Salesforce hold deleted items—but what it doesn’t hold are version histories of those items. If unwanted changes are made to content before being deleted, how do you think you’ll be able to revert to the original data?
Admin-Driven: Opposite of the above scenario, admin-driven mistakes result in larger losses of data and require a more complicated recovery approach. Most of these mistakes happen using Data Loader where admins try to do bulk updates, changes, or actions all at once, which also makes it very easy to mass delete data. Admins may not even be aware of the data they’ve deleted. And it’s not only the admins who can use Data Loader; anyone who has access can perform actions like mass deletion.
If a power user accidentally deleted 32,000 records in Data Loader, for instance, those deleted records will be in the Recycle Bin for a maximum of 14 days. The only way to recover these records is to restore them from the Recycle Bin page by page, which takes a ton of time and effort.
How does Salesforce protect data?
Data Recovery Service
Salesforce’s native backup and recovery solution, Data Recovery Service, is a platform solution for Salesforce users to recover their data and metadata to a specific point in time via a support request. The Scheduled Data Export function can be used to receive your data via a link sent through email, that’s available for 48 hours before it expires. If it does expire the process will have to be started over.
Although its retirement was announced last year due to the small number of customers utilizing the service and several third-party solutions being available, Salesforce retracted this decision and released an update of its continuance alongside the announcement of a new backup and recovery system built into the platform said to be better than the Data Recovery Service.
Other native backup tools:
1. Data Export Service: With this, you can automatically or manually back up your data—images, documents, attachments, and Chatter files—weekly or monthly. The downside is that data export is not supported by sandboxes, and files are deleted 48 hours after the completion of export. Delays can also be expected, especially in cases of heavy traffic. This is where third-party tools like AvePoint’s Cloud Backup for Salesforce can help. With Cloud Backup you can efficiently and fully export your data in a matter of minutes, which greatly helps especially when you’re pressed by time.
2. Report Export: This can be used to back up targeted data, such as Campaign Contacts or Lead records, by exporting said data and then importing it to another Salesforce environment or third-party application such as Excel. This is, however, a manual and tedious process that is prone to human error, which makes automation all the more crucial.
3. Salesforce APIs: To back up Salesforce information through an external application, Salesforce APIs help you get the job done. For an even more comprehensive solution, Cloud Backup can help protect and restore your metadata and other customized configurations with ease.
Native restoration tools:
- Recycle Bin: Easily restore soft-deleted records such as parent accounts, cases, and custom lookups with Recycle Bin. Items are retained for 15 days before they’re permanently deleted. If you’re one of the majority of organizations needing longer retention period for deleted data, AvePoint can help you back up and retain your data for as long as you need.
- Data Import Wizard: Data Import Wizard can be used to import data for Salesforce objects like accounts, leads, custom objects, and more.
- Data Loader: For the bulk import or export of data, Data Loader helps you to insert, update, delete, and export Salesforce records through an easy-to-use wizard interface for interactive use and drag-and-drop field mapping.
While the Recycle Bin can restore soft-deleted data for a period of time, both Data Import and Data Loader offer few options for restoring critical data and instead focus more on providing an option to update and edit existing data. Cloud Backup for Salesforce, on the other hand, can fully back up and restore both in- and out-of-place data in bulk.
Manage Metadata with Metadata API
As mentioned above, metadata—custom object records, configurations, and codes—are just as important as your main data types. With Metadata API, you can back up, restore, manage, and customize your metadata in your Salesforce environment.
- Deploying and retrieving metadata: Move metadata (XML files) between a Salesforce organization and a local file system using the deploy() and retrieve() calls.
- Force.com Migration Tool: This migration tool helps in moving metadata between a local directory and a Salesforce org.
Limits of the Native Salesforce Backup and Recovery Service
Salesforce’s native backup and recovery service sound confusing and complicated—because it is. But more than that, its limited capability to fully back up your data, coupled with its unreliable process and costly fees is what makes it hard to rely on this service alone.
With that, adopting a third-party solution becomes crucial. An efficient backup and recovery solution should not only be able to fully protect the important data and metadata, but it should also offer a reliable, fast, and user-friendly recovery feature to restore data when needed.
You have invested in Salesforce and now you need to ensure your data is protected. Start your free trial of AvePoint Cloud Backup today and enjoy a more efficient way of protecting your Salesforce data.