If you’re a Salesforce customer, you likely realize the power of your data. For many executives, it serves as the lifeblood of their business, guiding each decision and performance assessment at every level of the organization.
So what would happen if your data just… disappeared?
Here the strength of cloud databases represents a double-edged sword. They are integrated, collaborative, open, but these factors make them prone to accidental data loss. Especially if you have multiple automations and integrations in place, a mistake on one side of your cloud platform can produce destructive ripples all across your org.
Though Salesforce backs up its servers and can recover your data in case of emergency, this process can take weeks and costs thousands of dollars. It’s an option of last resort. Instead, it pays to develop your own Salesforce backup solution to safeguard your data on an external system. And the Salesforce ecosystem is filled with products and features designed to keep your data safe. Here are 3 different types of Salesforce backup solutions to consider — before data loss strikes.
1. Using the Salesforce data export service
Before looking into paid Salesforce backup solutions, it helps to consider whether standard platform functionality might suit your needs. Salesforce offers a free data export service within its setup menu. It’s a low-cost and relatively painless way to start backing up all of the data in your org.
However, as with any free service, it comes with some limitations:
- While you can schedule future exports, the quickest backup intervals allowed are weekly or monthly (depending on your org edition).
- The feature doesn’t automatically export your Salesforce data. It merely packages it for you — when a scheduled export becomes available, Salesforce notifies the person that requested it. From there, that person is responsible for manually downloading the data and storing it wherever needed.
- These autogenerated files are deleted 48 hours after this notification is sent. So if you miss an export, you miss an export.
- Sandboxes are not supported.
So while this option allows you to get started, it’s not the most efficient long-term solution. Its reliance on a single person to perform manual actions each cycle renders it unscalable, and you may find yourself looking for more robust options soon.
2. Leveraging data loading tools for full export customization
The next possibility involves using data loading tools to manage a scheduled data export. These types of Salesforce backup solutions represent the most customizable options but often require the most setup time. Take dataloader.io (part of MuleSoft) for example. It allows you to schedule automated exports to Box, Dropbox, FTP and SFTP repositories and to focus on only the fields that matter to you. However, each sync is limited to the objects you pull in it because the system lacks an “Export All” function. You may need to build multiple export actions to grab all the data you need.
Jitterbit’s CloudReplicate product takes this type of solution one step further. Although you still need to configure your data mapping and transformations, its interface simplifies this process. It replicates entire Salesforce apps (instead of forcing you to choose different objects) on its cloud-based data warehouse. For some customers, it represents the best of both worlds: the customizability of a data loading tool with the features and ease-of-use of a dedicated backup solution (see below).
3. Investing in third-party Salesforce backup solutions
Meanwhile, for companies in search of a product that requires less effort on their end, numerous third-party backup solutions exist on the Salesforce AppExchange as well. We recommend checking out our favorite two:
- Backupify by Datto offers a robust daily solution that automatically copies all of your Salesforce data — including files, metadata and Chatter messages — onto a separate cloud environment. Its system is highly secure (HIPAA and Safe Harbor compliant), and it also provides solutions for GSuite and Microsoft Office.
- OwnBackup showcases a suite of backup features sure to fit any organization’s needs. It provides a visual data management system for searching and retrieving data, unlimited storage and even the ability to compare data across time and rollback your entire org.
These tools admittedly require an investment over the free Salesforce capabilities mentioned above — or even some data loading tools — but the benefits they provide regarding ease of use and recoverability offer a level of peace of mind that may be well worth the cost.
Data loss is impossible to see coming — you never know how or when it could affect your business. A few minutes spent investigating Salesforce backup solutions now can save your team hours of data recovery effort later.
Looking for other ways to safeguard your Salesforce data? Be sure to check out our Salesforce security best practices checklist for different means of protecting your data from accidental loss or malicious intent.