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Salesforce Data Loader

Salesforce Data Loader

Let’s take a look at the list of contents in this article about Salesforce Data Loader:

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What is Salesforce Data Loader?

A data loader is software that enables automated, high-volume import, export, and storage of Salesforce data. Marketing and sales professionals can’t do their job properly without lots of actionable data, and a data loader gets that data into the CRM at scale

The data is in bulk and to perform import/export operations a Data Loader is used. It performs all the operations from inserting, updating, deleting, upserting, or even exporting Salesforce records. While importing the large chunks of data, it reads, extracts it, and simplifies it into comma-separated files (CSVs).

Let’s suppose a stock broking company wants to keep a record of its customers, accounts, etc. In the stock market, terabytes of data and thousands of transactions are done every day. The company wants to analyze these transactions and wants to send them to a particular client, for which the raw data is imported from the user’s end to the Salesforce CRM platform.

When to use Salesforce Data Loader

Now the question arises as to why to use a Salesforce apex data loader when you can use the import wizard itself. But the problem is that import wizard manages simple records of data (up to 50,000 records) whereas a data loader manages complex imports of data (around 5,00,000 records). So, if you need to load 50,000 – 5,00,000 records, use a data loader.

Also, the data loader enables a property called scheduled loader. It means you can schedule your import operations even when you are asleep. The loading might take time, so this scheduled data load is definitely a boon for any organization. Data loader is also used for backing up the data, thus creating a sense of security.

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How to install Salesforce Data Loader

  • First, you need to install a data loader on the Salesforce dashboard
  • To install it we need to go to setup > Data Management > Data Loader.
  • You will be redirected to a different screen where you can install the Salesforce Data Loader installation file.
  • Click on download and install it.

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How to Open Data Loader in Salesforce

After installing the Data Loader, you will be required to log in with your password and security token in salesforce.

After logging in, the Data Loader opens and you can see the various operations like Insert, Delete, Update, Upsert, Hard Delete, Export, and Export All.

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How to use Data Loader

  • Open the Data Loader on your Salesforce Dashboard, and enter using your login credentials.
  • After that, there will be a list of Salesforce objects associated with your Salesforce account. You need to select your required CSV file from where the data will be uploaded to Salesforce.
  • A new dialog box appears showing the number of records in the file.
  • Now you need to map the CSV file with the Salesforce fields, this can be done in two ways either by selecting an existing mapping or by creating a new one by choosing to create or edit a map option.
  • Choose the location where you want to store the two separate log files by clicking on the Browse option.
  • Click on Finish to complete the importing process of Data Loader Salesforce.
  • At last, a dialog box appears where you can check up on the progress.

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Types of Data Loader in Salesforce

The following are the different types of data loaders popular on Salesforce:

1. Data Import Wizard

The Salesforce Data Import Wizard is the de facto data loading tool that is built into Salesforce and available in all editions. Its wizard-style interface walks you through the steps required making it very easy to use. In recent years, it’s also been upgraded to import more objects, including, Accounts & Contacts, Leads, Solutions, Campaign Members & Person Accounts. In addition, you can now import custom objects!

2. Salesforce Data Loader

You can think of the Salesforce Data Loader as the Import Wizard’s bigger sibling, with more power, higher limits, and bigger possibilities.

Created by Salesforce, this data loader is installed directly on your computer that can be used to interact with your data in a variety of ways. It allows you to insert, update, upsert, delete, and export. You also get an increase from 50,000 max records with the import wizard, to 5,000,000. There are also a variety of backend settings which means this data loader can pretty much handle any scenario you throw at it. Check out our guide to using the Salesforce Data Loader here.

3. dataloader.io

Originally developed by Mulesoft, but has since been brought into the Salesforce family through the acquisition. Compared to the Data Loader, dataloader.io makes it look like it came out of the 90s.
dataloader.io is 100% cloud-based and accessed through your browser. You have all of the same options available to you as the Salesforce Data Loader, but with some extra functionality that makes this product very attractive. Two of my favorite features are the ability to schedule tasks, and secondly, dataloader.io can automatically find parent records based on text, not an ID, pretty much carrying out the VLookup for you.

4. Dataimporter.io

Dataimporter.io is a cloud data loading tool that lets you connect, clean, and import your data into Salesforce. Similar to dataloader.io, you can schedule tasks, lookup records with text values, and configure settings such as date format, and API type.

It also gives you the ability to connect to external systems such as Dropbox, SFTP, and Heroku, roll back imports, deduplicate, and sample data to test imports before running the full job.

5. XL-Connector

Whilst the above data loaders are pretty impressive in their own ways, some people just like to work in Excel, and that’s exactly what XL-Connector enables you to do.

XL-Connector is an add-on for Excel that gives you the ability to interact with your Salesforce data directly from the spreadsheet. This is pretty convenient, considering before most data loaders, you will be manipulating data in Excel anyway. You have all the standard data tools such as insert, update, upsert, delete, and export, as well as extra features such as converting leads, or mass merging Accounts, Contacts & Leads.

6. Prodly

Prodly AppOps Release is a really great alternative to traditional data loaders when you need to move data between Salesforce organizations. Unlike CSV-driven data loaders, AppOps Release deploys data between organizations via reusable data set templates and has features to maintain record ownership, obfuscate data and create missing fields or picklist values.

It also provides an automatic audit trail, rollback capabilities, and advanced automation for deactivating/reactivating workflow rules, validation rules, and Process Builder processes during deployments.

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Comparison between types of Data Loaders

Data Import Wizard is simple & easy to use, and you can Insert contacts & accounts in one import, and it is available within Salesforce. Although you can only make a maximum of 50,000 records at a time and can only import data, experienced users may find the lack of settings frustrating.

Whereas, Salesforce data Loader is quicker, more powerful, and offers more settings for the experienced Salesforce professional. The only con is it has to be downloaded, and you can’t schedule imports from the interface.

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Data types supported by Salesforce Data Loader

Data loader supports almost all types of data. Some of them are listed as follows-

Base64 – Base64 is a binary-to-text encoding scheme that represents binary data in ASCII format and translates it into a radix 64 representation. These fields are used to insert or update attachments and Salesforce CRM Content.

Boolean – Boolean values are accepted i.e. yes, no, y, n, true, false, 0, 1, on, off. All these are case-insensitive and can be used in any form.

Date Format – The date format can be changed according to the choice of the user. It can be done from Settings > Date/Time, where you can set your desired format. Date format for Salesforce Data Loader is available in various formats like-

  • DD/MM/YYYY (22/06/2021)
  • MM/DD/YYYY (06/22/2021)
  • YYYY-MM-DD (2021-06-22)

Double – Standard double variable of 64bit can be used.

Integer – Standard integer data type can be used.

ID – Salesforce ID can be used which uniquely define a particular type of record in Salesforce.

String – Standard string data type can be used.

The Salesforce Data Loader documentation provides all the information about the different APIs, functions, and data types in Salesforce, and much more detailed information required to use Data Loader in a seamless manner

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Functions performed on Salesforce Data Loader

There are various actions performed using Data Loader wizard-like

InsertUsed to create a record
UpdateUsed to update or edit any record
UpsertUsed to create or edit a record
DeleteUsed to delete a record
Hard DeleteUsed to permanently delete a record
ExportUsed to export records (excluding recycle bin’s data)
Export AllUsed to export records (including recycle bin’s data)

The Upsert function allows inserting and updating a record simultaneously. If a record in the file matches an existing record, the record is updated automatically with the values in the file. If no particular match is found then a new record is created in place of it.

The Delete records function allows you to delete the record and move it into the recycle bin of the system whereas the Hard Delete function allows deleting all the records permanently.

There is also a feature known as Salesforce Data Loader Lookup Field that allows you to associate two records together.

This work can be easily done by providing a unique external ID to integrate two or more fields.

Also, have a look at our blog on Bucket Field in Salesforce to learn more about bucket fields!

Exporting from Salesforce Data Loader

To export the data from Data Loader we need to follow these steps-

  • Open the Data Loader and click on Export. For exporting the archived activities and deleted records click Export All.
  • Choose password authentication and enter your login credentials.
  • Choose an object, for example, choose Account from the “Select Salesforce Object” option.
  • If a particular object is not available then expand the menu to see all the objects that can be accessed.
  • Choose a particular target for the extraction with the .csv extension and click Browse.
  • Click Save
  • In the end, click Next

After that, you need to create a SOQL query for the data export. For example, select ID and Name in the query fields and click on Finish.

  • Choose the particular fields you want to export
  • You can select particular conditions to filter the datasets.
  • Review the generated query and do the needful editing

Select Finish and click Yes to confirm

A progress bar appears to show the status of the operation, and a summarized window appears as soon as the operation gets completed.

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Advantages of Data Loader Salesforce

  • Salesforce Data loader is a massive revolution in the CRM industry. It makes the tasks of big companies simpler terms.
  • The Salesforce data loader’s max batch size is 200 which means 200 records of data can be processed in each batch. This number can be increased to 10,000 when enabling the Bulk API module. Earlier the companies had to install separate CRMs to perform their tasks which are very troublesome and cost millions of dollars.
  • By using the Data Loader it becomes absolutely easy and most importantly it comes free with all the Salesforce editions. It features drag-and-drop fields and easy-to-use mapping techniques that can be easily understood by non-technical people.
  • Also, it allows the loading of 5,00,000 data records in one go which is quite efficient. Anything beyond 5 million can be handled by a Salesforce executive.
  • The upsert function in the data loader is also a plus point as it allows to insert and update of records at the same time

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Disadvantages of Data Loader Salesforce

The Salesforce Data Loader is definitely the best in the market but it does come with some drawbacks too.

  • It needs to be downloaded externally from the Salesforce software and it will definitely take up some space in the system.
  • Also, it can only produce output in .csv formats, so if the third-party software doesn’t support CSV files it can be a problem for the user.
  • As we have already seen, the migration of the records has multiple steps to cover, taking a lot of time.
  • There is also a difficulty in creating object relationships automatically.

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This article tells you the importance of the Salesforce Data Loader, how it actually works and how to use it. The Salesforce Data Loader is a revolution, many companies adopt it for their bulk uploads of data (up to 5,00,000). Especially during the pandemic of COVID-19, the online users increased drastically, and therefore the requirement for Data Loader also increased. There are various other data loaders externally used in Salesforce but Salesforce Data Loader is one of the widely used and the best in the market to date.

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