Backing up your data is best practice when it comes to any IT system. Ensuring that in the event of disaster, human error, or potentially a data breach, you can resume working and get back online as soon as possible.
In the world of Salesforce, this is just as imperative as other systems. Especially because a CRM is a living breathing system, with 10’s, 100’s or 1000’s of users adding records or changing fields every minute of every day.
Why do I need a Salesforce Backup Solution?
While the possibility of Salesforce losing your data exists, this is not the primary reason you need a Salesforce Backup solution. The most likely cause of losing data will come from user error and could be for one of the following reasons…
- Mass Data Import – With tools such as the Data Loader, an Admin can modify 1000’s of records in a few seconds. If a mistake has been made, records and field values can be wiped off the CRM forever.
- Rogue Automation – Deploying a buggy Apex Trigger or Process Builder that overwrites data could mean mass data loss or corruption.
- User Error – General mistakes from an Admin or a user are totally possible at any time.
Data Vs Metadata
When you think of a Salesforce Backup solution, you are probably thinking of backing up Salesforce records, but it’s also important to backup your Metadata.
Metadata is the information about your configuration in Salesforce. This could include features such as custom fields, page layouts, Apex triggers, or any other part of Salesforce that you have customized.
Just as it makes your bones chill thinking about mass deleting 1000’s of records, can you imagine overwriting a complex Apex trigger with no backup?
Metadata backups are just as important!
Native Salesforce Backup Solutions
Salesforce has a bunch of native solutions available for backing up your data. These solutions should be used at the bare minimum in order to take a copy of your data, but as you will see, don’t provide much in the way of automation…
Data Export Service – Allows you to perform a manual, or scheduled backup of your data via the Salesforce UI. This will organize your data into a set of CSV files
Data Loader – This allows you to export data using the Data Loader. This option requires more manual steps but does give you more control over the data you are exporting.
Report Export – A simple way to export data out of Salesforce using the reports interface.
Change Sets – You can use Change Sets to copy metadata from a Salesforce org, to another, such as from Production to a sandbox or developer org.
Sandbox Refresh – By refreshing a Sandbox, you are essentially taking a fresh copy of your production Org.
Force.com Migration Tool – A more advanced tool that can be used with a command line interface to migrate changes from one Org to another.
It’s also important to mention here that in the event of disaster and you have not taken a backup, Salesforce do offer a Data Recovery Service that has been reintroduced. This service costs $10,000, can take many weeks, and can restore data and metadata.
In addition, Salesforce announced a fully native Data & Metadata Backup solution at Dreamforce 2021. All details that are currently available can be found in our announcement post here.
Third Party Salesforce Backup Solutions
If Salesforce offers native, free solutions, why might you need a third party solution?
Well…if you’re already familiar with the tools in the previous section, you will know that while they can pretty easily export your data, if you do need to restore to a particular place in time due to an issue, it’s all going to be manual.
That mean sorting through sheets of CSV’s, finding the latest backup, then performing a manual import. This is never an easy process and requires a lot of time and care.
This is why third party solutions exist, they have built an App that takes all the hard work out of exporting, and restoring. Let’s take a look at some of the market leaders…
The market leader when it comes to Salesforce Backup. OwnBackup has over 3000+ customers and provides comprehensive backup & recovery solutions.
2. Spanning Backup
Spanning are another established player in the Salesforce Backup space. They’ve been around since 2010, have a comprehensive platform, and also provide backup for GSuite & Microsoft 365.
Gearset is one of the leading DevOps platforms for Salesforce. They also have a comprehensive platform for data and metadata backup.
Odaseva come from a slightly different angle, selling themselves as an “Enterprise-proven Salesforce data management” solution. This includes data backup, as well as data privacy and compliance tools.
CloudAlly is a long-standing SaaS Backup company that provides services for many other platforms, including Salesforce.
Which Solution Do I Pick?
I hope this article leaves you feeling more confident about the Salesforce Backup space before reading it, but it still may leave you wondering, which solution is right for my company?
The answer is going to completely depend on your unique situation. Questions to ask yourself will include…
- How much does my business depend on Salesforce?
- What would the restore process be in the event of data/metadata loss?
- How long does this process take and what would the impact be to the business?
- How many Salesforce deployments are you performing on a monthly basis? Deployments will always have risk associated for data/meta data loss to occur. The more deployments you are carrying out, the higher the risk.
The native Salesforce Backup solutions available will be suitable for some businesses. But I would recommend checking out some of the paid solutions available, as they are miles apart from the free options.