Salesforce will no longer provide data backup recovery services in the case of data loss as of July 31st, 2020. Although you may not have ever heard of this service (don’t worry, many people aren’t aware), it is a pretty big deal for Salesforce to be retiring it!
In this article, I will explain what the data backup recovery service is, when you would use it, and a few alternatives to look at for when Salesforce retires their service in the Summer.
What is the Data Backup Recovery Service?
Data Backup Recovery is a service that Salesforce provides for ($10,000 per case) that enables you to retrieve ‘lost’ data.
Once you put a request in, it takes around 6-8 weeks to get the data restored – and according to Salesforce, it was a very cumbersome process.
When Would You Use the Data Backup Recovery Service?
‘Lost’ data could be a result of accidents, hackers, or technical malfunctions.
The ideal scenario for the Salesforce Data Backup Recovery Service is a data import that goes horribly wrong. If you find yourself without backup copies to restore the information, you could make a request to Salesforce. For example, you override all ‘Amount’ data for all opportunities from the past three years, but only have a report that covers the last 6 months – you would be in trouble for multi-year financial reporting!
Why Is Salesforce Canceling the Data Backup Recovery Service?
According to this article, Salesforce believes that this service does not make sense to continue, due to the cost and time associated with retrieving the data.
Alternatives for Salesforce Data Recovery
Salesforce provides three out-of-the-box options, however, they all require manual human intervention. Let’s take a look at each.
You can export all of your data manually using Dataloader. Note, there are ways to get around this, and automate the export process, if you have a developer on hand.
Here is Salesforce Developer documentation for both the UI and the command line.
2. Data Export Wizard
This enables you to schedule a full downloadable copy of your data on a weekly basis. The catch here is that once the backup is ready, you will be notified via email that the files are ready to download. You then have 48 hours to download all of the zip files before they expire!
You can check out this Trailhead Module to learn more.
Similar to Dataloader, you can use the reporting function native to Salesforce to export your data – but clearly, running large reports can be time-consuming!
Using a third-party solution is the best appoach, in fact, Salesforce themselves have always recommended this! There are several different third-party applications on the AppExchange for data backup and retention. Some of the features to look out for are:
- Data snapshots: can they provide multiple snapshots of your data, taken at different periods of time?
- Sandbox comparison: can they provide comparisons between sandboxes and production?
- Data Hosting: do they provide a hosting solution for the data with a mechanism for querying the data?
Spanning Backup serve up a full suite of systems in order to provide you solace that your data is safe – and one that we recommend. They are also compliant under many different regulations both in the US and the EU. As an added bonus, they also have the ability to maintain your metadata in case of complete corruption of your Salesforce org. OwnBackup is another provider on the market.
What do I personally recommend and do I agree with Salesforce?
Personally, I would recommend going with a third-party application, if you can afford it. Salesforce data is likely the most valuable data source that your company has.
Typically, with Salesforce’s solutions, you are forced into storing the data on someone’s local drive, at least until they have the ability to move it elsewhere – essentially, putting your company at the same risk as if you hadn’t done a backup at all!
I would recommend having a solution that stores the data for you, as it resolves issues like former employees leaving with the data, or laptops being stolen. Another obvious benefit is that it saves you from needing to get your own server or hosting space to store the data, along with all of the steps necessary to get the data from Salesforce to that server.
As for whether I agree with Salesforce? Well, while I see their point of view (not meshing with their core values), I think they are going against their values even more by not providing a reliable worst-case scenario plan. While it was an expensive process and time consuming, it was a relief to know it existed if ever there was a time that it was needed.
The bottom line is that accidents happen, hackers happen, and technical malfunctions happen. It is critical to have a safe and reliable mechanism to retrieve your data should you ever need to.
So just like you would have a plan in place in case of a fire, make sure you have a backup solution in place, whether manual or automated!