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Data Recovery No Longer Supported in Salesforce CRM

Tega Olotewo | May 6, 2020 

Salesforce is constantly coming up with great new features in each of their seasonal releases throughout the year. It seems you have just enough time to get comfortable before exciting new features are available to take advantage of in your Salesforce instance. But, with those releases, there often comes features that are retired for a multiple number of reasons. Coming up July 31st, 2020, Data Recovery will no longer be an available service offered by Salesforce.

According to Salesforce, the Data Recovery process is the last resort where Salesforce Support can recover your data at a specific point in time, in case it has been permanently deleted or mangled during a data import. Salesforce Data Recovery service offered a backup of your data in a comma-separated values (CSV) format on the date in which you’ve requested. Salesforce would export each of your objects, and return the data to you securely, after which you could upload the data using native Salesforce tools.  Although Salesforce did not re-upload your data for you, they could provide other professional options to assist with this task, if requested. 

Top Causes of Salesforce Data Loss

Human Error: Human error is the leading cause of data loss in Salesforce. Accidents can happen to anyone. Users can mistakenly delete records; Administrators can accidentally overwrite thousands of records during a data upload process. Scenarios like these can lead to major data loss and if you don’t have a plan in place to recover the loss data, it can be time consuming and expensive. 

Integration Issues: 3rd party applications integrated with Salesforce can lead to data loss. If the 3rd party application configuration is not setup properly, it can overwrite the wrong fields or the wrong records in your Salesforce instance. These integrated applications usually deal with a mass number of records and update Salesforce to provide the most recent information.

Bad Code: Developers use code to automate processes and manipulate data. Poorly tested code in your production instance can lead to data loss and can also go undetected for a long time. If there is an automation with an error in the code updating multiple records daily, this can lead to major data loss.

Having a plan in place should not just be an item on the ‘list to do when you have time’; it is critical to the health of your business and can make or break your success if something goes wrong. There are a plethora of ways data can be lost or deleted, so this is not something companies can afford to brush off as a happenstance. We all know that mistakes happen, so it’s best to ensure that there are protocols is in place for when something happens, you have a procedure to recover sensitive and crucial data. 

So, with Salesforce no longer providing data backup recovery service as of July 31st, 2020, let’s look at a couple of alternatives that we can consider:

Manual Exporting of Data

A Salesforce Admin or Developer can manually export data daily and upload into a database (such as Oracle or SQL Server). This is one of the easiest solutions to implement for making sure your data is backed up. One pro of manually exporting data is that it can be done today as a first line of defense, with little learning curve involved, as long as the individual performing this task is familiar with your Salesforce instance and pays very close attention to detail. However, depending on your bandwidth, this may not be the most effective use of your time day after day.  Salesforce has numerous help articles to assist with this task, but if you would prefer more one-on-one guidance (and meet the criteria), they also offer an accelerator to provide information on native options to help you become more familiar with the tools available for use to ensure your success when used appropriately. Manually exporting data is best suggested for “out-of-the-box” Salesforce orgs, or those with a small data presence.

Automation Data Export Wizard

One option that is more of a time saver than manually exporting is setting up an automated schedule for the Data Export Wizard to generate files in comma-separated values (CSV) format. There are restrictions on how frequently this can be done (weekly or monthly) based on your edition. Also, you may encounter issues if there is heavy traffic, so it is best to schedule these jobs overnight or when your instance may not be frequented as often, like a weekend. It’s also prudent to consider that larger amounts of data (512 MB or greater) are broken up into multiple zip files. This is still a viable option for small to medium-sized companies and provides value in significantly reducing the hands-on time of your employees while still getting the job done. It’s important to follow best practice of monitoring the jobs once they’re scheduled. 

Third-Party Backup

The AppExchange is a great for sourcing third-party applications to provide solutions in tandem with Salesforce.  Using a partner solution for backing up your data is a great way to leverage experts who specialize in this area of security. Salesforce recommends using a partner backup solution to prevent data loss and ensure you have a data recovery strategy in place. 

Some of these apps on the AppExchange backup your data (Accounts, Contacts, Leads…) and your metadata (all your configuration settings like page layouts, dashboard, reports and custom code). Some actually automatically restore your data for you, eliminating the manual process of uploading multiple files to Salesforce. There are multiple options and vendors to pick from so here are a couple of things to consider when choosing a Backup application security, data restoration capabilities, ease of use and a comprehensive data backup structure. Always be sure to do your due diligence by checking out reviews, demos and testing in your sandbox.

This is not an “end all, be all” list of options for securing your data, however; it’s a great place to start. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of prioritizing time to ensure you have an outlined a plan of action to keep your data stored and safe should an emergency occur. Remember, Salesforce takes data security and recovery seriously, and provides many resources to help you feel confident in taking action today!

ListEngage’s team of Salesforce experts is here to assist you with your data solutions. Contact us for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

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Tega Olotewo | Technical Lead

Tega Olotewo is a Technical Lead at ListEngage where he serves as the subject matter expert for solution architecture that includes configuration, development, integration and customization of complex environments for enterprise clients. Tega is 9X Salesforce certified and has worked with multiple clients in different industries across Pardot, Sales, Service and Community cloud. He enjoys developing customized solutions within the Salesforce platform to support critical business functions and meet project objectives.