Best Practices for Salesforce Data Loading

salesforce data migration services

Best Practices for Salesforce Data Loading

Posted by Vrinda J Menon

Salesforce Data Loader is a client application for the bulk import or export of data. You can use it to insert, update, delete, or export Salesforce records. The real issue at hand is the process you should go through to ensure you get good data into Salesforce.

  1. Identify which data you will migrate.

You may not want or need to move an entire set of data, so pick which objects you wish to migrate. For instance, you might need to move just the contact data from each record, or just move account data from a specific division.

  1. Create templates for the data.

Create one template for each object, for example in an Excel worksheet.

Recognize the required fields for each object. In addition to the required fields for each standard object, there may be additional required fields such as those needed to follow business rules, or legacy ID fields

You may wish to highlight the required fields in red for easier review of the data after you populate the templates.

You should also identify any ordering dependencies. Objects may have mandatory relationships, for example all accounts have an owner, and all opportunities are associated with an account. The dependencies in these relationships dictate the order of data migration. For Salesforce data, for example, you should load users first, then accounts, then opportunities.

To identify dependencies, review the related lists and lookup fields in the page layout of the given object, and IDs (foreign keys) in the database.

  1. Populate the templates.

Clean your data before populating the template, and review the data in the templates.

For example: Load one record, check the results, then load all records.

  1. Migrate the data.

Make custom fields to store legacy ID data. Alternatively, give the custom field the External ID trait so it will be recorded. This will help look after connections, and help you assemble custom reports for approval.

Load one record, check the results, then load all records.

  1. Validate the data.

Use all of these techniques to validate your migration:

  • Create custom reports that validate record counts and provide an overall snapshot of migration.
  • Spot check the data.
  • Review exception reports to see what data was not migrated.
  1. Re-migrate or update data as needed.

Once you are satisfied with the testing and validation in the sandbox, load the data into production. This is critical so don’t stop there, test and re-validate, in production. Just because everything worked right in the sandbox, is no guarantee that it will in production.  Another key point, it is prudent to do this when framework use is commonly low so you can bolt out all clients who are not included with the validation and testing. After you have all the best possible sign-offs, open the framework backup for full utilization.

  1. Monitor everything

Monitor data usage, routinely run processes to check for duplication and clean as needed. After a data load is complete, it’s time review what is next on your priority list and get cracking on the next great enhancement you can roll out to your users.

Do you have any queries related to Salesforce? Reach out to our team and we’d love to talk!!