Every day, the work of any entity generates an enormous amount of information that is recorded in its database. Over time, the need to move that data from one site to another may arise. Some diverse causes that can provoke such migrations are: parallel work in two systems whose data needs to be integrated; the adoption of a new CRM; the redesign of an organization’s data model towards a more scalable one; maintenance or update actions; among many others. It is a procedure inherent to the development of companies, and for this reason it is very important to be prepared to undertake it effectively and in a timely manner. Doing it manually is unthinkable in the 21st century!
Recommendations to Take into Account Before Doing a Data Migration
Before implementing data migration, we must take into account some important notes. Although some of them may seem quite intuitive, their application within the process can mean the successful completion of the operation, or commit a grave error. Here are some recommendations to keep in mind during data migration:
- Preparation of the migration process: those in charge of this process must carefully design all the steps that, from a technical point of view, will be necessary to carry out the data migration. A correct mapping process; proper relationship and order between the records, data format, compatibility checking and assurance; just to cite a few examples.
- Optimization of the data model: the migration process is the ideal time to review the data structure the organization has and optimize it, either integrating elements or eliminating unnecessary ones.
- Backup: If the data migration process is prepared and executed efficiently, it should not cause any problems. But in case things go wrong, having a backup copy is vital to ensure the integrity of the data.
- Timely information: Keeping all stakeholders informed about the data migration process and the stages it will go through is critical. In this way, disagreements are avoided and the benefits of the process are better used.
- Selection of a data migration tool: once we have defined our goal with the migration process, we must choose the appropriate tool to carry it out. It must be taken into account to what extent the benefits of each tool correspond to the needs and possibilities of the entity.
Salesforce Data Migration Tools
The tools that perform data migration are of the ETL type (extract, transform and load) and there is a wide variety available. Some are suitable for beginners or non-programmers, while others may be preferred by developers. They all have similarities in terms of their functionalities, although each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Making the choice between them should be based not only on the objectives of each company but also on what the tool can do. To continue, we present our top 5 favorite tools for Salesforce data migration, with their respective general properties.
Salesforce Data Loader
It is a Salesforce client application that stands out from the rest for its high security and efficiency in handling large volumes of data. It provides a friendly and easy-to-use wizard interface and has two main ways in which it can be used: through the user interface (for macOS and Windows) and through the command line interface (CLI) (for Windows only). The latter allows you to perform complex and repetitive operations.
The Data Loader includes the basic options of insert, update, upsert, delete, export, export all and hard delete. In addition, it offers the possibility of mass deletion, and the option of auto-mapping. It permits checking the effectiveness of the operations thanks to the generation of CSV files (comma-separated values) with the record of successes and errors. Supports all Salesforce objects, including custom ones.
Salesforce Data Import Wizard
Data Import Wizard is a tool accessible from Salesforce, without the need to download or install any software. It has a unified interface that allows you to import data from many of the standard Salesforce objects, such as leads, accounts, or contacts; as well as custom objects.
To perform its function, it is only necessary to organize the data at the point of origin. Next, the necessary fields are assigned and edited to carry out the import, which can be up to 50,000 records at a time. It also includes the option to execute processes and workflows. Another great feature it has is field mapping, but unfortunately, the mapping can’t be saved for later use.
JitterBit Data Loader
It is an open-source tool from Jitterbit. Combine the power of APIs, integration and AI. Very useful for importing information related to potential customers or leads, and suitable for quick ad-hoc tasks due to its simple interface and multiple functionalities. Its intuitive API creation technology allows you to reuse applications and data.
It is designed for administrators which relieves the burden on IT resources. It uses Salesforce login credentials that are retained for later use.
This Data Loader offers the basic options of insert, update and upsert, it also has the options of query, delete and bulk load. It enables the selection of fields and objects by means of point and click. It offers the option to configure CSV files and other databases and allows data to be uploaded from local disks, FTP and databases such as MySQL, Oracle and SQL Server. Its user interface is useful for mapping object fields.
Dataloader.io is a cloud-based web tool developed by MuleSoft, which can be accessed using Salesforce credentials. It is capable of importing, exporting, deleting data and scheduling tasks with a simple user interface. Through it, administrators can access the audit history to monitor the tasks performed, as well as search based on text, not record IDs, this makes it easy to create and operate Vlookups.
Additionally, it has auto-mapping and is capable of exporting rules to objects. It ensures the confidentiality of the information through encryption. It has three versions: two paid and one free. It is frequently used in social programs that require continuous updating, such as Health and Education. Its main disadvantage is that it does not limit the volume that can be downloaded by profiles, which overloads the work of the administrators.
It is a tool accessible from Salesforce through the corresponding extensions in Chrome and Firefox browsers. It is capable of importing and exporting, as well as showing all the data and metadata, which can also be downloaded. It allows you to flexible and adjusts the size of each batch to be imported, it also shows the details resulting from the import and facilitates debugging.
In the case of formula fields, it can show the applied formula. It also shows, on the details page, the External ID and auto-number of a field.
Here are some complementary elements as a summary for each tool:
Would you like some help choosing the most suitable Salesforce tool for data migration in your company? The SkyPlanner team can provide you with the guidance you need and advise you, based on their vast experience during the data migration process.