How To...Backup Your Salesforce Data (And Metadata)
Updated: Mar 11
Are you backing up your Salesforce data regularly?
Salesforce's recent outage, a rarity for the tech giant, turned many heads and certainly had numerous individuals asking whether they should be concerned about data loss. Being concerned about data loss is a valid concern in the age of cloud and perhaps we are too complacent with handing over our important corporate data without a solid mitigation strategy.
Although Salesforce does an excellent job of safeguarding data and ensuring redundancy so their customers' data is never lost, you should always perform your own due diligence to backup a copy of your data. Check out https://trust.salesforce.com for more details on how Salesforce keeps your data secure, and read on to understand what you should be doing to keep your data backed up.
Truth be told, the source of data loss is more likely to occur due to accidental deletion from a user with elevated permissions or possibly even a disgruntled employee. There are numerous scenarios which may result in data loss, but regardless of reason, are you able to recover if you lost some or all your corporate data in Salesforce today?
Backing up your data is not an expensive procedure. Yet, shockingly, very few small-to-medium sized organizations actively backup their data and metadata. Most Enterprise organizations have solid disaster recovery strategies that include backup of data and metadata. Even so, many still struggle with the execution of their cloud strategy and appropriately backing-up cloud-based data.
There are two elements of data backup that you should consider.
1. Schedule a regular export of all your data in Salesforce
Salesforce provides a very easy method for System Administrators to setup a scheduled data backup. Enterprise Edition orgs can schedule weekly or monthly backups; Professional Edition orgs can schedule monthly backups only.
If you'd like to setup an export more frequently than your org allows, there are manual ways to perform the export, or for the more technically inclined there are ways to schedule Apex Data Loader exports. Check out this Salesforce Trailhead link to get started with backing up your data.
2. Backup your metadata configurations by taking regular snapshots
The frequency at which you should backup your metadata should align with how often you are making changes to your Salesforce Org. If you have an Admin or Consulting Partner actively configuring and making changes to your Org, you should take a weekly or monthly snapshot. If you haven't made changes in awhile, monthly snapshots (or even longer) may be sufficient. There are many subtleties to taking a backup of your metadata, most based on your usage of the platform. If you are making configuration changes in a Sandbox, you should be taking periodic backups of that Sandbox in addition to your Production org.
Backing up Salesforce Metadata is not quite as straightforward as backing up data. The easiest way to backup your metadata is to use a tool like Gearset and have it do a full backup, either as a zip file to your network file share (ahem, which is backed up right...?) or directly to a source code repository.
The Cloud Pilots team is happy to help, and if you need it, provide regular services to ensure your data is being properly backed up. Contact us by email or our website if you have more questions about backing up your data.