Backup and Recovery

Backing Up Your Data Using Salesforce Weekly Export and Reports

Ori Yankelev
Executive Vice President, Sales
March 11, 2020

This is part two of a five-part series on methods for backing up your Salesforce data.

Depending on your Salesforce edition, you can backup your company’s data on a weekly or monthly basis. The output from Salesforce’s Weekly Export consists of a bundle of zip files containing a .CSV file for each of your standard and custom objects, as advertised, on a weekly basis.

Some reasons your company may consider using the Weekly Export include:

  • It’s available out of the box.
  • It comes free with all Salesforce editions.
  • It’s relatively quick and simple for small Salesforce environments.

While downloading those files can be cumbersome, the real challenge is restoring data and relationships from your backup.

There are over seven steps to recover lost data using this Salesforce’s Weekly Export. In addition to the complexity involved in recovering from these files, it is critical to be aware of the following additional limitations in the Weekly Export process before making the decision to rely on it as a backup and disaster recovery strategy.

  • Weekly Export can only run once a week, not daily or hourly. This means you’ll lose data that was changed or deleted in between backups.
  • Metadata is not included in the backup files, so you will not be able to rebuild custom settings and relationships.
  • You only have a 48-hour window to download the weekly export files, which is not enough time for large, complex Orgs.
  • Inability to find data if you don’t know the specific time it was lost.
  • Downloading the files is a time-consuming and manual process.
  • Backup files are often stored on laptops or other non-approved media and can create a potential IT security risk.
  • Restraints caused by the Weekly Export may cause you not meet compliance standards.
  • Heavy Salesforce traffic can delay export delivery. In the worst cases, your first request will still be in the queue when your next request is made, according to Salesforce’s Help page.

What about regular Report .CSV Exports?

Report Exports aren’t a stand-alone backup and recovery solution, but could be used along with the Weekly Export for additional data backups. It’s typically used as an ad hoc backup before deployment, mass upload, or another major data event, such as an integration with a third-party application. A few advantages to using Report Exports in addition to the Weekly Export are:

  • It’s available out of the box.
  • It comes free with all Salesforce editions.
  • It’s relatively quick and simple for small Salesforce environments.
  • You can backup whenever you need to.
  • It can be semi-automated.

Much like the Weekly Export, Report Exports could have numerous potential issues when being used as a backup and recovery solution. Some of these include:

  • Missing data if all fields are not included in the report.
  • Cascade deletions could delete data on objects that you haven’t backed up, even though you are backing up the Parent that was deleted.
  • You can only export one object at a time.
  • Each object needs to be manually scheduled, exported, downloaded, and stored.
  • It can’t be completely “set it and forget it” automated.

No company operating in the cloud should ever lose data. Don’t take chances with your company’s data. The OwnBackup backup, compare and recovery application will inform you of a data loss in real-time, allow you to quickly understand the extent of data loss with visual compare and find capabilities, and with a few simple steps let you recover that data in mere minutes.

Next: Read Part Three: Backing Up Your Salesforce Data Using Data Loader

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Updated March 11, 2020

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