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Salesforce Data Loader: Some Great Options

Getting data in and out from Salesforce is one of the biggest issues for Salesforce administrators. However, recognizing the critical nature of the job, Salesforce makes available a number of data loaders that can be used in different ways to upload the data and export it to the required environment.

Some of the best data loaders are:

Import Wizards

Different import wizards that are built into Salesforce permit the users to import accounts, contacts, solutions, leads, and custom objects. These wizards are extremely user-friendly and take the user through the various steps for importing the data. Since the steps are quite self-explanatory, it proves very easy to use even for the administrators without too much experience. Some of the limitations, however, are that it is possible only to import data into the organization and the wizard has no capability for exporting or deleting data. It can only handle a maximum of 50,000 records so only smaller databases can be imported, though because the wizard allows users to identify duplicate records, they can use it to clean up their databases by not entering the duplicates. Users need to map all the fields individually and importing the maps is not possible. In a recent development, Salesforce has updated and unified all the different import wizards it had as “Data Import Wizard”; however, users can still access and use both versions.

Data Import Wizard

As mentioned earlier, Data Import Wizard was announced by Salesforce as a unified and updated edition combining all the different import wizards that are likely to be phased out as distinct products at some point of time in the future. While the new wizard offers very much the same functionality as the ones it seeks to replace, it now incorporates a new upgraded user-interface that was sorely required. The easy to navigate interface is extremely slick in its looks and performance and encourages users with messages as the import progresses. On the downside, the time taken to import data using the wizard remains considerable, and you need to keep in mind that you can only import data and do nothing else.

Salesforce Data Loader

Also referred to as the Apex Data Loader, the Salesforce Data Loader is considered to be the software staple in the day-to-day lives of most Salesforce administrators and consultants. The application installed on the computer can be used for data interaction in a number of ways permitting the user to insert, delete, update, and export the data. For those unfamiliar with the latest jargon, upsert refers to the process of updating existing records or inserting fresh ones. The wizard can handle a mammoth 5 million records giving it added advantage over the limitation of 50,000 in the import wizard. Users can also save the field maps for use in the future and not have to labor over the mapping exercise every time. The export feature gives users the capability of applying filters to enable the export of only specific data from the identified objects. However, there are limitations in this feature as it is not possible to insert data into some objects that are more obscure.


Developed by MuleSoft, a partner of Salesforce Dataloader.io is an application that is also cloud-based. It can be accessed by using your Salesforce credentials and does not require any separate sign ups. The application is favored by many for its clean and intuitive approach to data interaction in a number of ways. With the applications, users can perform the conventional data import, export or delete functions; however, the application allows them to schedule operation for later dates. What’s more, to encourage users to automate, it even allows a free one-time scheduling. Compared to the Apex Data Loader, it can interact with a larger number of objects. Users will find features such as predictive text functionality when mapping data fields as well as accessing Dropbox for CSV extremely useful. No wonder it is the top-ranked app on AppExchange.

Author bio: James Drew is a senior Salesforce developer who works on new product development for data migration. He is associated with http://www.flosum.com/salesforce-data-migrator/.