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

Salesforce is a secure place to house and manage data, but it has limitations when it comes to data backup and recovery. There are DIY options for backing up and recovering Salesforce data, but these can be time-consuming and less secure. Plus, the costs of allowing your company data to get deleted or corrupted in the first place can add up.

Salesforce’s Backup and Recovery

Salesforce replicates your live environment in real time, which means that any records you delete (accidentally or not) will no longer be available to recover. This is great for Salesforce's own uptime and availability, not great for your company's backup and recovery. Salesforce also stores your data (but no metadata) on backup tapes for 90 days for production orgs and 30 days for sandbox orgs. So, if you find out a massive deletion or corruption of data happened 100 days ago, you’re out of luck – It’s gone. That’s why Salesforce themselves say their “Data Recovery is a last resort process.” Plus, getting the data on these backup tapes requires you to request Salesforce Data Recovery services. These services cost $10,000 and can take six to eight weeks or more to complete.

That’s not all – Once you finally get your data back, you’ll have to manually complete the recovery process using the .CSV files Salesforce provides. This could take a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on how much data was deleted and how complex the relationships are in your data. Or, if you prefer, Salesforce will recommend an external professional services firm to do this arduous, manual work for you.

Your Salesforce Recycle Bin

Salesforce provides you with a recycle bin, but this also has numerous restrictions. Your deleted data is held in the recycle bin for 15 days. If your recycle bin is full, deleted data is permanently deleted. Also, users can delete their own recycle bin data, so your data won’t be safe against malicious users.


Other Salesforce Backup Methods

There are actually several ways to backup your Salesforce data using standard Salesforce functionality. Each have their own benefits and limitations that admins should be aware of when deciding on a backup and recovery strategy. The list includes the following in no particular order.

1) Salesforce Weekly Export and Report Exports
2) Data Loader
3) Full Sandbox
4) Salesforce APIs
5) SQL Database


Salesforce Partner Backup and Recovery Solution

Data loss happens, but it is avoidable. Salesforce recommends working with a “partner backup solution that can be found on the AppExchange,” like OwnBackup. With OwnBackup, you can schedule full Org backups, including metadata, multiple times per day (see below screenshot).


Restoring your data is just as simple. Find and isolate deleted/corrupted data, restore parent/child relationships, and restore only the corrupted data, leaving everything else intact (see below screenshot).


Next: Read Part Two: 

Backing Up Your Data Using Salesforce Weekly Export and Report Exports