Pioneering New Salesforce Backup Knowledge: Debunking Weekly Export Myths in Naperville

Last Thursday’s gathering of salesforce.com admins and partners at DeVry University in Naperville was filled with a pragmatic pioneer spirit, as we explored the Salesforce Weekly Export and Spanning Backup for Salesforce. All the attendees I met at this meeting of the Chicago Suburban Salesforce User Group were ready not just to learn, but to help one another.

I’m sure as we debunked some common myths about the Weekly Export, our discussion would have impressed even Joseph Naper, Naperville’s founder.

When I presented “Myths and Facts About the Weekly Export: What You Don’t Know Might Surprise You,” the frank surprise with which some very experienced Salesforce practitioners greeted the information meant we were breaking valuable new ground.

The deepest discussion came as the group shared their personal stories of Salesforce data loss, and learned about the lack of metadata backup in the Weekly Export. The Salesforce Knowledge Base, specifically Knowledge Article Number 000003594 and Knowledge Article Number 000004037 were eye-openers.

To quote salesforce.com itself, “While Salesforce.com backs up all data and can restore data, it’s important to back up and be able to restore your own salesforce.com data. … [W]e recommend that you use a partner backup solution that can be found on the AppExchange…

So why does salesforce.com want you to get a backup and restore solution if they back up and can restore themselves? While salesforce.com CAN recover your data, they can’t recover your metadata. And it may take weeks and cost thousands of dollars, as noted in the Knowledge Base articles. If you have your own backup & restore in place, you’ll save time and money and have full control over recovering your lost data.

For those I haven’t yet met at a Salesforce User Group, here are key Salesforce data backup best practices I’ve learned from Community members and reviews on AppExchange:

  • Look for backup solutions that are both automatic and “in-app” for best ease of use – you don’t want to augment the Weekly Export with something that adds complexity.
  • Look for backup that runs daily instead of weekly – a lot can happen to your Salesforce data in a week!
  • Check out AppExchange reviews for backup solutions, and if you’re not active in your local Salesforce User Group, start now!
  • Discuss better ways to handle backup than the Weekly Export with your Salesforce systems integrator or consultant. If you don’t have a consultant, you can find them through your Salesforce User Groups and peer-to-peer recommendations.

The reviews written about Spanning Backup for Salesforce on AppExchange, all five-star to date, note that Spanning is both very easy to install and use. Install it (yes, the trial is free) from the AppExchange here, and let me know what you think in the comments below. Whether or not you’ve been to Naperville, you too can be a pioneer of the better way to back up your Salesforce.


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