How often and how long do you need to backup your Salesforce data?

That question is usually one of the first questions when someone has just signed a contract for deploying Salesforce. And it’s also the biggest pain point in every SFDC administrator’s life: Deciding on WHEN and HOW to backup your Salesforce data.

The most common misconception about data backups, in general, is to think about them as a “set & forget” process. But nothing could be further from the truth! We wouldn’t have these days or even hourly messages coming in from our monitoring system if this were true.

As you can see from above, there is no option for “Set & Forget” – especially not when it comes to your sales force data, the source of truth. You need answer to why backup your salesforce data? 

What should you do? 

The first step is to have a strategy for how often and long you want/need to backup your data. This article will help guide you through different scenarios from a developer’s point of view. We’ll also cover resources that might be helpful with the process and give some tips on how to handle this topic in general.  

Data backups can be done at 3 levels: Full Backups Delta Backups Incremental Backups

Worlds vs. Perpetual Licenses Let’s start with a little bit of a detour into a crucial topic: The differences between Salesforce licenses based on the number of “Deployed” users. In general, there are two types of licenses available:

Perpetual Licenses – The license is valid for an infinite time, and there is no limit in terms of how many users you can have or how much data you can store in Salesforce. These days this type of license is very rarely used due to a lot more options in terms of pricing models and Developer Editions becoming a thing. The only reason someone would go with a Perpetual License today would be because their company has been using it for years before these new licensing models came out, or they might still use it for legacy reasons (i don’t want to throw away my existing orgs).

How to Sell More Renewals

Developer Editions – The license is valid for 1 year and limits 50 users or 5 GB of storage. These licenses are most often used by companies with less than 25 Salesforce users, especially when they’re new to Salesforce & CRM in general. Also, you can extend this kind of license once the original contract is over (up to 2x). And last but not least, these are great options for developers who need access to test or demo environments on their local machines. You can read more about Developer Edition here.

The difference between Full Backups vs. Incremental Backups Now that I covered some basics around different types of licenses, let’s go back into the core topic of this article. Looking at the three types of backups, you see a mix between full and incremental backups, so it can get confusing when talking to Salesforce Support or discussing the topic with colleagues/coworkers.

The main difference is that you’re replacing all existing data in your organization with new & copied data. This means that there will be no data leftover from your previous backup after performing a Full Backup (hence “Full” 😉 ). So, for example, if you have 100 records in your org before running the backup, they’ll all be replaced by 100 newly backed-up records after the process finishes successfully.