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What Salesforce data do I need to back up?

David Runciman on June 2nd 2020


If you've been following our posts on backup for Salesforce, you'll appreciate how important it is to back up both your data and metadata. But does that mean you should back up absolutely everything in your org? Although this might seem a good idea, it's not necessary. In fact, backing up the data from every object in your org can have a negative impact on your backup and restore process. In this post, we'll explore how to choose which objects you should back up.

Salesforce data is complicated

For a bit of context, it's worth noting again just how complicated Salesforce data can be. Salesforce orgs hold thousands and thousands of records, with more records being created, changed, or deleted every day. Your records reference each other in various ways across the objects in your org via record IDs (yet more data!). And there are many different objects containing data - you'll need to decide which ones need to be backed up.

Diagram of the complex relationships between Salesforce objects

Don't back up everything

Teams often try backing up everything, which can seem like the obvious approach to take for avoiding any data loss. But it's not actually the best option because some objects tend to change frequently and provide little value when backed up. For example, objects like AuthSession, LoginGeo and LoginIp see a lot of churn and don't store any business-critical data. And if you're backing up a custom object like Case, you probably won't get much benefit from backing up CaseFeed, CaseHistory, and CaseShare for the same reasons.

Not only is there little value in backing up these objects, there are also definite advantages to excluding them from your backups. Backing up fewer objects makes your backups smaller, which in turn speeds up your backup and restore processes. What's more, if you use a backup solution that helps you to monitor and analyze the way your data is changing, excluding objects that see a lot of churn reduces the noise, making it easier to see when something is happening to data you really care about.

For instance, looking at my data backup history in Gearset, I can clearly see that I should investigate the unusual number of deletions made on May 26th. The large deletions would be much less obvious if the graph also showed me a constant stream of deleted and changed records from objects that see a lot of churn. But I've excluded those objects from my backup job.

A graph shows data steadily being added every day, but a large deletion on May 26th

Don't just back up the basics

Core objects in your org like Account, Contact and Opportunity obviously contain important data. Perhaps your current strategy is just to back up core objects. If you're doing this manually with Salesforce's Data export service, maybe it looks something like this:

Only objects like Account and Contact selected for Salesforce's data export service

If you are just backing up core objects at the moment, make sure you know what data is not being backed up. You want to avoid the disappointment of restoring from your backups and then finding there are gaps in your data.

For example, not all of the Contacts data that you might want to back up will be found in the Contact object. Email addresses are in the Contact object. But if you want the data about whether customers have consented to being emailed, you'll need to back up the ContactPointTypeConsent object. And if you want the data about the best time to email each customer, and whether emails have bounced in the past, you'll need to back up the ContactPointEmail object. And it's the same for many other datasets and objects across your org.

You might not be too concerned about backing up all of the data in these other objects. But are you sure that your sales team feels the same way? You'll want to make sure you can restore the data your company relies on every day.

Gearset's default selection of objects for backup

When you set up a backup job in Gearset, you decide which objects you want to back up. Just go to the Filtering tab in Add data backup job and select the objects you need. You're free to select whichever objects you want, but you'll notice that certain objects are selected by default. This default selection is based on Gearset's extensive experience working with Salesforce data. We include a large number of objects, while excluding the objects we consider to be of secondary importance.

Most but not all objects selected for a new backup job in Gearset

Try Gearset's data backup for free!

Salesforce's last-resort data recovery service is being retired on July 31st, 2020. If you don't currently have a backup solution, now is the time to find one and make sure you're not at risk of losing data irretrievably! Start a free trial of Gearset's data backup by clicking on the button below, or book a consultation with one of our experts.

If you have any questions or comments about our default selection of objects for data backup, or any other aspect of backup for Salesforce, feel free to get in touch using the live-chat. We always love hearing from you! 🙂

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