Backup and Recovery

Challenges of Backing Up Your Data Using the Salesforce Weekly Export

Mike Melone
Content Marketing Manager, Own Company
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In our series on backing up your Salesforce data methods, we break down several options, including using Data Loader, the Salesforce API, and a Full Sandbox.

In this post, we’ll examine another native option from Salesforce, the Weekly Export service, and weigh the pros and cons of backing up your data using this tool.

What is the Salesforce Weekly Export?

Salesforce’s Weekly Export Service is a native tool that allows you to export data from your Salesforce org for backup purposes. Depending on your Salesforce edition, you can backup your company’s data on a weekly or monthly basis. The output from Salesforce’s Weekly Export consists of a bundle of ZIP files containing a CSV file for each of your standard and custom objects, as advertised, on a weekly basis.

Since the Weekly Export service is available out of the box, comes free with all Salesforce editions, and is relatively quick and simple to use for small Salesforce environments, it’s a popular backup method for many companies using Salesforce.

Despite these advantages, the Weekly Export has several limitations which you should be aware of before adopting it as your sole backup and recovery tool for Salesforce.

Limitations of Salesforce's Weekly Export Service

  • The Weekly Export can only run once a week, not daily or hourly. This means you’ll lose data — potentially up to seven days' worth — that was changed or deleted between backups.
  • Heavy Salesforce traffic can delay export delivery. In the worst cases, your first request will still be in the queue when your next request is made, according to Salesforce’s Help page.
  • Metadata is not included in the backup files, so you will not be able to rebuild custom settings and relationships.
  • You only have a 48-hour window to download the weekly export files, which is not enough time for large, complex orgs.
  • Backup files are often stored on laptops or other non-approved media and can create a potential IT security risk.
  • Restraints caused by the Weekly Export may cause you to not meet compliance standards.

While all of the limitations above are significant, the biggest challenge of using the Weekly Export is restoring data and relationships from your backup. There are over seven steps to recover lost data using the Weekly Export, which we outline in detail here.

With the Weekly Export, you can't easily compare what data has been lost or modified and what hasn’t. It’s also difficult to restore records and preserve master-detail or repair-lookup relationships, both of which require a lot of manual work.

Automate your Salesforce backup and recovery solution with Own

As the #1 SaaS data protection platform for Salesforce, Own enables daily, automated backup and rapid recovery of Salesforce data and metadata with no storage limits. With tools to survey changes to an object, filter just unwanted data changes, and restore at the field level, we help customers quickly and easily restore accurate data.

For a side-by-side comparison of Own Recover and the Weekly Export, check out our infographic here.

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