Salesforce Data Recovery Retirement - What are the alternatives ?
On July 31, 2020, Salesforce Data Recovery Service has been retired, and thus is no longer a plausible solution to recovering data.
The Data recovery service was never a robust solution for data recovery:
- It was not a delightful customer experience and was neither fast nor reliable.
- It used didn’t even guarantee 100% data recovery
However, with this latest update, Salesforce has put data protection, backup, and recovery responsibilities on the backs of its customers.
This article will go into the retirement of Data Recovery, and other options customers can consider in their plans to handle data loss.
Why Salesforce customers need a backup solution ?
Data loss can happen for a myriad of reasons. It could be caused by human error, where someone deleted data from records in Salesforce en masse, or incorrectly updated data by importing information into the wrong fields.
There are other times when it could be caused by a bad integration, such as when a new tool responds unexpectedly, wiping out thousands of records. Or, it could be malicious intent, where the system is hacked and the data is erased or corrupted.
No matter how it happens, data loss can be crippling for a business, bringing day-to-day operations to a halt, and put the business in a compromised position of how to disclose this information to customers, and how to cover themselves in the face of legal action.
What about Data Recovery Service?
For a while, Data Recovery Service was an offering from Salesforce that assisted customers with recovering from data loss. Once the issue of missing data had been discovered by Salesforce customers in their org, they were encouraged to use all means possible to locate the data or find a way to recover it on their own. These practices are still encouraged today.
After a customer had confirmed they had done all they could within their means, they could then reach out to Customer Support to request the Data Recovery service, however that was not always a viable option. Next, let’s go into why Data Recovery service was retired.
Why did Salesforce retire the Data Recovery Service?
There are a few reasons Salesforce chose to retire this service and no longer offer a data recovery option.
It may be a common misconception, but it was easy to assume the Data Recovery service is something Salesforce could do in a matter of hours or days. That simply was not the case. Due to the complexity of data recovery, this process could take upwards of 6-8 weeks to complete.
That amount of time to wait for data could cripple a business, and have a negative impact on a client’s external customer relationships, especially if they needed access to that data.
There was also the issue of not being able to guarantee a 100% recovery of the data, which was hard for customers, also. Waiting 2 months for an option that was not fully guaranteed could also place customers hanging on the service in a difficult position.
Then, the cost itself was a factor in the accessibility to customers. At a price of $10,000, or possibly more, the cost could be a roadblock for smaller businesses who may not have the capital for that type of service.
In the end, Salesforce took a look at all of these factors and decided to retire the Data Recovery service as of July 31st, 2020. But, this does not mean that customers do not have other options. Let’s look into options outside the Data Recovery service that Salesforce customers can consider when planning ahead for recovering data in the event of loss or compromise.
Native Salesforce Options for Data Recovery
There are options within Salesforce that allow you to perform your own data recovery, if used correctly and efficiently, and many of these practices and tools have been encouraged by Salesforce, even when the Data Recovery service was an option.
If you’re not familiar with Data Loader, it is a great tool to take advantage of (both for assisting with data recovery practices, and other uses). Data Loader allows for the bulk import and export of data, and allows you to create, edit, or delete Salesforce records for both standard and custom objects.
Data Loader is great for making a scheduled nightly job to export your data. It can also be used to import and restore lost data, as long as it is also in a .csv format.
Weekly Data Export
As part of the plan to prevent or minimize damages from compromised or lost data, it is recommended to do data exports periodically. Doing these weekly are recommended, instead of monthly, so that just in case something does happen, you are facing a smaller window of time in the unfortunate event of permanent loss.
Having these exports done automatically not only saves admins or developers time that they would spend gathering and exporting, but also ensures it is habitual, and will not be forgotten or fall by the wayside in the list of responsibilities that need to be addressed from day to day.
There are times when data needs to be exported more frequently than each week, or when there are major updates about to happen. For situations like this, it is recommended that you use reports.
Reports can be assembled and exported for a variety of reasons, whether it means you need daily exports, or you are about to make updates on a large volume of records and want to ensure the data is present, should you need to revert it back to its state before changes have been made.
We’ve gone over three native Salesforce options, but what about non-native options for backing up data?
Non-Native Salesforce Options for Data Recovery
While native Salesforce options are great for basic data exporting, they can sometimes be too time-consuming for larger jobs, and still require a little manual work. It is never a bad idea to explore third-party options for this task, especially when data backup and recovery is a large focus of their tool.
Some great features to consider when evaluating data recovery options include, but are not limited to:
- Backup of data, including objects, files, attachments, and metadata
- Secure backup, with encryption during transit and rest
- Reporting features, to help you keep a watchful eye over how the tool is functioning
Bluefactory.io is one option that offers a backup and restore features for Salesforce.com, as well as additional tools like Data archiving and sandbox seeding.
In summary, it’s important to recognize data loss and compromise can happen to anyone, at any time, but it is best to have a plan in place on how you plan to recover the data, and how to minimize any damages that may occur. Starting with prevention and getting into habits of backing up your data weekly is something you can start immediately.
Make sure your plan and tested solution are readily available and that the plan is well documented for others to follow. Everyone on the team should be made aware of preventative steps, how to confirm data loss, and the steps that should be taken to recover the data. Your future self will thank you!