Data importing, uploading and exporting is something that strikes fear into most people. In this blog, Solution Consultant, Richard Gerrard looks at one of his favourite tools to ease the pain of data loading, dataloader.io.
“Ok, so we need to migrate / import our data” – a sentence to send shivers down the spine of any Admin, Consultant, Dev or otherwise who has had to deal with this task, be it a few records or thousands. Putting aside the collating, verifying and cleansing aspect there’s then the small matter of importing it into Salesforce (not to mention exporting or deleting it as well), ensuring it goes exactly where you want it to and in a way that doesn’t take hours upon hours to complete without any errors (which could mean you lose the lot and have to start all over again!). It is a key part of the majority of projects as what use is an all singing, all dancing CRM if there’s no information populated within – like an all new, purpose built sports stadium without any fans in it, an old boss of mine used to say.
There are a few data loading tools available, but by far my favourite for its ease of use is dataloader.io. Dataloader.io is a 100% cloud-based application that can be accessed straight away by logging in with your Salesforce credentials, no downloads or separate sign up required. With the free version you can import, export or delete up to 10,000 records per month using files of up to 10MB per file (paid options can increase this).
As well as the usual importing, exporting and deleting functions you can also schedule operations for future dates (1 schedule is free) and import / export data directly from / to Box, DropBox, FTP and SFTP repositories.
Thanks to its easy to use interface you spend less time mapping data from the source file to the Salesforce fields with features such as auto-mapping….
…and the ‘Lookup via’ feature which means for lookup fields, you can match with any piece of information on a record, so you do not need to extract and match using Record ID’s.
There are also visual “Required” labels for mandatory fields so it’s clear which fields you need to map.
You can batch run your import (up to groups of 200), so if an error is found just that batch fails rather than the whole dataset and the error reporting gives clear reasons as to why the task failed (NB: each batch will require a separate API call, so keep an eye on your daily limits if loading a significant amount of data).
Once you have created your task you can save and run it, meaning that the next time you want to import the same kind of data, the task and mapping will already be created and it will just take you one click to get it up. If you want to build a new task that is similar to one you’ve already created, you can easily use an old task as a template and build from there, saving you several steps.
Whether you’re new to data loading or a seasoned hand, with its intuitive interface and useful features dataloader.io takes away a lot of the pain and frustration and allows you to load quickly and securely, so those fans can take their seats ready for the game.
If you are interested in dataloader.io, please do get in touch with us here at Hyphen8, and we can discuss implementation with you. Simply email: firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch by contacting the team.
For more blogs on our favourite apps, check out our other blog posts.