Everything You Need to Know About Salesforce Data Loader

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Data Handling   •  Salesforce

Having accurate data stored in our platforms is vital to the success of our sales and marketing activities. This makes correct and efficient data handling a top priority and Salesforce Data Loader helps ensure our imports and exports are as straightforward and pain-free as possible.

Detailed below are the top five questions we hear when it comes to using Salesforce Data Loader. It should answer all that you would need to know about the tool but if not, feel free to get in touch directly!

Screenshot of Salesforce Data Loader interface

What is Salesforce Data Loader? 

Data Loader is an application used for the bulk import or export of data. You can use it to insert, update, delete, or export Salesforce records.

When importing data, Data Loader reads, extracts, and loads data from comma-separated values (CSV) files or from a database connection. When exporting data, it outputs CSV files.

Data Loader is different from the Data Import Wizard. 

The Data Import Wizard makes it easy to import data for many standard Salesforce objects, including accounts, contacts, leads, campaign members, and person accounts. You can also import data for custom objects and can import up to 50,000 records at a time.

What’s the difference between Import Wizard & Data Loader? 

Data Import WizardData Loader
Simple imports of dataComplex imports of data
Load up to 50,000 recordsLoad up to 5,000,000 records
It supports all the custom objects and only a few standard objects like:
Account, Contact, Campaign members, Person Accounts, Leads
It supports all custom & standard objects
Supports scheduled exportDoesn’t support scheduled export
Delete operation is not availableDelete operation is available
Cannot import cases and opportunitiesCan import cases, events, tasks, and opportunities
Doesn’t require installationRequires installation

Where to download Salesforce Data Loader

In Salesforce Classic: Setup > Administration Setup > Data Management > Data Loader. 

In Lightning Experience: Gear icon > Setup > Integrations > Data Loader.

You will also require the latest version of Java on your machine and you log in with your Salesforce credentials.

What timezone is the app set to?

During an import, we might encounter issues with changes to the ‘Date’, ‘Date Time’ and ‘Time Data’ fields. To resolve this and update the Timezone settings, full instructions from Salesforce can be found here.

What does the ‘Failed to send request’ error mean?

Users who attempt to connect to Salesforce via Data Loader login may receive an error: 

Failed to send request

This can be resolved by updating Data Loader Settings and working with your network administrator to sort the issue. A couple of first things to check include:

  • The server host – you’ll want to make sure that the server host has been set to https://login.salesforce.com or if you’re using sandbox, the URL is https://test.salesforce.com
  • If your network is using a proxy – Getting the error message, “Failed to send request to https://www.salesforce.com/services/Soap/u/31.0” typically indicates that you’re going through a proxy server resulting in your login attempt from the Data Loader not making it from your local machine to Salesforce servers. If your network is utilizing a VPN, you’ll need to include or set your proxy information in the Data Loader settings. I recommend contacting your IT department to get the following pieces of information:
    • Proxy host
    • Proxy port
    • Proxy username
    • Proxy password settings

Top 5 benefits of using Salesforce Data Loader

Data Loader is a powerful app that can really make importing data much less manual and time-intensive, especially if you are working with a huge database.

Here’s why it’s so great:

  1. Data Loader supports Data Loads of up to 5 million records and is free with all Salesforce editions, so if you have lots of records it’s well worth installing.
  2. It has a very easy to use wizard interface for fast and easy use.
  3. We can access detailed success and error files in CSV format to troubleshoot any issues with our import.
  4. The app comes with drag and drop field mapping to speed up imports.
  5. There is support for all objects, including custom objects.

If you have other questions about Data Loader or something else Salesforce or Pardot related, feel free to send the MarCloud team a message and we’ll do our best to help!

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