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The Ultimate Guide to Free Salesforce Backup Solutions

Pros and Cons of the Top 5 Vendors

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Source: ChatGPT by OpenAI

More than 150,000 companies around the world rely on Salesforce to run their businesses. What happens if their data gets corrupted or lost due to human errors, insider and external cyber-attacks, sync glitches, hardware crashes, or natural disasters? The impacts on revenue, brand image, customer relations, and more could be devastating.

That’s why backing up Salesforce data is so critical.  

According to ESG research, 23% of Salesforce customers rely solely on Salesforce for data backup and protection. They mistakenly assume that Salesforce automatically does this as part of their core service agreement.  

However, Salesforce is only responsible for keeping their applications up and running. Like many SaaS vendors using a shared responsibility model, they’re not responsible for ensuring their customers’ data is protected or backed up. Salesforce recently introduced a paid backup solution. However, there are two downsides to it, especially when it comes to being enterprise-ready. 

  1. It’s not as comprehensive – no file and attachment backup – or effective as many third-party Salesforce backup solutions, which have been proven on the market for years
  2. Costs can add up, and many organizations can’t afford it or don’t want to pay for it 

The good news is there are free Salesforce backup solutions that are effective for different types of needs. (And by the way, when we say “free” we mean solution licenses you can use for long or unlimited amounts of time. We don’t mean the 14-day free trials that many vendors offer as a way to evaluate their paid backup and recovery products.)

Salesforce

While Salesforce doesn’t offer a full backup solution for free, they do have the following complimentary workaround options for backing up Salesforce data and metadata.

Data: Refers to values stored in the object store, or records that a business relies on such as users and accounts.

Metadata: Refers to the configuration and customization data in Salesforce, encompassing elements like custom objects, fields, page layouts, workflows, and user permissions, which dictate the behavior and structure of its applications.

  • Data Export Service: This can be a manual or scheduled data backup using the Salesforce UI. It organizes data into a set of CSV files.
  • Data Loader Import/Export: When importing data, Data Loader reads, extracts, and loads data from CSV files or from a database connection. When exporting data, it outputs CSV files. Data Loader requires more manual steps than the export service but enables a bit more control.
  • Report Export: Uses Salesforce’s weekly report feature to export attachments. 
  • Package Manager: For manually backing up metadata. 

Pros

These features can provide a decent alternative for organizations that are doing simple manual backups of data and metadata. While not a first-choice solution, it’s certainly better than doing nothing.

Cons

This is not a full backup solution as it doesn’t include backups for files or attachments. In addition, because admins need to manually export data, these options can be cumbersome and prone to human error. Plus, if users forget to export on certain days, or neglect to do so for any records, data can be lost.   

Because data is exported in CSV files, importing it back into Salesforce as a restore could lead to problems, for instance, with triggers.

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Free Third-Party Salesforce Backup Solutions

Odaseva

Odaseva’s DailyExport.io automatically exports Salesforce data, object-related metadata, Apex classes, and Visualforce components every 24 hours and retains it for 30 days. It extracts the first 50k records per object.

Pros

This may appeal to companies with small amounts of data usage. Because it is automatically capturing data in a CSV file daily, it helps reduce the risk of data loss from user error, at least within the 30-day limit. 

Data is encrypted and stored on an Odaseva secured data center hosted by AWS US. 

Cons

DailyExport.io is not a full backup solution. It only allows you to extract the data (CSV) linked to files. It does not export files or attachments. 

Customers that want to extract beyond the 50K records per object limit or retain any data for more than 30 days must download it all onto their own systems. If they don’t, the data will not be backed up. This increases risk of data loss. 

In addition, because data is stored on an Odaseva data center instance, companies may have issues with data access and vendor lock-in.

 Source: Salesforce Appexchange

Skyvia

Skyvia’s free plan enables manual backups for up to 1GB of data. It stores snapshots for up to 3 months and exports to CSV files. Skyvia’s free plan also includes one-click restore. 

Pros

This provides longer timeframes than Odaseva’s DailyExport.io. It could serve as an intro to Salesforce data backup for very small teams or businesses that have minimal data requirements.

Cons

Companies that need to back up data when approaching the 1GB limit will need to delete older backups. 

This free version does not include backup data search or backup comparisons, and has all the limitations inherent in manual backups and CSV exports.
This plan is more likely to be used on a short-term trial basis since the 1GB limit will preclude most organizations from relying on it. Perhaps this is why Skyvia markets the plan as “get started for free.”

Source: Skyvia

Veeam

Veeam Backup for Salesforce Community Edition is designed for teams that have 50 or fewer Salesforce user licenses. It automatically backs up Salesforce data, metadata, files, and attachments – and includes backup data search and backup comparison capabilities. 

The Community Edition uses Salesforce APIs, which is included in Salesforce Enterprise and Unlimited editions, and optional in Professional edition.

Veeam provides technical support via documentation as well as email on a “best effort” basis with no service level agreement (SLA) guarantee.  

Pros

Comprehensive, automated backup makes this solution very well-suited for small teams.

Customers have the choice of running Community Edition on-premises or in clouds such as AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Cons

Veeam Community Edition is only available for small teams – 50 or less Salesforce users. 

In order to fully own their backed-up Salesforce data and not have vendor lock-in, customers must keep data in their own cloud or on-prem infrastructure. This can be time-consuming and costly to maintain within smaller teams. 

Source: Veeam

GRAX

GRAX has two free Salesforce data backup offerings: GRAX Lite and GRAX Data Protection Initiative for Nonprofit Organizations (DPI). 

GRAX Lite automatically backs up Salesforce data, metadata, files, and attachments on a daily basis. It also includes backup data search and backup comparison capabilities, as well as single record restore.

Companies can have up to 2,500 users on this free backup solution, and there is no limit on the total backup size or time periods. 

Businesses can deploy GRAX Lite on their own AWS or Azure instances. GRAX provides detailed technical documentation to support deployments and ongoing use of the solution.

GRAX DPI is available directly to qualifying nonprofit organizations. It provides all the capabilities of GRAX Lite as well as automated hourly backups, point-in-time mass recovery, and technical support via email. 

DPI also enables for-profit businesses that purchase a license of GRAX Enterprise to give away a free GRAX Enterprise license to a nonprofit organization of their choice. 

Pros

GRAX Lite is the only solution that provides free, comprehensive Salesforce data backup and restore for companies with up to 2,500 users. The robust capabilities combined with automation make it an easy choice for organizations that are serious about protecting their Salesforce data and want longer retention periods. 

GRAX DPI enables nonprofit organizations – which often have more restrictive budgets – to benefit from GRAX’s most comprehensive solutions. 

All GRAX backup solutions run in the infrastructure that customers own. Because the data never leaves an environment (compute and storage) that customers do not own, it enables you to control your data’s Digital Chain of Custody. This provides an irrefutable record of changes in the data. 

Cons

GRAX Lite provides customer support only via technical documentation.

GRAX for Salesforce Backup and Restore

Which Solution is Best for You?

Although all of these Salesforce data backup solutions are budget-friendly, “free” clearly doesn’t mean one-size-fits-all. Choose the solution that provides the best coverage with the least amount of effort, while meeting your needs for all licensed users, data types and volume, and security concerns. 

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