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In the beginning, Salesforce CRM had only a couple ways to load your data (i.e. the wizards and the data loader).  Now there is no shortage of ways to get your data in with each solution having their pros and cons.  Here is an updated list of options for you to choose from.  Depending on your needs, a particular one might be a better fit.  Here they are, listed in order when I became familiar with them and the key differences between them:

1) Salesforce Import Wizards

Salesforce Import Wizards


Pros:

  • It’s free and was developed by Salesforce.com.
  • There is one for accounts/contacts which is great for importing an exported outlook file containing both in one fell swoop.
  • There is also one for leads, solutions and custom objects.  
  • It is the simplest tool for salespeople or new users.
  • It helps prevent duplicated data from being loaded.
  • It works for all editions of salesforce.

Cons:

  • If you’re looking to import cases, opportunities or products or any other standard objects, you’re out of luck.
  • It doesn’t remember your mapped settings.  Forget a field in your csv file?  You get to run through the wizard all over again.
  • You can only load csv files with up to 50,000 records (if you are an admin, 500 if you just a regular user).

 

2) Apex Data Loader

Apex Data Loader


Pros:

  • It’s free and was developed by Salesforce.com.
  • Good for importing  files with up to 5 million records.
  • Good for loading data into objects where there is no wizard.
  • It saves your mappings.
  • It has scheduling  and exporting abilities.

Cons:

  • It only works for Enterprise Edition and above (does not work with Group Edition or Professional Edition unless you buy the API separately).
  • It’s designed for Salesforce admins but to some admins, it has too simple an interface.
  • You need to download the app and it only works for Windows machines.

 

3) Force.com Excel Connector

Excel Connector
Pros:

  • It’s free!
  • It’s great for those who love Excel
  • It’s handy for bi-directional movement of records and loading small batches
  • It works on Professional Edition and above

Cons:

  • It’s open source and not officially supported. 
  • Newer versions of Windows and Excel 64 Bit can be problematic.
  • It has a separate download and excel add-in for each edition (PE, EE, UE).

 

4) DemandTools

Demand Tools


Pros:

  • It’s a powerful tool for data loading, but also has a suite of tools for data quality.
  • It works on Professional Edition and above.

Cons:

  • It’s not free, but the ROI is there for those admins looking for a data quality toolset.
  • It’s an on-premise app for Windows only.

 

5) Jitterbit Data Loader for Salesforce

Jitterbit Data Loader for Salesforce
Pros:

  • It’s a free tool provided by a 3rd party developer.
  • It works on all Salesforce Editions.
  • It’s a nice looking UI with a powerful toolset.
  • It’s popular and has good reviews on the AppExchange.
  • It runs on PC or Mac.
  • It supports multiple org logins.

Cons:

  • It’s an on-premise app.
  • The developer is hoping you’ll graduate to their full real-time integration tool so you will likely be included in their marketing efforts.
  • It’s not supported.  Look to the community for answers.

 

6) Dataloader.io

Dataloader.io
Pros:

  • It’s a free tool provided by a 3rd party developer.
  • It works on all Salesforce Editions.
  • It’s has a nice looking cloud user interface with a powerful toolset.
  • It’s popular and has good reviews on the AppExchange.
  • Its cloud-based so it’s platform agnostic.

Cons:

  • The developer is hoping you’ll graduate to their full real-time integration tool so you will likely be included in their marketing efforts.
  • It’s not supported.  Look to the community for answers.

 

7) Informatica Cloud Data Loader for Salesforce

 

Informatica Cloud Data Loader

Pros:

  • It’s a free tool provided by a 3rd party developer.
  • It works on all Salesforce Professional Edition and above.
  • It’s has a nice looking cloud user interface with a powerful toolset.
  • It’s popular and has good reviews on the AppExchange.
  • Its cloud-based so it’s platform agnostic.
  • Monitor via a mobile app.

Cons:

  • The developer is hoping you’ll graduate to their full real-time integration tool so you will likely be included in their marketing efforts.
  • It’s not supported.  Look to the community for answers.

 

 

Do you have questions about data migration and Salesforce CRM?  

As a certified Salesforce consultant and Salesforce.com Silver Cloud Alliance Partner, we can help.  Contact Perpetual West at 1 (877) 388-6400 to learn more.