Salesforce Developer Import


You can easily import external data into Salesforce. Supported data sources 
include any program that can save data in the comma delimited text format (.csv).
Salesforce offers two main methods for importing data:

1. Data Import Wizard—this tool, accessible through the Setup menu, lets you 
   import data in common standard objects, such as contacts, leads, accounts, 
   as well as data in custom objects. It can import up to 50,000 records at a 
   time. It provides a simple interface to specify the configuration parameters, 
   data sources, and the field mappings that map the field names in your import 
   file with the field names in Salesforce.

2. Data Loader—this is a client application that can import up to five million 
   records at a time, of any data type, either from files or a database 
   connection. It can be operated either through the user interface or the 
   command line. In the latter case, you need to specify data sources, field 
   mappings and other parameters via configuration files. This makes it possible 
   to automate the import process, using API calls.

With both methods, the number of records you can import depends on your 
permissions, the type of data you’re importing, and the overall data storage 
limits for your organization. The type of objects you can import depends on 
your edition.

Use the Data Import Wizard when:

1. You need to load less than 50,000 records.
2. The objects you need to import are supported by the wizard.
3. You don’t need the import process to be automated.

Use Data Loader when:

1. You need to load 50,000 to five million records. If you need to load more 
   than 5 million records, we recommend you work with a Salesforce partner or 
   visit the AppExchange for a suitable partner product.
2. You need to load into an object that is not supported by the Data Import 
3. You want to schedule regular data loads, such as nightly imports.

Data Loader uses the SOAP API to process records. For faster processing, you 
can configure it to use the Bulk API instead. The Bulk API is optimized to load 
a large number of records simultaneously. It is faster than the SOAP API due to 
parallel processing and fewer network round-trips.

To Prepare for Data Import:

1. Use your existing software to create an export file.

2. Clean up the import file for accuracy and consistency. This involves updating 
   the data to remove duplicates, delete unnecessary information, correct 
   spelling and other errors, and enforce naming conventions.

3. Compare your data fields with the Salesforce fields you can import into, 
   and verify that your data will be mapped into the appropriate Salesforce 
   fields. You might need to fine-tune the mapping before starting the import. 
   For details, see Field Mapping for Data Sources in the online help.

4. Make any configuration changes required in Salesforce to handle the imported 
   data. For example, you might need to create new custom fields, add new values 
   to picklists, or temporarily deactivate workflow rules.

Salesforce recommends you import using a small test file first to make sure 
you’ve prepared your source data correctly, and we probably should test the 
import process in a sandbox / developer edition environment before doing it 
on production if acceptable.

To Use the Data Import Wizard:

1. Start the wizard.
   a. From Setup, enter Data Import Wizard in the Quick Find box, then select 
      Data Import Wizard.
   b. Review the information provided on the welcome page, then click 
      Launch Wizard!

2. Choose the data that you want to import.
   a. Click Standard Objects to import accounts, contacts, leads, or solutions. 
      Click Custom Objects to import custom objects.
   b. Specify whether you want to add new records to Salesforce, update existing 
      records, or add and update records simultaneously.
   c. Specify matching and other criteria as necessary. Hover over the question 
      marks for more information about each option.
   d. Specify the file that contains your data.  You can specify your data file 
      by dragging the CSV to the upload area of the page or by clicking the CSV 
      category you’re using and then navigating to and selecting the file.
   e. Choose a character encoding method for your file. Most users will not 
      need to change their character encoding.
   f. Click Next.

3. Map your data fields to Salesforce data fields.  The Data Import Wizard tries 
   to map as many of your data fields as possible to standard Salesforce data 
   fields. If Salesforce can’t automatically map fields, however, you’ll need to 
   do it manually. Unmapped fields are not imported into Salesforce.  To see a 
   list of standard Salesforce data fields, from Setup click Customize, click 
   the object whose fields you’re interested in, and click Fields. For example, 
   if you want to see a list of standard Salesforce fields for leads, click 
   Customize | Leads | Fields.
   a. Scan the list of mapped data fields and locate any unmapped fields.
   b. Click Map to the left of each unmapped field.
   c. In the Map Your Field dialog box, choose the Salesforce field(s) you want 
      to map to and click Map.  The Map Your Field dialog box also gives you the 
      option of saving data from unmapped fields in a general notes field for 
      accounts and contacts. To do so, choose Account Note or Contact Note from 
      the Map To drop-down list and click Map.
   d. To change mappings that Salesforce performed automatically, click Change 
      to the left of the appropriate field, then choose the Salesforce field(s) 
      you want to map to and click Map.
   e. Click Next

4. Review and start your import.
   a. Review your import information on the Review page. If you still have 
      unmapped fields that you want to import, click Previous to return to the 
      previous page and specify your mappings.
   b. Click Start Import.

5. Check import status.  From Setup, enter “Bulk Data Load Jobs” in the Quick 
   Find box, then select Bulk Data Load Jobs.

New Values for Picklists and Multi-Select Picklists—If you import a picklist 
value that doesn’t match an existing picklist value:

1. For an unrestricted picklist, the Data Import Wizard uses the value that’s 
   in the import file.

2. For a restricted picklist, the Data Import Wizard uses the picklist’s default 

Multi-Select Picklists—To import multiple values into a multi-select picklist, 
separate the values by a semicolon in your import file.

Checkboxes—To import data into a checkbox field, use 1 for checked values and 0 
for unchecked values.

Default Values—For picklist, multi-select picklist, and checkbox fields, if you 
do not map the field in the import wizard, the default value for the field, if 
any, is automatically inserted into the new or updated record.

Date/Time Fields—Ensure that the format of any date/time fields you are 
importing matches how they display in Salesforce per your locale setting.

Formula Fields—Formula fields cannot accept imported data because they are 

Field Validation Rules—Salesforce runs validation rules on records before they 
are imported. Records that fail validation aren’t imported. Consider 
deactivating the appropriate validation rules before running an import if they 
affect the records you are importing.

There are other data loaders available on the AppExchange. Some add more 
functionality and usability over the standard Salesforce Data Loader, and you 
are encouraged to try them out.

If you’re loading large sets of data, you can use the Bulk API. 
The Bulk API and supporting web interface allows you to upload and create 
import jobs, monitor and manage jobs, and receive notifications when the jobs 
complete. For more information, see Loading Large Data Sets with the 
Bulk API:
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