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Salesforce Data Import

Salesforce Data Import

What You’ll Learn

What is Salesforce Data Import?What is Salesforce Data Import?

What is Salesforce Import Wizard? What is Salesforce Import Wizard?

What is Data Loader?What is Data Loader?

What is Data Loader io? What is Data Loader io?

difference between Data Import Wizard, Data Loader and Data Loader io.Difference between Data Import Wizard, Data Loader and Data Loader io.

What Is Data Management In Salesforce?

Data management in Salesforce deals with the Import/Export(including deletion) of data or records to/from a Salesforce organization.

Salesforce Data Import

Importing data into Salesforce can be easily done through various tools provided by Salesforce. Supported data sources include any program that can save data in the comma-delimited text format (.csv).

There are 3 operations possible while Importing Data in Salesforce:

  1. Insert: It simply creates new records in Salesforce.
  2. Update: It modifies existing records in Salesforce with the help of a record id or external id.
  3. Upsert: It is a combination of insert and update. It modifies the existing records and if the record is not present in the org, it creates a new record for it with a new Record ID.

Major Tools For Importing Data In Salesforce

Salesforce offers two main tools for importing data:

1. Data Import Wizard In Salezsforce

This tool is accessible through the Setup menu(In Quick Find Box, type “Data Import Wizard”) and lets us import data in 5 standard objects, such as contacts, leads, Campaign Members, and accounts as well as data in custom objects.

  1. Import of up to 50,000 records is allowed at a time.
  2. For importing, It provides an easy-to-use interface to specify the configuration parameters, data sources, and field mappings that map the field names in your import file(generally .csv) with the field names in Salesforce org.

2. Data Loader In Salesforce

This is a 3rd party client application that can import up to five million records at a time, of any data type, either from files or a database connection.

  1. It can be operated either through the user interface or the command line.
  2. In the latter case, you need to specify data sources, field mappings, and other parameters via configuration files.
  3. This makes it possible to automate the import process, using API calls.
  4. Use it when you want to save. In Salesforce

This tool allows you to bulk import or export or delete(as well as hard delete) data in a few simple steps. Featuring a more robust engine than import wizards, you can use it to insert, update, delete, export, or upsert Salesforce records for both standard and custom objects.

The free edition of allows for up to 10,000 records per month and the file size limit is 10MB.

  1. Campaign Members, Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Solutions, and all the custom objects can only be imported through the Data Import Wizard whereas Data Loader imports all custom as well as standard objects.
  2. 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.

Salesforce Data Import Methods Comparison


Data Import Wizard

Data Loader

Salesforce Edition supported

All Except Personal and Editions

Enterprise, unlimited, Performance, developer, and Editions


The number of records that can be imported 

up to 50000 records

up to 5 million records

Varies by plan

Catches duplicates




Export data




Import data





5 Standard objects and all custom object

All Standard and custom objects.

All Standard and custom objects

Note:  Data Loader provides functionality to delete records in bulk using CSV files. It deletes records using the recordId of the records.

Important Considerations When Importing Data Into Salesforce

This information can help you integrate your imported data into Salesforce.

1. New Values For Picklists And Multi-Select Picklists

If our import file contains data to be displayed in picklists or multi-select picklists, the wizard warns when you attempt to import a new picklist value that does not match any valid picklist values in case restricted picklist options are checked. If you ignore the warning, the new value is automatically added to the imported record but the value will not get added to the defined picklist. You can later edit the field to add the necessary values.

2. Multi-Select Picklists

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

3. Checkboxes

To import data into a checkbox field, the user has to use 1 for checked values and 0 for unchecked values as well can use True for checked and False for unchecked.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Formula Fields

Formula fields cannot accept imported data because they are read-only.

7. Field Validation Rules and Lookup Filters

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.

Lookup Filters are also applied while importing the data. Records with Relationship field values that fail to meet the criteria of the Lookup Filter will not get inserted. 

8. Universally Required Fields

You must include universally required fields in your import files otherwise the import will fail.

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