Data Management


Data management in Salesforce deals with Import/Export of data or records to/from a Salesforce organization.


Salesforce Data Import


Data can be easily imported into Salesforce 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 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.

Salesforce offers two main methods for importing data.


Data Import Wizard


This tool, accessible through the Setup menu which lets us import data in common standard objects, such as contacts, leads, accounts, opportunities, 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 field mappings that map the field names in your import file with the field names in Salesforce.

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.
  • Use it when you want to save.


  1. Data Import Wizard only imports Accounts, Contacts, Solutions, leads, and all the custom objects whereas Data loader imports all standard as well as custom 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.


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


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 you when you attempt to import a new picklist value that does not match any valid picklist values. If you ignore the warning, the new value is automatically added to the imported record. You can later edit the field to add the necessary values.


Multi-Select Picklists:

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



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 read-only.


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.


Universally Required Fields:

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


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