Data Loader is a client application for the bulk import or export of data. Use it to insert, update, delete, or export Salesforce records.
When importing data, Data Loader reads, extracts, and loads data from comma separated values (CSV) files or from a database connection. When exporting data, it outputs CSV files.
Data Loader can be useful for loading data into testing environments, such as Developer Pro sandboxes that don’t contain any data. For regression testing, it’s advisable to use a stable set of data that doesn’t change from release to release, so it’s useful to store a set of data locally and use Data Loader to populate your test environment. Data Loader has a command-line interface so that scripts can automatically load data into a fresh organization.
To import data, you can use either the import wizards or Data Loader. Data Loader complements the Web-based import wizards that are accessible from the Setup menu in the online application. Refer to the following guidelines to determine which method of importing best suits your business needs:
For more information on importing data, see “Importing Overview” in the Salesforce online help and the Data Loader Guide.