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Data Loader

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.

Image of Data Loader step 2, select Salesforce object.

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.

Note

Note

Data Loader is strictly a tool for loading data, not metadata. You can’t add or delete fields on an object or load any kind of setup changes.

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:

Use Web-based importing when:
  • You are loading less than 50,000 records.
  • The object you need to import is supported by import wizards. To see what import wizards are available and thus what objects they support, from Setup, click Data Management.
  • You want to prevent duplicates by uploading records according to account name and site, contact email address, or lead email address.
Use Data Loader when:
  • You need to load 50,000 to 5,000,000 records. Data Loader is supported for loads of up to 5 million records. If you need to load more than 5 million records, we recommend you work with a Salesforce partner or visit the App Exchange for a suitable partner product.
  • You need to load into an object that is not yet supported by the import wizards.
  • You want to schedule regular data loads, such as nightly imports.
  • You want to export your data for backup purposes.

For more information on importing data, see “Importing Overview” in the Salesforce online help and the Data Loader Guide.