Sometimes organizations deal with large record sets and updating your instance of Salesforce can cause a timeout. This happened in my organization when I tried to update the product2 object, which has over 130,000 records. No matter what you may use to do your updates (e.g the data loader, a desktop application, or a php script) on large objects/tables, the run time will be large. The product2 script that I wrote initially was timing out because of the query that was being ran against our local Oracle DB. To me, timeouts can be dangerous becuase it can stop in the middle of the update script, which can cause data loss or a stopping point that can be hard to track down if the script times out.

To see the whole tutorial, please follow the link below
Salesforce PHP tutorial #2

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M Simonds

  • Note: above link goes to a general repository of guides not an actual tutorial on handling large data sets.