The 5 Best Data Loaders for Salesforce

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Getting data in and out of Salesforce is a required skill for any Salesforce Administrator or Consultant. Did you know there are actually quite a few applications to help you do this? Salesforce provide a few different data loaders that have unique applications and are all suited for different ways to upload and export your environment. In terms of my title, you couldn’t really crown a winner of best Data Loader for Salesforce, as it all depends on what your requirements are, what experience you have and the ease of use you want.

In this post I’m briefly going to review a few different Data Loaders I’ve used over the years with a brief introduction about what they are about, followed by a summary of their advantages and disadvantages.

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1.Data Import Wizard

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The Salesforce Data Import Wizard is the de facto data loading tool that is built into Salesforce and available in all editions. Its wizard-style interface walks you through the steps required making it very easy to use. In recent years, it’s also been upgraded to import more objects, including, Accounts & Contacts, Leads, Solutions, Campaign Members & Person Accounts. In addition, you can now import custom objects!

Advantages – Simple & easy to use.

Disadvantages – Maximum of 50,00 records at a time, can only import data, experienced users may find the lack of settings frustrating.

2. Salesforce Data Loader

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You can think of the Salesforce Data Loader as the Import Wizard’s bigger sibling, more power, higher limits, and bigger possibilities.

Created by Salesforce, this data loader is installed directly on your computer that can be used to interact with your data in a variety of ways. It allows you to insertupdateupsert, delete, and export. You also get an increase from 50,000 max records with the import wizard, to 5,000,000. There are also a variety of backend settings that means this data loader can pretty much handle any scenario you throw at it. Check out our guide to using the Salesforce Data Loader here.

Advantages – Quicker, more powerful, and more settings for the experienced Salesforce professional.

Disadvantages – Has to be downloaded

3. dataloader.io

Originally developed by Mulesoft, but has since been brought into the Salesforce family through the acquisition. Compared to the Data Loader, dataloader.io makes it look like it came out of the 90s.

dataloader.io is 100% cloud-based and accessed through your browser. You have all of the same options available to you as the Salesforce Data Loader, but with some extra funtionality that makes this product very attractive. Two of my favourite features is the ability to schedule tasks, and secondly, dataloader.io can automatically find parent records based on text, not an ID, pretty much carrying out the VLookup for you.

Advantages – Simple UI but very advanced, Cloud-based

Disadvantages – dataloader.io is a freemium product

4. XL-Connector

Whilst the above data loaders are pretty impressive in their own ways, some people just like to work in Excel, and that’s exactly what XL-Connector enables you to do.

XL-Connector is an add-on for Excel that gives you the ability to interact with your Salesforce data directly from the spreadsheet. This is pretty convenient, considering before most data loaders, you will be manipulating data in Excel anyway. You have all the standard data tools such as insertupdateupsert, delete, and export, as well as extra features such as converting leads, or mass merging Accounts, Contacts & Leads.

Advantages – Powerful bit of kit if you love to work directly in Excel

Disadvantages – XL-Connector is a freemium product

5. Prodly

Prodly AppOps Release is a really great alternative to traditional data loaders when you need to move data between Salesforce orgs. Unlike CSV driven data loaders, AppOps Release deploys data between orgs via reusable data set templates, and has features to maintain record ownership, obfuscate data and create missing fields or picklist values.

It also provides an automatic audit trail, rollback capabilities, and advanced automation for deactivating/reactivating workflow rules, validation rules, and Process Builder processes during deployments.

Advantages – Move an entire layered data schema at once, out of the box data sets for migrating CPQ, FSL and advanced approvals.

Disadvantages – Does not support data import from spreadsheets, paid product

17 thoughts on “The 5 Best Data Loaders for Salesforce

  1. Avatar

    Hi Ben,

    SimpleImport Free is another Dataloader which allows you to import Excel spreadsheets into any object.

    Users can do this easily and quickly through a simple interface, with customizable automated field mapping.

    Here’s the link to check it out:

    https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N30000009x6YDEAY

    SimpleImport FREE has also been mentioned in this blog:

    http://blogs.salesforce.com/company/2014/09/10-apps-that-helped-ceo-achieve-his-vision-lightning-fast-speed.html

    Thanks!

    Beth, ProvenWorks

  2. Avatar

    Hello Guys,
    I have a requirement where i need to extract the data from the salesforce and upload it to some ftp server on daily basis.
    I am looking for some free tool but just want to know whether this jitterbit data loader is able to do this and most important i am looking for some free tool, if anybody is having any idea then please revert back

  3. Avatar

    Demand Tools from CRM Fusion is my go-to Data Loader, https://www.crmfusion.com/demandtools/. But the tool also provides an interactive power grid for manipulating data so sometimes the export, manipulating, and re-import isn’t necessary at all. It also includes de-duplication functions and a people import tool which is helpful for tradeshow lists.

  4. Avatar

    Worth pointing out to folks who arrive here now, that the official ‘salesforce data loader’ is now available for mac.

    Find it in your salesforce, Setup -> Data Management -> Data Loader

    1. Ben McCarthy

      Hi Ben,

      Good to hear from you and thanks.

      I’m actually planning to update a new post with this information as I’ve found a lot more data loaders that definitely deserve a place in the ranking!

  5. Avatar

    Hi, thanks for the comparison.
    I have a question though: is there any import tool that allows you to review the data before the import?
    A sort of import simulation that would allow me not to import or modify certain entries before the actual import.

    Thanks!

  6. Avatar

    Hi Ben,

    I have some trouble loading data into SF. There is a ID field which should generate an ID when a new record is created in SF. But, when I am trying to load the data into SF, It is not generating an ID. What could be the possible failures? Thanks in advance.

  7. Avatar

    Jitterbit doesn’t work on the latest Mac versions. That’s a pity, because it can reference any field to connect records instead of Salesforce IDs.

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