Data loading is an essential part of Salesforce implementation. A Data Loader extracts data and then loads it either from database connections or from comma separated value files when it imports data. When it needs to export data it outputs CSV files.
Features of a Data Loader
- Data loaders offer support for Windows 7
- CSV file viewer built into the system
- Success and error log files in CSV format
- They can be used in both Database.com and Salesforce
- Supports custom objects
- Drag and drop mapping
- GUI and command line interface
- Wizard interface makes it more interactive
Using the Salesforce Data Loader
There are times when you need to use the Salesforce Data Loader but there are situations when you will have to use an import wizard instead. You should opt to use the data loader when you export data as a backup. Use it for nightly imports and whenever you have to schedule regular data loads.
Obviously, if import wizards do not support the loading of your data into an object then you have to use a data loader. Finally, you should use a data loader for larger chunks of data.
For instance, if you need to load data that is greater than 50,000 then use a data loader. You can actually handle up to 5 million records at a time with a data loader.
To install a data loader, go to Setup > Data management > data loader. You will then be moved to a different screen where you can download the data loader. Download and install the data loader into your computer/device.
Once you have the data loader installed, you need to login. You may need to login with your password and security token. You will see several operation buttons on your screen. The usual operations you will find on a data loader include Insert, Update, Upsert, Delete, Hard Delete, Export, and Export All.