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Data Loader is a powerful tool that allows you to manipulate data outside of Salesforce to use elsewhere or to make changes in current data.  It is used for bulk import or export of data, 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.

Here are some of the features:

  • An easy-to-use wizard interface for interactive use
  • An alternate command-line interface for automated batch operations (Windows only)
  • Support for large files with up to 5 million records
  • Drag-and-drop field mapping
  • Support for all objects, including custom objects
  • Can be used to process data in both Salesforce and Database.com
  • Detailed success and error log files in CSV format
  • A built-in CSV file viewer

To install Data Loader, use one of these links:

For Mac – https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=loader_install_mac.htm&type=5

For Windows – https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=loader_install_mac.htm&type=5

After Data Loader has been installed you can configure settings to better work with your organization.  Here are some often used settings and were to find them:

  1. Open the Data Loader.
  2. Select Settings | Settings.
  3. Edit the fields as needed.
FIELD DESCRIPTION
Batch size Most times the default size of 200 will work fine.  This means it will process 200 records at a time.  If you have processes/triggers running on fields you are inserting/deleting/updating you may have to set the batch size to 1 so that each record has time to run through the trigger.
Insert null values This controls whether the value ‘NULL’  or a blank value is used.
Generate status files for exports Select this option to generate success and error files when exporting data.
Use European date format Select this option to support the date formats dd/MM/yyyy and dd/MM/yyyy HH:mm:ss.
Allow field truncation In Data Loader versions 14.0 and earlier, Data Loader truncates values for fields of those types if they are too large. In Data Loader version 15.0 and later, the load operation fails if a value is specified that is too large.  Use this setting to allow or not allow truncation on field data.
Time Zone On first use the Time Zone should match your login.  If needed, change the Time Zone so dates are calculated correctly.
Start at row If your last operation failed, you can use this setting to begin where the last successful operation finished.  You can get the row number from the success file the data loader created.
  1. Click OK to save your settings.

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