Data Loader: Optional Bulk Upload Utility <Video>
The Data Loader is a client application for the bulk import or export of data. Use it to insert, update, delete, or extract Salesforce records. The Data Loader can move data into or out of any type of record. When importing data, the Data Loader reads, extracts, and loads data from comma separated values (CSV) files. When exporting data, it outputs CSV files.
Data Loader can be downloaded here: Your Name | Setup | Data Management | Data Loader
Additionally, older versions of Data Loader can be accessed in exe files here:
You can use Data Loader interactively through its user interface, or set up automated batch processes launched from the command line. When you use the user interface, you work interactively to specify the configuration parameters, CSV files used for import and export, and the field mappings that map the field names in your import file with the field names in Salesforce. When you set up batch processes through the command line, you specify the configuration, data sources, mappings, and actions in files used for automated processing.
The Data Loader offers the following key features:
~ An easy-to-use wizard interface for interactive use
~ An alternate command line interface for automated batch operations
~ Support for large files with up to 5 million records
~ Drag-and-drop field mapping
~ Support for all objects, including custom objects
~ Detailed success and error log files in CSV format
~ A built-in CSV file viewer
~ Support for Windows 7 and Windows XP
In addition, an open source version of Data Loader is available here.
The 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 the Data Loader when:
You need to load 50,000 to 5,000,000 records. If you need to load more than 5,000,000 records, we recommend you work with a Salesforce.com partner.
You need to load into an object that is not yet supported by web-based importing.
You want to schedule regular data loads, such as nightly imports.
You want to export your data for backup purposes.
Use Web-based importing when:
You are loading less than 50,000 records.
The object you need to import is supported by the web-based import wizards.
You want to prevent duplicates by uploading records according to account name and site, contact email address, or lead email address.