Secure Cloud Backup

How to Backup and Restore Metadata in Salesforce

Crucial Salesforce Metadata is oftentimes not included in Salesforce backup plans. Here we detail why and how to backup and restore Salesforce metadata
how to backup metadata in salesforce
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New call-to-actionThe focus of Salesforce data backup and recovery is oftentimes limited to restoring Salesforce objects, records, dashboards, and reports. Protecting Salesforce Metadata – the information that describes your Salesforce configuration and customization is relegated to the back burner. When it actually is the all-important “data behind the data”. If you’re concerned about records being wiped out by an errant user, imagine how stressful an unwanted Sandbox refresh or a deleted Apex trigger will be. How do you restore your former customizations and recover your Salesforce metadata? Let’s do a deep dive:

Hold On. What is Salesforce Metadata?

Salesforce metadata encompasses all your configurations, which define your organization’s unique customizations (and which are probably increasing by the day). This includes:

  • Custom Data: Custom fields, objects, and value sets.
  • Custom UI Elements: Reports, Lightning pages, dashboards.
  • Custom Automation: Apex triggers, workflows, processes.

Why Backup Salesforce Metadata?

Metadata is Your Org’s Soul. Recoverability is a Must.

Metadata defines the way your users interact with Salesforce. It elevates Salesforce from an efficient database to a powerful and personalized platform. The metadata customization at your organization is the result of years of (ongoing) development and customization efforts. Metadata loss would mean disruption in business continuity and significant costs in reconfiguring the metadata. Apart from that, as metadata is typically in a state of continuous customization, you need to have the ability to roll back to a previous state of customization.

Metadata Loss is More Prevalent Than We Would Like to Let On.

It’s not only Salesforce data that can be lost due to careless users. Admins and architects aren’t immune to error. Salesforce metadata can be lost due to mistaken Sandbox refreshes, deletions, and corruption. For example, with Salesforce’s Find Where a Field Is Used feature, access to metadata is simplified. Users can edit metadata directly at the click of a button without editing data.

Apart from human error or malicious intent, metadata or access to Salesforce data can also be lost due to malware, phishing scams, sync errors, and outages. 

For Effective Salesforce Data Recovery, Metadata Recovery is a Must

When you suffer Salesforce data and metadata loss, restoring only Salesforce data without metadata would result in a piecemeal recovery with fractured data relationships. For instance, If the metadata customizing the fields/objects is lost, restoring records to those fields/objects is not possible.

How Can I Backup and Restore Salesforce Metadata?

Native Salesforce Metadata Backup and Recovery

Unfortunately, there is NO native option that backs up BOTH Salesforce data and metadata. Even though Salesforce has brought back its Data Recovery service that it retired last July, the expensive (upwards of $10,000) and lengthy (6-8 weeks) service does not include metadata backup.

Salesforce offers these options to customers for metadata backup:

Change Sets

Change sets copy your metadata from one Salesforce org to another, such as from Production to a sandbox or developer org. Using change sets only customizations, a.k.a metadata, is moved from one Salesforce org to another. Change sets do not contain Salesforce data, such as records. To send metadata customizations from your current org to another org, create an outbound change set. Once you send the change set, the receiving org sees it as an inbound change set.

Sandbox Refresh

By refreshing a Sandbox, your metadata is automatically copied over afresh from your production Org.

Force.com Migration Tool

An advanced tool that can be used with a command-line interface to migrate changes from one Org to another.

Third-Party Salesforce Data + Metadata Backup with Easy Recovery

“There are a number of data backup solutions offered by our partners on our AppExchange. Some of these are more comprehensive in that they allow you to automate backups of both your data AND your metadata and provide a mechanism by which to restore that data easily.”

Salesforce’s Best Practices to Backup Salesforce Data

Consider this, someone deletes an important Apex trigger or makes an erroneous Sandbox refresh. In that moment of complete panic, you do not want to be fumbling your way through native, cumbersome, and time-bound recovery? Your Salesforce Org deserves flawless, fast, and accurate data recovery from both data and metadata loss. Optimizing your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) by quickly recovering a recent copy of data is crucial for a robust Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan (BC/DR). The quicker and more comprehensive the recovery, the less damaging are the risks of data loss. The solution, as advised by Salesforce itself, is third-party backup and recovery.

Watch How Easy It is To Recover Salesforce Metadata With CloudAlly

CloudAlly pioneered Salesforce backup a decade ago. Our Salesforce Backup solution is proven and top-rated and enables you to automate the backup and restore of Salesforce Data, Metadata, and Chatter feeds. It includes unlimited Salesforce backup on Amazon AWS storage of:

  • All organizational data, including Standard Objects, Custom Objects, Attachments, Emails, Layouts and more
  • Metadata, including workflows, reports, apex triggers and apex classes, processes, object schemas, tabs and more.
  • Chatter Feeds

CloudAlly Salesforce backup also comes with Sandbox Compare, a powerful tool to compare your data or metadata across backups and/or your production Salesforce database to easily identify and recover corrupted data. Sandbox Seeding optimizes testing with efficient seeding of your sandboxes with production data. CloudAlly ensures regulatory compliance with impeccable security credentials – we store your Salesforce backup on Amazon S3 storage using advanced AES-256 bit encryption, OAuth, OKTA, and MFA/2FA are supported, we offer the choice of multiple data centers and we are ISO 27001, HIPAA, and GDPR compliant. 

Don’t take our word for it, start a free full-featured trial of Salesforce backup now!

14 Day Free Trial

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