Turn Your Salesforce Migrations Into Database Migrations

Data migration is a crucial process for organizations to improve their operations, increase scalability, and gain deeper insights from their data. Salesforce is the central repository for vital business data for more than 150,000 global organizations. However, as these companies grow, acquire new businesses or divest, migrating Salesforce data to a SQL database becomes a critical function to maintain data integrity.
Radical Transparency Episode 13 Header

Migrating Data from Salesforce to SQL Server

Salesforce is widely used for managing complex customer relationships, tracking sales, and enabling collaboration among team members. However, as businesses grow and expand, they may require greater accessibility and control over their data. Given the intricate nature of data relationships, making changes to the existing setup can be challenging. But, if a change is necessary to move data from its source, there is a framework available that can help reduce the associated risks. The following framework involves migrating data from Salesforce to SQL Server, which can be a more secure and reliable option.

Assessment and Planning

To successfully migrate your Salesforce instance, it is vital to conduct a detailed assessment of your data architecture. First, identify the data objects, relationships, and dependencies that require migration. Then, create a comprehensive migration plan that outlines timelines, resource allocation, and contingency measures. By doing so, you can ensure a smooth and successful migration process.

Setting Up the SQL Database Environment

Choose an appropriate SQL database system based on your organization’s requirements and expertise. Set up the database environment, including servers, storage, and security configurations that are sized to receive the Salesforce data model.

Data Extraction from Salesforce

Extracting data from Salesforce requires a systematic approach to ensure data integrity and completeness. Consider the volume of data, data relationships, and any limitations imposed by Salesforce APIs.

Designing the Database Schema

Design a database schema that mirrors the structure of your Salesforce data model. Define tables, columns, relationships, and constraints based on the extracted data. Mirror data types, indexes, and optimization strategies to ensure efficient data storage and retrieval.

Incremental Data Migration and Staging

For large datasets or ongoing updates, consider implementing incremental data migration strategies. Set up a staging SQL server where incremental data updates are processed before being applied to the main database. This allows for testing and validating data migrations without affecting the production environment.

Testing and Validation

Testing is a critical phase of the migration process to identify and address any issues or discrepancies. Develop test cases to validate data accuracy, consistency, and performance across different scenarios. Conduct rigorous testing in the staging environment before proceeding with the final cutover.

Cutover and Post-Migration Activities

Once testing is successful, plan the cutover process to transition from Salesforce to the SQL database. Schedule downtime or maintenance windows to minimize disruption to users. Execute data migration scripts and verify data integrity after the cutover. Monitor system performance and address any post-migration issues promptly.

Migrating Salesforce data to a SQL database can unlock new possibilities for data management, analysis, and integration within your organization. By following a structured framework and leveraging best practices, you can streamline the migration process and minimize data loss or downtime risks.

Planning, execution, and continuous improvement will allow any organization to limit risks for its data assets while driving business growth and innovation.

Join us each Thursday for more episodes of Radical Transparency as we show you how to harness Salesforce data for unparalleled growth and innovation. In addition, we would love to hear from you if you are looking for a fast, easy, and highly secure way to protect your Salesforce data & metadata! Contact an SFDC data expert or join us on LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter.


Video Transcription

Hello, my name is Ted Pappas and welcome to Radical Transparency. 

In this video series, we’ll talk about why having a Salesforce backup off-platform is critical to your business. And we’ll follow the Salesforce pillar of equal education. My goal in this series is very simple. It’s to make sure that everyone in the Salesforce community is equally educated in the art of possible with Salesforce data off-platform. 

And today, we’re going to talk about something that most people don’t consider with an off-platform, carbon-copy replica of their Salesforce data as a backup and it’s data migrations. But we’re going to take this from really Salesforce data migrations into SQL Server migrations. This is a database migration. And here are the three most important best practices of getting data from source one into org number two, the target. 

And the first is don’t make it about a CRM migration, make it about a database migration, take the schema, the data and the metadata and seeded into a SQL server database, get it off-platform in a SQL Server database behind your firewall. 

The second best practice is to then, instead of the target org, create a second SQL Server database. This time, not the metadata and the data, but see the schema from SQL Server database one into SQL Server database number two, and what that allows you to do. It allows you to iteratively move data at your own pace in a non prod environment, to iteratively test the authenticity and accuracy of the migration.

And number three, which is the most important part, if you’ve been in the migration business before cutover weekends can be a complete disaster. But if you make this about a database migration, and not a Salesforce migration, and you’ve done all the iterative testing, when you get to cutover weekend, you could have an estimated 95% of the data migrated; then it becomes a 5%, non-prod migration. You test your cutover and you’re not waking up late on Sunday night. 

So those are the three best practices for doing Salesforce migrations that are called data migrations, but they’re actually database migrations. So my name is Ted Pappas, I’m the CEO of CapStorm, please visit us at capstorm.com, please find me on LinkedIn. 

Thank you for visiting the video Radical Transparency every Thursday. Thank you very much.

Ted Pappas

Ted Pappas

About CapStorm

CapStorm is the most technologically advanced Salesforce data management platform on the market. Billions of records per day flow through CapStorm software, and our solutions are used in every industry from credit cards, telecom providers, insurance agencies, global banks and energy providers.

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