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7 Things to Know About Archiving Salesforce Data


Jul 11, 2023

Salesforce data archiving

The Salesforce platform powers countless businesses across the globe, consolidating data from various sources – be it integrations, users, or customers. But as the volume of data increases, so does the necessity for efficient data management.

Archiving Salesforce data is a key step in this process. It allows you to maintain a seamless user experience, reduce storage costs, and manage data effectively, even as your Salesforce data grows over time. 

In this post, we’ll dive deeper into Salesforce Data Archiving and why it’s crucial for your business. 

1. What is Salesforce Data Archiving?

As your Salesforce system amasses more data over time, some of it gradually loses its immediate importance. However, while not all data requires active access, much of it must still be retained to meet regulatory requirements and for potential future reference.

Data regulation laws and industry-specific norms require businesses to retain certain types of data for specific periods. And so, secure, long-term data storage isn’t just good practice – it’s a legal responsibility.

While data retention is a significant part of your legal obligations, these same regulations often mandate the deletion or restricted access to specific data after certain periods or under particular conditions. The principle of data minimization, embedded in laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), requires businesses not to hold more data than necessary and to not keep it for longer than needed.

Navigating the intricate balance of retaining necessary data and deleting obsolete or excessive data is challenging. The consequences of non-compliance, which can include hefty fines and damaged reputation, make this all the more critical.

Salesforce Data Archiving is the process of moving Salesforce data that is not currently in use to a separate storage location for long-term retention. Archiving Salesforce Data helps free up space in Salesforce and reduces the cost of storing and managing data. 

Archived Salesforce data is typically the older data that is no longer relevant but which must be retained for future reference or regulatory compliance reasons. These data archives are indexed, and can be easily located and retrieved.

2. What’s the difference between Data Lifecycle and Data Archiving? 

It’s easy to confuse the concepts of Data Lifecycle Management and Data Archiving since they both play crucial roles in data governance. However, these two concepts have distinct purposes and processes.

Data Lifecycle Management is the practice of controlling and enhancing the flow of data throughout its lifecycle – from creation and initial storage to the time when it becomes obsolete and is eventually deleted. It involves several key stages that focus on the compliant use and storage of data. This is where anonymizing production data to stay compliant is critical.

Data Archiving, on the other hand, is a specific step within the Data Lifecycle. It involves moving inactive data from primary storage to a system specifically designed for long-term retention and occasional access. The goal here is to keep data accessible if needed while not cluttering the system and affecting its performance.

In a nutshell, Data Lifecycle Management is a broader process while data is in active use, with Data Archiving being the key decision on what to do with your data towards the end of its operational life. Understanding these concepts thoroughly can guide your decision-making process on when and what data to archive, ensuring your Salesforce system operates at peak efficiency without compromising regulatory compliance.

3. Do you really need to archive Salesforce data? 

If you are already seeing signs of system slowdown, it could signal the need to take immediate action to remove data from Salesforce. With a solid data lifecycle approach, you can streamline your archiving, enhance system performance, and stay on the right side of compliance.

In today’s world, data privacy is paramount, especially when it comes to personal data. Strict regulations such as GDPR and CPRA enforce this. However, it’s important to note that it’s not only data archiving that should be taken into account. You should also consider data anonymization and pseudonymization to uphold privacy standards while keeping your data operational. If you handle these legal requirements adeptly, archiving might only come into play when system performance needs to be considered.

Starting data archiving might seem like a risky endeavor as you’re deleting data, but it doesn’t have to be. When you fully understand the data lifecycle, you’ll find that archiving or even deleting data isn’t so intimidating. Indeed, proper data lifecycle management can make your archiving project much more manageable.

Having a backup is your safety net. If you ever misstep with your archiving criteria, your backup can serve as a fail-safe, ensuring no critical data is lost in the process. With Salesforce, you’re in safe hands. Learn more about Backup and Restore for enterprise Salesforce data here.

A third-party archiving solution is necessary for more advanced use cases and Large Data Volumes. 

4. Benefits of archiving Salesforce data

There are several compelling reasons for enterprises to consider archiving Salesforce data. 

An effective archiving solution can solve: 

  • System performance
  • Compliance and legal issues
  • Obsolete data
data archiving

Archiving Salesforce data improves system performance

Archiving Salesforce data improves system performance in the following ways:

  • It speeds up operations since there is less data to handle. 
  • Archiving helps avoid reaching limits such as API call limits, data and file storage capacity limits, which ultimately improves system performance.

Archiving Salesforce data helps comply with regulatory compliance, legal, and data retention policies:

  • Compliance with multiple regulatory requirements is often necessary for businesses operating in highly regulated industries, which can vary based on business model and geographic presence. Data cannot be stored indefinitely in your Salesforce Org, as non-compliance can have serious financial consequences.
  • Your Salesforce data may contain sensitive information that needs to be preserved should the need arise in the future for the documents to be presented. In which case, you would want to archive this data rather than delete it entirely.
  • Some companies may have long data retention periods that involve retaining large amounts of data, while others may have policies that require purging information. Depending on the policy, your data must align with the company’s data retention policy.
  • Archiving Salesforce data can help comply with these regulations and policies by removing data from production Orgs, limiting access to a smaller group of users. This ensures that the data remains searchable and unarchived if it’s needed at a later stage.

Archiving obsolete Salesforce data can benefit your Org

Deleting obsolete data might not always be the right thing to do to free up storage space as doing so can lead to the removal of valuable business data. Archiving Salesforce data effectively instead of deleting it will ensure that you will still have the data if you need it later. 

5. How do you archive Salesforce data?

Identify the data

  • Build the right strategies to identify the data you need to remove.
  • Work with our Expert team to learn the best practices and surpass the limits of Salesforce native queries.

Retain your data

  • Retain your data for long storage in a secure encrypted format that provides resilience and immutability.
  • Be certain that the data is secured and safe for decades, as your audit trail.

Remove your data

  • Securely and orderly remove data from Salesforce at any scale.
  • Queue and balance data loads over days, weeks or months to maintain the balance of data. 

Design your User Experience

  • Using your own page layouts, design the look and feel familiar to your Salesforce users.
  • Design how relationships and links to your CRM data need to work.​

6. Best practices for Salesforce data archiving

To ensure effective Salesforce data archiving, it needs to be planned and analyzed carefully. The following are what organizations need to plan for when archiving:

Storage and Limits

Track how much storage your organization has available and how much is being used. This will help you identify how much storage space you need to clear up, which will in turn help you plan the scope of your archiving project. 

Usage Trends

It is important to understand the data usage metrics in your Salesforce system for effective archiving. Be sure you have the right tools to assess your data volume and track trends. Use an API like Odaseva Cockpit, built on Salesforce Einstein Analytics, to provide multiple dashboards and monitor your data usage and trends. The app also helps you detect misuse or unusual events. Learn more about Odaseva Advanced Analytics here.

Parent-Child relationships and data integrity implications

If you ever need to retrieve the information from the Salesforce data archive and return it to production, it’s important to maintain the Parent-Child record of the archived object. Otherwise, the data may not be complete or accurate. For instance, if you were to unarchive an account without its associated contacts, it would not be ideal.

And if you are thinking of deleting data from the Salesforce data archive, remember to consult with your organization’s legal team as there could be data integrity implications, such as Parent-Child Relationships and Field Removal.

Determine how frequently you want to archive Salesforce data

Determine the archiving frequency for your Salesforce data and create archiving processes that can enable automatic archiving.

Encrypt your Salesforce data archives 

Your archived Salesforce data should be encrypted in transit and at rest so that your archives are available only to specific users – only users who should have access to it and nobody else. 

Use the best Salesforce archiving tool

When choosing a Salesforce data backup and Salesforce archiving tool, it is important to opt for a tool that is Salesforce certified and has a successful track record of Salesforce backup and archiving. It should be user-friendly, intuitive, and efficient.

Archiving Salesforce data is essential for large-scale enterprises. As Salesforce data continues to grow, data archiving becomes more critical, as it helps improve Salesforce system performance, automate compliance with regulations like GDPR and CPRA, and reduce storage without losing access to your Salesforce data.​ To ensure effective data archiving, it is essential to work with experts such as Odaseva, the leading Enterprise Data Protection Platform, to achieve efficient and effective Salesforce data archiving.

7. Here’s what you can do with Odaseva Data Archiving

Enterprises archiving Salesforce data at scale require a comprehensive, platform solution that enables precise data operations to properly control the safe removal of Salesforce data and archive this data at scale. Odaseva’s expertise in data archiving spans more than 10 years. The Odaseva Enterprise Data Protection Platform supports the most advanced Salesforce data archiving use cases among global enterprises.

Odaseva Data Archiving tools include Data Archiver and Archive Viewer:

data archiver archive viewer

Odaseva allows large enterprises to archive Salesforce data efficiently, at scale, and off-platform, while still providing archived data access to businesses, and without losing valuable business information.

For more information visit Odaseva’s Archiving page here.

Get in touch for a personalized demo today.

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