Do I Need a Salesforce Metadata Backup?

Do I Need a Salesforce Metadata Backup_AutoRABIT

Taking proper care of your Salesforce data and metadata begins the moment you introduce a line of code to a new update or application. However, utilizing static code analysis is only the first step toward securing and appropriately managing system metadata.

Do I Need a Salesforce Metadata Backup_CodeScanA Salesforce metadata backup is an essential aspect of a full data governance strategy that supports compliance, data security, and maintaining the proper functionality of your environment.

Metadata is created the moment a member of your team introduces a line of code to a new update or application. Static code analysis helps ensure this information is correct, stable, and secure. But what happens to it after that?

And what are the dangers of losing access to your Salesforce metadata or having it corrupted?

1. A Consistent Data Structure Simplifies Procedures

Every Salesforce environment is going to have unique qualities. Your team needs to be able to easily locate data sets in order to perform their duties. Value sets, customized applications, and more will depend on the existing metadata within your system.

Losing Salesforce metadata will impact your data model and lead to lost information.

A Salesforce metadata backup ensures architectural structure of your environment remains the same even after a data loss event.

2. Customizations Maintain User Interface

Customizations can be introduced to your Salesforce DevOps pipeline through specialized Lightning pages, components, and more. The flexibility provided by these customizations are what has made Salesforce a beneficial environment for a variety of industries.

Metadata maintains the proper functionality of the customizations within your Salesforce environment.

Data loss or corruption can set your team back by erasing or corrupting existing customizations. Even environments with a small amount of customizations will save time and money by protecting them through secure metadata.  

3. Related Fields and Objects Streamline Operations

Do I Need a Salesforce Metadata Backup_CodeScan

Data relationships are an easy way to simplify many procedures. Related fields and objects are driven by metadata. They will need to be reprogrammed and linked if the metadata is corrupted or lost, creating redundant work that takes your team members away from working toward their goals.

Maintaining a Salesforce metadata backup protects the data relationships that keep your DevOps pipeline running smoothly.

Any interruption in functionality will need to be address in order to continue producing DevOps projects. Backing up your metadata preserves this important functionality.

4. Redundant Work Can Be Costly

We’ve mentioned how re-working lost functionality can be a drag on productivity. The other side of that point is that it diminishes your ROI by increasing labor costs. Manually restoring lost metadata functions takes time, and in business, time is money.

Quickly resuming operations without rehashing old material through a current metadata backup reduces lost hours and costs.

Data loss events can be quite costly. In fact, downtime from a data loss event can cost up to $700,000 per hour. Protect yourself with a reliable backup and recovery solution.

5. Data Loss Comes from Many Angles

It’s important to take every possible precaution against data loss events because there are a wide variety of potential threats. Cybercrime, power outages, human error—it’s incredibly difficult to guard against all the possible dangers facing your system data and metadata.

Accidental deletions are the main reason many companies create system backups.

We’ve discussed many ways backing up your Salesforce metadata protects your DevOps environment. Combine that with the amount and variety of threats and you’ll see why a contemporary metadata backup is so important.

6. Regulatory Compliance Depends on It

Do I Need a Salesforce Metadata Backup_CodeScanData security regulations will differ depending on your industry and location. However, every company can use regulations such as the GDPR as guides for how to best protect the sensitive information of their customers, team members, and the business itself.

Proper handling of metadata and data are required my many data protection regulations.

Securely storing sensitive information, how long this data is kept on hand, and how it is processed are examples of regulatory stipulations that can all be addressed with a proper Salesforce metadata backup.

7. Tips for Setting Up a Salesforce Metadata Backup

Like any other tool in your DevOps pipeline, your success will be dictated by your approach. Being intentional about your practices will yield the greatest results. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you get the most from your Salesforce metadata backup strategy.

Use a Backup & Recovery Option That Fits Within Your DevOps Toolset

There are numerous options for tools that can back up your Salesforce metadata. However, there are great differences in the functionality, ease of use, and ability to integrate with other DevOps tools within these options.

Use a backup tool that includes restore functionality. A complete Salesforce metadata backup won’t be much help if you don’t have the means of incorporating it back into your live environment. Also, be sure the backup and recovery tools integrate within a larger DevSecOps platform.

Set Repeated Snapshots and Create an Unmanaged Package

Your metadata backup is only useful if it’s recent. The goal is to be able to minimize the amount of downtime should a data loss event occur. A recent snapshot of your Salesforce data and metadata provides the ability to repopulate your environment and get back to work.

Automate your backup snapshots. At minimum, create a backup once per week, daily if possible. Companies working within certain highly regulated industries such as the financial industry will likely need to create more frequent backups multiple times every day.

To ensure a dependable backup of your Salesforce metadata, it’s essential to create an unmanaged package. Navigate to Setup, input ‘Package Manager’ into the Quick Find box, and select ‘Package Manager’. Click on ‘New’, assign a name to the package, and click ‘Save’. This ensures you have a recent snapshot of your metadata, allowing quick recovery to minimize downtime in the event of data loss.

Configure the Range to Include Essential Data Sets

It might not be necessary to take backup snapshots of your entire system every time. Complete backups will enable to quickest return to operations should a data loss event occur, but the storage can become costly.

Configuring your partial backups to address essential metadata sets ensures you maintain important functionality while keeping your backup repository at a manageable size.

Develop high quality, secure code!

Setting Up and Using CodeScan Effectively
Setting up and CodeScan in your salesforce org

Running CodeScan on your Salesforce Org is a great first step towards quality code, but maintaining that quality is a Read more

Estimating ROI with CodeScan
Estimate ROI using static code analysis tool CodeScan

Every Software Development Professional knows the following fact: the later bugs are found, the more expensive they are to fix. Read more

SFDX Tutorial | Setting Up CodeScan
CodeScan with Salesforce DX

Salesforce DX is a new focus on source-driven, collaborative development. The Salesforce CLI (Command Line Interface) easily integrates into your Read more

CodeScan and Visual Studio Team Services
continuous integration visual studio

Visual Studio Continuous IntegrationVisual Studio Team Services (VSTS) is a quick and powerful tool to set up continuous integration and Read more