To import the Account/Contact data into Salesforce, you have several options:
- Apex Data Loader
- The inbuilt Import Wizard for Accounts/Contacts
- The import wizard also imports Leads, Solutions and Custom Object data, but here we are focusing on Accounts/Contacts
- A third party Data Loader (Jitterbit, Informatica, Skyvva)
All of the options above are free of charge. If you are using a Salesforce Professional Edition you will need the API enabled to use the Salesforce Apex Data Loader.
The inbuilt Import wizard is convenient in the following situations:
- You don’t want to install any third party tool
- Your data is small and is in CSV format
You can access the inbuilt tool through Setup > Administration Setup > Data Management > Import Accounts/Contacts. This wizard only supports a maximum of 50,000 records in one import. If you have more data, you will need to run the wizard several times.
Some tips to share when you are using the Import Wizard:
- Unlike the Apex Data Loader, the Record Owner field is not using a Salesforce User ID. It uses either a Salesforce username (ie: email@example.com) or the specified Salesforce FirstName and LastName for that user (Terry Ooi). I don’t recommend you to use FirstName and LastName as they are not required to be unique.
- Instead of true or false value for checkbox, you should use 1 or 0.
- Date/Time format will follow your personal locale setting. In most situations, the format should be MM/DD/YYYY.
- If the field length is exceeded, the import wizard will truncate the data for you.
- For those fields that are not mapped, you can add them as a note.
- Please make sure that the data is correct. The mapping will disappear if you re-upload the file. You wouldn’t want to go through that a few times 🙂