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SUCCESS INSIGHTS: Introduction to Data Import

Knowledge Article Number 000213780

Introduction to Data Import

You can easily import external data into Salesforce. Supported data sources include any program that can save data in the comma delimited text format (.csv).


Salesforce offers two main methods for importing data.

  • Data Import Wizard — this tool, accessible through the Setup menu, lets you import data in common standard objects, such as contacts, leads, accounts, opportunities, as well as data in custom objects. It can import up to 50,000 records at a time. It provides a simple interface to specify the configuration parameters, data sources, and the field mappings that map the field names in your import file with the field names in Salesforce.

  • Data Loader — this is a client application that can import up to five million records at a time, of any data type, either from files or a database connection. It can be operated either through the user interface or the command line. In the latter case, you need to specify data sources, field mappings and other parameters via configuration files. This makes it possible to automate the import process, using API calls.

Link to the related "Trailhead" Training Module 

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe and compare the different options for importing data into Salesforce.
  • List the steps involved in preparing data for import.
  • Import data from a sample .csv file using the Data Import Wizard.
  • Use the Import Queue to monitor the status of an import. 

For more resources check out the Achieve More with Salesforce: Manage Data Effectively Hub

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