We previously built a new home for Priya, and now we want to move her in. In Salesforce speak, we're talking about data migrations. Now that Priya has her new house built and the layout confirmed she needs to start moving all of her stuff in. In the business solution world that means migrating data from old systems into your new Salesforce instance. Traction and Priya agree there are four key steps to planning a move:
- Identify what you will bring with you
- Find a place in the new house for each item
- Decide if any items need to be fixed before you move them
- Plan the logistics of the move
Identify what will be moving:
Nobody likes this part. Priya needs to sort through her stuff and decide what to keep and what to leave behind. We recommend she use the following steps to help guide her:
- Take an inventory of everything in her current house (review all of the systems that Salesforce is going to replace and list all the data that is stored in those systems).
- Establish a set of rules to help her decide what to get rid of; will she bring the roller blades she hasn’t used in 12 years? Remember, this is a new Salesforce system so you probably don’t want to bring absolutely everything.
- For those items that Priya will not move into the new house (*cough* rollerblades) she should create a plan that makes everyone comfortable (ie. leave them at her parents' place). In our world, we recommend archiving all your data in a place that is accessible in case you need it in the future (include legacy IDs on any records loaded into Salesforce).
Find a place in the new house for each item:
Now that Priya knows what she's bringing with her, she needs to identify where each item will be stored in the new house. Customers are often surprised by the effort it takes to complete this step, but it's vital to finish this before we start packing any boxes. We will take all of the source tables and fields that we are bringing with us and map them to the new Salesforce data model. This step often uncovers new data requirements based on the legacy system. In this case, Priya has a collection of fine wines but we haven't added a wine rack to her new home.
Decide if any items need to be fixed before the move:
Priya has a ton of dusty old furniture, some of which is broken. She really wants to keep everything but if she brings the furniture to the new house she'll probably leave it in storage. If she wants it to come with her, she needs to fix it first. Data is no different. This is the perfect opportunity to ensure the data you are migrating meets your data governance standards.
Plan the logistics of the move:
Priya realizes that she can't just call a moving company the day she wants to move. She needs to pack up the boxes, load the boxes, label each box with its location in the new house, physically move the boxes (which may require multiple trips), unpack the boxes and finally, confirm that everything made it to the new house safely. The same applies to a new Salesforce org. There are two logistical approaches to the actual migration of data into a new Salesforce instance:
- A one-time load
- A big load and a delta load (this entails loading everything at once and then the day the Salesforce instance goes live, turning off the old system and migrating any data that had been modified in the time between the initial data load and the go-live date)
Knowing which of these approaches is best for your business can sometimes be challenging. In the end, Priya contacts Traction Movers to help her migrate all of her stuff into her new home. If you need a hand planning your own move into a new Salesforce instance, don't hesitate to contact Traction on Demand. Has it come time for you to merge several Salesforce instances? Our experts explain how merging your Salesforce orgs is a lot like moving in with your partner.