One of the great untold barriers to actually moving to the cloud is the not insignificant pain that organizations feel when migrating their data from an existing system of record to a cloud solution. This is especially the case when the solution is both an integral part of the organization’s work and also tied to specific workflows. CRM data is a great example of this. A number of businesses that I’ve been involved with have identified the data loading barrier as a significant one that impacts on cloud uptake.
In the case of Salesforce.com, the company has long provided a data loader that is commonly identified as functional, but pretty horrible to use. Even Salesforce recognizes this and for this reason has been a supporter of a product that MuleSoft is launching today, called Dataloader.io. Dataloader touts itself as the first 100 percent cloud-based data loader app for Salesforce.com. Dataloader is built entirely on the MuleSoft CloudHub integration platform and is provided as a free product for not only the importation of data into Salesforce, but also the export and transformation of that data. Dataloader competes with the informatica product which is a downloaded offering and also a paid solution.
The key features that DataLoader.io offers are:
- Web-based: Import, export and delete data in Salesforce.com using a Web-based interface with no download
- Login with Salesforce: Powered by OAuth, log in using existing Salesforce.com credentials without creating a new account or inserting special security tokens
- Data mapping: Build data mappings with keyboard shortcuts
- Account ID lookup: Identify account names and account IDs during imports without using Excel VLOOKUP
- Export filters: Search, filter and select fields during exports based on custom criteria
- Unlimited data usage: Import, export and delete unlimited rows of data
- Replay: Import, export and delete tasks are saved for 30 days and can be run again at any time
I spoke with Daniel Fowlie – Salesforce lead at boutique development and consulting firm Trineo. He’s a long time Salesforce partner and has used a variety of tools to load data into the application. Fowlie was positive saying that;
After trying Dataloader.io out I’m impressed with the ease of use. The OAuth link to Salesforce is a nice touch and removes any barrier to signing up. I was able to setup a basic export in less than a minute and download the csv output. Importing data was just as easy though I had issues using the Account lookup feature. The service will be useful for many Salesforce admins who needs are very simple. I’d be interested to see if they plan to release a paid product with some more advanced features.
Dataloading is a no brainer – it makes sense for Salesforce to encourage partners to create tools that remove this hurdle. from MuleSoft’s perspective, the load gives some more exposure to it’s MuleSoft integration platform. I’d like to see some richer functionality that went beyond simple data and allowed for the import, export and transformation of workflows also. MuleSoft gave me an indication that this is on then future product roadmap.
Any product that removes barriers to cloud adoption is beneficial – Dataloader will find a happy audience among Salesforce customers and prospects.
(Cross-posted @ The Diversity Blog – SaaS, Cloud & Business Strategy)