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CRM backups or audit trails? Yes, please

David Taber | July 31, 2015
You’d think that either thorough backups of your CRM system or full audit trails would be enough to keep you out of trouble. Life should be so simple.

Audit trails to roll-back a data corruption. Again, SFDC can be configured to record all the data elements you need for this, but none of it is turned on by default and you may need to write some code or use a third-party solution to record absolutely everything. But as stated above, audit trails and logs by themselves do not a roll-back make, particularly for something as messy as an erroneous merge of accounts or a mass deletion with cascading effects. I know of no products or general procedures that would work in all situations; you would need to do some analysis to determine the right approach. In some cases, using the most recent backup to return all the affected records to "last Saturday night," and then applying all the relevant updates since then is best. In others, you do "subtractive work" on the currently corrupted data. In either case, un-scrambling corrupted records requires relentless attention to detail. It can be a very risky procedure if you try to do it on your own without the right backup and recovery tools. 

Bottom line

Cloud systems are inherently loosely coupled, and many of the vendors are still maturing their functionality in the backup, archive, and audit trail areas. Even with third-party products, you cannot take for granted you can get everything you'll need. The first order of business is develop an archive and audit-trail plan, with a process that is quite detailed and relentlessly followed, because no product can overcome sloppy execution by the sysadmin staff.


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