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Desktop-Free Data Migration in Salesforce ALM

Kelsey Eberle

July 19, 2023

How to Safeguard Your Data in the Salesforce ALM Process

Desktop-free data migration is critical to a secure, compliant Salesforce ALM process… not to mention for your peace of mind. It’s not just a technical process. It’s a commitment to data integrity, privacy, and protection—and to the trust your customers put in you. 

So what is desktop-free data migration, why is it important, and how does it compare to legacy tools like Data Loader? We answer all those questions—plus, we highlight its role in risk reduction and enhancing regulatory compliance. Finally, we introduce you to our industry-leading solution built on the Salesforce platform.

AR image of the cloud on a laptop referring to desktop-free data migration.

What Is Desktop-Free Data Migration?

Let’s start by clarifying what we mean by desktop-free data migration—or cloud-based data migration—in Salesforce ALM.

Imagine you’re in charge of moving a valuable art collection. Instead of packing everything into your car and doing multiple trips, wouldn’t you prefer to move everything securely in one go? 

That’s exactly what desktop-free data migration is like. It lets you move data between environments without ever having to download it to your local machine. It’s a seamless, safe journey within the secure confines of the Salesforce platform.

Why Is Cloud-Based Data Migration in Salesforce ALM Important?

Data breaches and leaks can have serious consequences for any organization—especially when sensitive data is at stake. Regulatory noncompliance and an inability to meet industry standards regarding data protection can result in steep fines and legal ramifications. On top of this, breaches can inflict serious damage to an organization’s reputation, which can erode customer trust and result in a loss of business. 

This is where desktop-free data migration makes all the difference. It keeps all your sensitive information within the secure confines of the Salesforce platform during the ALM process. This drastically reduces the risk of data leaks or breaches. Plus, a good data migration tool like Prodly lets you mask, obfuscate, and redact data to protect it even more.

By safeguarding your data, cloud-based data migration also protects your organization from regulatory penalties and reputational harm. In short, it’s key to preserving the integrity and future of your company.

Desktop-Free Data Migration vs. Data Loader

Now, let’s put traditional data loading and desktop-free data migration head to head.

The Risks of Data Loader

Let’s say you’re part of a healthcare organization’s Salesforce team. You need to seed a sandbox with high-quality test data to ensure your changes work the way you want them to. This high-quality test data isn’t just any data—it includes Protected Health Information (PHI), such as patients’ names, medical record numbers, and addresses. 

When you transfer data using Data Loader, it takes a detour via a .csv file on your desktop before you upload it to the destination environment. This journey comes with several risks:

  1. Data exposure: When you download the data to your computer, it’s exposed to unauthorized access and data loss.
  2. Noncompliance: Any exposure of sensitive data could lead to noncompliance with stern regulations like HIPAA, SOX, GLBA, and PCI. And that could subject your organization to hefty penalties.
  3. Data corruption: Data could be altered in transit. In regard to application lifecycle management, altered data could result in lower-quality changes—and more bugs in production.

Prodly for Desktop-Free Data Migration in Salesforce

The good news? Prodly’s cloud-based data migration tool eliminates these risks. With our market-leading solution, you simply move your data directly from one environment to another while keeping it within the Salesforce cloud. You never download it locally. 

With Prodly, your data’s protected by our security measures throughout the transfer, as well as by Salesforce’s robust data security infrastructure. That means PHI, personal identifiable information (PII), and sensitive financial data is safe from local system threats like malware or unauthorized access. In a nutshell: no desktop, no risk!

What’s more: Prodly’s features—including sandbox seeding, 1-click scratch orgs, and sandbox syncing—all offer data masking and obfuscation capabilities. That means developers can work with high-grade test data in the ALM process without the fear of noncompliance due to exposure of data.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX)

  • What it regulates: SOX regulations regulate financial reporting and recordkeeping to prevent fraud. They require public companies to track all financial transactions, communications, changes to data, and related activities for later auditing.
  • Whom it applies to: Publicly-traded companies in the United States are subject to SOX regulations. In addition, some aspects extend to privately held corporations, non-profit organizations, and offshore businesses with U.S. ties.
  • How Prodly helps: Prodly protects the integrity of financial data in Salesforce ALM because it always transfers financially-impactful data within the secure Salesforce platform. This minimizes the risk of exposure and breaches that could lead to noncompliance. Additionally, Prodly’s automated audit trail capabilities help you maintain detailed records of all data changes, which is a requirement under SOX regulations.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

  • What it regulates: The CCPA regulates how businesses collect, store, manage, and sell consumers’ personal information. Organizations are required to disclose what personal data they collect. They must also provide consumers with the opportunity to execute their right to refuse the use or sale of their personal data.
  • Whom it applies to: CCPA applies to any for-profit organization that does business in California, collects consumers’ personal data, and meets one or more of the following conditions:
  • The annual gross revenue exceeds $25 million.
  • The company buys, receives, sells, or shares the personal data of 50,000 or more consumers, households, or devices.
  • The company derives 50% or more of its annual revenue from selling consumers’ personal data.
  • How Prodly helps: Prodly helps you comply with CCPA requirements in the Salesforce release process by ensuring the safe handling of personal information during data migration. PII remains within the secure Salesforce platform at all times. In addition, Prodly offers anonymization and obfuscation capabilities. All of this combined reduces the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches so you can more easily adhere to CCPA’s data security mandates.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

  • What it regulates: HIPAA governs how organizations may use and disclose individuals’ protected health information. Organizations that are subject to HIPAA must implement safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI.
  • Whom it applies to: HIPAA applies to healthcare providers, health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and any vendors or other business associates that process, store, transmit, or access PHI.
  • How Prodly helps: When it comes to implementing a HIPAA-compliant application lifecycle management process, Prodly helps you meet several requirements. First, it guarantees that PHI stays within the secure Salesforce platform, which supports compliance with HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules regarding the safeguarding of PHI. Additionally, Prodly’s data masking and obfuscation capabilities align with the HIPAA’s Minimum Necessary Rule. This states that only the minimum necessary information should be used or disclosed for a particular task. In other words, you can scramble or hide the sensitive information—while still being able to use the data in the development process.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

  • What it regulates: The GDPR regulates data protection and privacy for individuals in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). It also governs the transfer of personal data outside these regions.
  • Whom it applies to: The GDPR applies to any organization—regardless of its location—that processes personal data of individuals in the EU and EEA.
  • How Prodly helps: Prodly supports the GDPR’s call for data protection by design and default. When you move PII from production to a dev environment with Prodly, it’s more secure because it stays within the Salesforce cloud. On top of that, Prodly’s anonymization and obfuscation capabilities prevent the exposure of any sensitive data in the release process. This ensures you only use PII for specifically-defined purposes while still having access to high-quality test data.

This is just a handful of the regulations and industry standards Prodly can help with. Whether it’s Australia’s Privacy Act, Canada’s PIPEDA, or Brazil’s LGPD, Prodly’s got you covered—so you can have peace of mind.

Avoid Noncompliance With Desktop-Free Data Migration From Prodly

Coping with complex regulations in the ALM process without automation is a labor-intensive, time-consuming responsibility. Plus, it can potentially divert valuable resources away from key business initiatives. 

That’s why we created Prodly to make your path to compliance as effortless as possible. We’ve eliminated the risk-ridden detour of downloading data—plus, we offer robust, user-friendly features for data masking and obfuscation. 

Our automation provides all the tools you need for comprehensive data protection and privacy throughout the Salesforce release management process. So if you’re subject to any regulatory requirements or industry standards, Prodly should be a critical part of your operations.


What does the Salesforce application lifecycle management  (ALM) process involve?

The ALM process is a structured set of procedures you use to plan, build, test, deploy, and maintain Salesforce changes or applications. It’s best practice to use automation in the ALM process to minimize risks while optimizing deployment speed. Learn more about Salesforce ALM.

What are data anonymization and obfuscation techniques?

You can use data anonymization and obfuscation techniques to protect personal or sensitive data. Anonymization involves altering personal data so you can’t associate it with a specific person without additional information. With data obfuscation, you obscure clear data to make it less understandable to unauthorized viewers—for example with scrambling or noise addition. The data still remains useful for testing, but it’s extremely challenging for unauthorized individuals to glean sensitive information from it.

What makes cloud-based data migration more secure than traditional methods?

Cloud-based data migration methods like desktop-free data migration offer enhanced security measures. Because sensitive data remains within a secure platform during the migration process, the risk of data exposure is significantly reduced. In addition, cloud platforms typically have robust security protocols and infrastructure. These can include data encryption, strong access controls, and regular security audits—all of which further enhance data protection.


Prodly Compliance Center

The gold standard for documenting SOX in Salesforce CPQ!