How to finally stop paying thousands of dollars for extra Salesforce storage

If you’re running your business on Salesforce it’s likely that you are spending thousands of dollars on extra Salesforce data storage. It seems impossible to not run over your limits when the average org only has a few gigs of data available to everyone on your team.

The problem just gets worse over time as your business grows, you add new users, and start adopting Salesforce in other areas of your company.

But, there is a solution to this problem using Heroku. What the solution is, how it works, and whether or not it is feasible for your business is what I will cover for you here.

Let’s get started.

Heroku External Databases

The problem with a traditional Salesforce org is that you have a set amount of data available to you that is meant to store an increasing amount of customer data. All of this data lives within Salesforce so that it is readily accessible and may be acted upon within Salesforce.

What you may not know is that most of this data doesn’t need to live directly within your Salesforce org. Things like images, historical data, addresses, attachments, and more can all be stored externally – or in an ‘external database’ powered by Heroku.

How It Works:

Heroku is Salesforce’s PaaS that allows you to, among other things, seamlessly connect sources of data back into the Salesforce platform via Heroku Connect. Another function, Heroku Postgres, allows you to quickly deploy a scalable and secure SQL database.

Using this combination of Postgres and Connect we are able to create an external database that is connected back into Salesforce. We will then transfer a selected portion of your Salesforce data off of Salesforce to free up a large amount of data storage.

Why is it only a ‘selected portion’ of data and not all of your data?

There are some limitations in how you are able to use the data you are storing externally. To give you an idea, here’s a list from Salesforce:

The column on the right, labeled ‘external objects’ is what the data in your new database would be classified as.

This may seem like a long list, but the only thing that can really impact your Salesforce org is the feature ‘Workflow, triggers’. Workflow and triggers are features that help automate business processes within Salesforce – a major feature. But don’t worry, that’s why we only migrate a selected portion of your data over.

We carefully select all of the data that won’t be acted upon by these features – again, things like images, historical data, attachments, addresses, and more – depending on how you are using Salesforce.

If done correctly, this won’t impair your current use of Salesforce but can dramatically decrease your data costs.

Is this right for you?

It pains me to give this lawyerly answer, but it depends. It depends on what you are currently using Salesforce for (CRM, marketing, platform, service?), how many users you currently have (10, 50, 100, 10,000?) and if you are looking to extend your use of the Salesforce platform as a whole.

This is because you are going to have to pay for both products, heroku connect and heroku Postgres, which may or may not cost less than what you’re currently paying in Salesforce data costs – it depends.

A side effect of this solution is that you will open your company up to the wonderful world of Heroku and everything that the platform has to offer. Things like Canvas apps, Graph Databases, connected web and mobile apps, and so much more can be built to run within your Salesforce org using Heroku.

At the end of the day, if implementing an external database with Heroku is cost-effective there’s no reason not to do it. You save money, and can take advantage of added functionalities with your data living in Heroku.

If you want to get a free 15-minute consultation, in which we can help you decide if using an external Heroku database is right for you – get in touch.

About Shane Rostad

Shane Rostad is a marketing manager for TriFin Labs that loves to share his knowledge and learnings about tech through writing. When he's not reading you can find him exploring Florida's parks or loitering in a local coffee shop.

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