Zoho CRM Backup is not what you think

Close look at Zoho CRM Backup

Using a cloud application does not mean your data is backed up.
Each application does it differently and the Zoho CRM backup is not.

Before the cloud many companies only found out if they had a backup when their system crashed.
Oops! This usually happened due to hardware failure.

The cloud has basically eliminated the hardware failure issue due to hardware and software redundancies along with other procedures.  Thus, if an application has a well implemented cloud system you can feel confident your live data will be there when you need it.

In fact a Google search will confirm that Zoho CRM’s security procedures are very well implemented, because as of this writing there are complaints about a user having to recover a Zoho CRM backup.  You can read about Zoho’s procedures here. www.zoho.com/security.html
That’s the good news.

Why you still need a backup

  • An employee accidentally or maliciously deletes or overwrites data
  • You want to reopen a closed Zoho account
  • Revert back to an old workflow or function
  • Zoho goes out of business (very long shot but possible) etc.

So what exactly is in a Zoho CRM backup?

It contains all the data from your modules like leads, contacts, accounts, custom modules etc.  This also includes the unused fields of the modules. These are the ones you thought you deleted from a modules layout.  It also includes attachments(depending on which module they are attached to), notes and potential stage history.

The audit log and Documents Module need to be downloaded separately.  To see details of what gets backed up click here:request-data-backup.html

What is NOT backed up?

Anything from the setup form.  Things like email templates, workflows, functions, screen layouts, field types, pick list values etc.

That is one reason why there is no one button recover feature.  If you deleted your account you will have to go through the same steps you go through for data migration.  That includes recreating all the modules including the custom fields before you can import your data.

If you check the backups of other online products you will probably find a similar pattern.  As an example, Nutshell’s backup is missing the description field, record owner, date created, extra addresses and a few other fields.  You can get them via the API, however this is not documented so you will only find out about this when you try to recover from a backup or doing a migration.  At least you can have full confidence that when Zoho backs up a module all the fields for that module are included.

Zoho CRM Backup Options

Your license includes 2 backups as described above every month. After that it is $10 per backup request.  You have the option to backup right away or schedule recurring backups.

If you require a backup from the past and did not do one yourself you can request it from Zoho.  However, this type of backup will require Zoho to do programming based on the way they they backup their servers.  This means it will take longer, may cost more that is if it can be done at all.

Your Options

As far as any code you write in your functions, workflows etc. it is best to take screen snapshots and copy and paste the code into a version control system or Evernote before and after you make any changes.

If you want more frequent backups you can use the Zoho API or use a third party like Skyvia.
Skyvia is a very affordable option with a robust interface for detecting changes and restoring individual records.
https://skyvia.com/backup/zoho-crm-backup  or within CRM go to Settings->Marketplace->All and select Skyvia

If you want the field schematics and drop down values you can use the API.  I do this for my clients, and might make it into more of an automated service in the near future.
Contact me or click Pick Lists and Field Schema Tool to learn more.

New tool that backs up all your Workflows, Functions and Templates.

Click Here to read more

What is your Current Backup Strategy

  • Do you have a strategy that is written down and reviewed?
  • Where do you store your backup once you download it?
  • Who has access to that backup?
  • When was the last time you did a backup?

Bottom Line

When a company says don’t worry about your data because it is in the cloud you need to dig deeper.  After all, you are responsible and suffer the consequences if anything happens to your data.

So just like before the cloud, having a properly tested backup strategy is the best way to avoid saying Oops if the unthinkable happens.