Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to Extract Attachments from Salesforce

This week the "Salesforce Power User" board had a question about how to easily extract attachments so I took 10 minutes and coded up a solution. The solution uses's free SQLForce/Jython tool that has been around for years. I use it with clients every day to write one-off data manipulation scripts and for scheduled jobs that scrub and report on SFDC data. Every admin with scripting skills should have this tool in their back pocket.

Enough's the solution...

Extract attachments from Salesforce and put them into regular files.

import SQLForce
import os
import base64

## Put all attachments into this directory. A subdirectory will be created for each
## unique parent id. Attachments will be named the same as the "name" field in Salesforce.

## SOQL that find the parent record ids where we want the attachments.
## Change this variable to find the owner's of attachments you want to extract.
    SELECT id FROM Account WHERE name LIKE 'Z%' LIMIT 5

if not os.path.exists(outputDir):

def extractAttachments( session, parentIds, outputDir):
    extractSOQL = "SELECT id, parentId, body, contentType, isPrivate, name FROM attachment WHERE parentId IN ('" + "','".join(parentIds) + "')"
    for rec in session.selectRecords(extractSOQL):
        myDir = os.path.join(outputDir, rec.parentId)
        if not os.path.exists(myDir):
        fh = file(os.path.join(myDir,, 'wb')
        fh.write( base64.b64decode(rec.body))

session = SQLForce.Session("sandbox")

parentIds = []
for rec in session.selectRecords(attachmentParentSOQL ):
    parentIds.append( )
    if len(parentIds) > 200 :
        extractAttachments( session, parentIds, outputDir )
        parentIds = []

if len(parentIds )>0:
    extractAttachments( session, parentIds, outputDir )


dan m said...

how do i setup this environment? this looks like its perfect for what i want to do but i just dont know how to run it. is this a capstorm product or plugin??

Father of Eight said...

1.Download the package.
2. install the SQLForce python module in the normal way: python install
3. Take a look at to see how to connect to Salesforce.