Friday, January 24, 2014

How to Delete 100,000 Salesforce Tasks While Watching TV

Do you subscribe to one of those pesky mass marketing providers that clutter your Salesforce Tasks with 1000s of new entries every day? I discovered that our Salesforce org had 100,000's of obsolete tasks created by a "Unnamed Company starting with Genius" They were taking up a lot of expensive Salesforce data space and I needed to delete them. Where did I turn? Not to the Salesforce mass delete tools -- I had 100,000s to delete. Instead I wrote the following short Python script and solved the problem in about 10 minutes.

import SQLForce

session = SQLForce.Session("production" )
session.setenv('QUERY_ALL', "true" ) # Force archived records to be read.

## SOQL that determines what records to delete. BE VERY CAREFUL HERE!
taskSOQL = """SELECT id, subject FROM Task WHERE isDeleted=false AND subject LIKE 'Genius e-mail %' order by systemmodstamp DESC"""

nDeleted = 0
maxPerBatch = 1000 # This is a good size to prevent the Task query from timing out.
maxPerRun = 50000   # quit once this number of deletes has happened.

while True:
    idsToDelete = []
    soql = taskSOQL + " LIMIT " + str(maxPerBatch)
    for rec in session.selectRecords(soql):
        idsToDelete.append( )

    if not idsToDelete:

    nThisTime = session.delete('Task', idsToDelete )
    nDeleted += nThisTime
    print("Deleted " + str(nDeleted) + " records so far")
    if nDeleted >= maxPerRun:


The only tricky part is the SOQL that selects tasks to delete. Get this one wrong and you can do major damage to your Salesforce instance quickly.

The Python I used, SQLForce, is freely available to anyone. There's nothing but good news with SQLForce/Python.

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