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Modify Salesforce Data from the Command Line

When doing Salesforce data loads, how often are you putting the same value in an entire column? I find this happening when I need to:
  • Move all accounts from one user to another
  • Assign a set of leads to a specific user
  • Set a field to a specific value
Let's use the example from my other post: Salesforce Data Loads from the Command Line - Move all accounts owned by one user to another user.


Let's break down each piece of this:


This is an alias I set for sfdx force:data:soql:query --query. It saves me from having to type this out each time and let's me query from the command line by just typing soql and my query.

This is a popular StackExchange post that talks about how to set an alias.


This command outputs the contents of a file. It is common to use this command with other commands by piping the output into another command. In our example, we are piping the output into the cut command.

This post gives more examples of how to use the cat command.


This is a command line utility to extract parts of a file. It can be used with csv files by setting the delimiter to a comma. In the example above, I am redirecting the output to a new file so we can maintain a clean backup file.

This command has many capabilities and this post talks about many of them. My most common usage follows this pattern:

cat file.csv | cut -d "," -f 1 > newFile.csv


This is a command line utility to perform find and replace operations on files. In our example, we are appending the OwnerId to the end of each row because our file only contains the Id of each Account. We are using the $ symbol, which tells sed to find the end of the line.

This command has a lot of options and this post covers a lot of them. I commonly use it like this:

sed -e '1 s/$/,Field_To_Append__c/' -e '2,$ s/$/,NewValue/' > outputFile.csv

sfdx force:data:bulk:upsert

This command allows us to upsert data via the Bulk API. It is a very flexible command and I have been using it for most of my data loads ever since I discovered it. In our example we are updating the Accounts in our file by their Ids.

Continued Learning

Here are a few links that will help further your knowledge of manipulating Salesforce data from the command line:


  1. Thanks for sharing this article here about modify data using the very basic linux commands. Your article is very informative and useful to know more about the process of modify sales force data from the Command Line. Keep sharing this type of articles here.


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