Salesforce DML operations

DML (data manipulation language) is quite an important programming language to perform different database operations such as adding, deleting, modifying, and many more. Today we are going to explain the programmatic importance of using Salesforce DML operations in the database servers. In this Salesforce DML operation article, the topics which we cover are DML language basic details, types of DML, and the syntax. This Salesforce DML operation article is mainly designed for those who want to kick start their Salesforce journey as well as help them to master the concepts. Let’s begin;

Introduction to Salesforce DML Operations

DML is nothing but a data manipulation language.DML enables users to implement various DML operations in Salesforce. As we know that every organization regularly changes its business operations strategies as per the client/customer’s requirements. The database methods are also known as system methods that carry out the DML operations successfully.

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Salesforce DML operations in brief:

Now it’s time to explain the DML operation briefly, let’s get started.

Insert operations:

The DML insert operation allows users to create a new data object in the database. The newly added data is later used for any custom or standard object.
An example is as follows;

Student newStud1 = new student(stud_name = ‘JOHN’);

Try {

 Insert newStud1;


Catch (Dmlexception d)


   Exception code


In the above example, you can see a new data is created that is “newStud1”. The try and catch statements are used to verify whether student “JOHN” is already present in the database or not.

Delete operations:

The delete operations are used to delete or remove already existing data records of a standard object or a custom object. The data records can be of any type like student details or employee details, etc. The delete operation example is shown below;

Student[] oldStud = [SELECT Stud_ID, Stud_name FROM WHERE stud _fee< 15000];



   Delete Oldstuds;


Catch (DmlException d)


    Exception code 


The above example deletes the students whose fee is less than 15,000.

Update operations

The Update operation updates or modifies the already existing data record of a standard object or a custom object.
The example explains how we can update an already existing data record;

Student S = new student (Name = “JOHN”)

Insert (S)

Student myStud = [SELECT Stud_ID, Stud_Name, Stud_fee FROM Student WHERE Stud_ID = s. Stud_ID]

myStud.Fee = ‘15000’;



 Update myStud;


Catch (Dmlexception d)


   Exception Code


In the above example, you can see already existing stud records can be modified with new values given.

Upsert operation:

This Upsert operation is used to update the already existing data records and it is also possible to create a new record.
The following is an example of the upsert operation:

Upsert vobject [Optional_field]

 Upsert vobject [] [optional_field]

The upsert operation suits the data sobjects within the available data records by evaluating the given values of one domain to another (or already existing domain). While invoking an Upsert statement, suppose if you forgot to mention the domain, it will automatically use the ID of an already existing object to compare with the available records in Salesforce.

Suppose if you specify the ID, then you can use it for comparison. For custom objects, it is important to mention a custom field that should be labeled as an external ID. For standard objects, we should mention a field that consists of the sobject idLookup attribute determined to be true.

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How does Upsert operation selects update or insert?

The following are the few scenarios where we can perform update or insert operations in Upsert.

1. Upsert operation inserts or updates any already available data record that is completely based on the ID of the sObject, then the conditions you should follow are;

  • When you insert a new record, the key values are unfamiliar.
  • The available data record is unable to update because the key values are not similar.
  • Suppose if the key values are matching with other values many times, it will automatically generate an error, and then the record of the objects cannot be inserted or updated.

Undelete operations

The undelete DML operations are used to restore the already existing data records of a custom object or a standard object.

Here is an example for Undelete DML operation;

Undelete vobject I Name

The above example is syntax, which defines the undelete DML operation where you can restore already existing data records just by providing a data record name.

Merge operations:

The Merge DML operation is used to merge three data records into a single record. Merge operation usually combines multiple data records.

The following is a syntax of the Merge DML operation;

Merge vObject vObject

Merge vObject ID

In the above example; where the first row is considered as a superior argument to which other records are merged. The second-row argument defines where you can merge one or two data records, and later they can be deleted as per your convenience.

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Types of the Salesforce DML operations

The following are the various data manipulation operations used in Salesforce to perform database operations. They are;
Insert operations

  • Delete operations
  • Update operations
  • Upsert operations
  • Undelete operations
  • Merge operations

Why are DML operations required in Salesforce?

Here we would like to give you a few reasons which explain the need for the DML operations in Salesforce.

  • The data manipulation language offers a convenient or straightforward way to manage data records in the database.
  • By calling DML operations quickly it is easy to perform various operations on Salesforce.
  • DML operation allows users to access and manipulate data in existing data objects.
  • Data manipulation language is considered to be an important part of Apex because almost every business operation requires changes or modifications with the existing datasets.

Related Article: Hierarchical Relationship in Salesforce

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Final thought

We hope you got some idea after reading this DML operation in the Salesforce article. The main purpose of using DML (data manipulation language) operations is to access and manipulate already existing data records in the database with the help of various DML operations such as insert, delete, update, upsert, merge, and many more. These types of DML operations are most commonly used to perform Apex mechanisms. Keep following our website for more salesforce-related articles.

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Ishan Gaba
Ishan Gaba
Research Analyst
Ishan is an IT graduate who has always been passionate about writing and storytelling. He is a tech-savvy and literary fanatic since his college days. Proficient in Data Science, Cloud Computing, and DevOps he is looking forward to spreading his words to the maximum audience to make them feel the adrenaline he feels when he pens down about the technological advancements. Apart from being tech-savvy and writing technical blogs, he is an entertainment writer, a blogger, and a traveler.