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I have to perform some ETL process against SFDC data (opps, activities, leads, etc) where the SFDC data needs to be mapped to an excel mapping file and an output csv or txt file needs to be created. the process also needs to be automated (so no manual dataloader extract into excel and formulas).

I am not sure what to use as I am not familiar with Jitterbit enough to know if I can upload an excel mapping file, then perform the transformation to said output format.

Do I need to create the mapping in SFDC as a custom object then use Apex to perform the transformation and then a data loader to extract it?

what other alternatives with an easy learning curve do I have?

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My first option will be using Data Loader from Command Line Interface. This way you can keep the mapping files, output files, input files in one place and run the job automated on schedule. Using Data Loader from the command line will get you started on this direction.

My Second option would be to use any free online ETL tools like dataloader.io. We can schedule jobs to run automatically with mapping, input and output files.

My third option would be to use any paid services like Informatica Cloud Service(ICS), mulesoft, talend, jitterbit data loader, etc.,

Hope it helps you to decide.

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