I'm trying to run Data Loader from the command line and export all the fields for the contact object. We're using a third party app which has modified this standard object. I've defined a mapping file containing all the fields that are exported when you use the Data Loader tool itself. When I run it I get this error:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><env:Envelope
   xmlns:env="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"
  <CallOptions xmlns="urn:partner.soap.sforce.com">
   <defaultNamespace xsi:nil="true" />
  <SessionHeader xmlns="urn:partner.soap.sforce.com">
  <m:describeSObject xmlns:m="urn:partner.soap.sforce.com" xmlns:sobj="urn:sobject.partner.soap.sforce.com">

2016-06-23 17:04:16,771 INFO  [contactExportProcess] process.ProcessRunner run (ProcessRunner.java:145) - Creating Map
2016-06-23 17:04:16,781 INFO  [contactExportProcess] action.OperationInfo instantiateAction (OperationInfo.java:95) - Instantiating action for operation: extract
2016-06-23 17:04:16,786 INFO  [contactExportProcess] controller.Controller executeAction (Controller.java:120) - executing operation: extract
2016-06-23 17:04:16,789 INFO  [contactExportProcess] action.AbstractAction execute (AbstractAction.java:120) - Loading: extract
2016-06-23 17:04:16,798 ERROR [contactExportProcess] action.AbstractAction handleException (AbstractAction.java:204) - Exception occured during loading
2016-06-23 14:29:22,978 ERROR [contactExportProcess] action.AbstractAction handleException (AbstractAction.java:204) - Exception occured during loading java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Cannot parse empty string

Above that snippet of XML are similar ones where the m:SObjectType is Account and User. The third party app is called Causeview, causeview__Volunteer_Role__c is a custom object. What could be causing this problem?

  • 1
    The 1st lines of code you have are where it's simply checking the schema using the Partner WSDL for objects. You may or may not have those objects in your org. No worries about that. The error line you have and probably the line that's just above it in the output is what they'll want. The other is really irrelevant.
    – crmprogdev
    Jun 23, 2016 at 15:47
  • I've found the problem, so I've edited the question to remove the red herring. Jun 23, 2016 at 16:20

2 Answers 2


The example given in the data loader guide for an upsert doesn't include fields that you need for an extract. Here are the missing fields:

<entry key="sfdc.extractionRequestSize" value="200"/>
                <entry key="sfdc.extractionSOQL" value="select ID,
from contact"/>

The error was caused because there was no SOQL, hence an empty string error.


I was able to resolve my empty string error by removing a reference to the process.mappingFile, accountExtractMap.sdl . This file isn't strictly necessary for data export and may cause errors if the list of fields is not identical to the ones in your SOQL query.

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