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We have some problems with a custom (unmanaged) package (setup>build>create>packages) installed in our prod org (not downloaded from App Exchange) It references another package that has to be uninstalled for different reasons. Unfortunately, the original developer went out of business. So, we on our own.

The package in question has no practical purpose and is just meant as "transfer" package. That said, the transfer package is huge and contains 5000+ files.

I made a backup of the package using Eclipse:

New Project -> Force.com Project -> Contents of package: "transferPkg"

If we delete the package and find that something stopped working, is it just a matter of redeploying the package from Eclipse (package->Force.com->Deploy to Server...) or is there something else I have to look out for?

Another concern for us is, even if restoring is as easy as redeploying it, how long would it take regarding the size of the package to do so?

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You will want to make sure you get your data backup, but the uninstaller itself won't let you uninstall it if you have any dependencies on the package (e.g. if it would break a rollup summary field on another object that is not part of the package). Generally speaking, if you can download it, you should be able to re-upload it later. However, before uninstalling, just to be safe, try doing so in a sandbox first, or try uploading the downloaded metadata into a Developer Org to make sure it still works. A little precaution goes a long ways.

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  • Thank you! Is the method I used a sufficient backup (New Project -> Force.com Project -> Contents of package: "transferPkg")? I am still unsure about that. – wp78de May 7 '18 at 23:00
  • @wp78de Yes; selecting the package will automatically select all of the package's components as well. As I stated in the answer, try installing this downloaded package into a Developer Edition first before uninstalling in Production; this will tell you if there's going to be any potential problems if you later decide to restore the package. – sfdcfox May 7 '18 at 23:01
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To install a package you must do so via the URL that comes with it. You cannot deploy a package via the metadata api.

Do you still have the original install link?

In terms of install time I don’t believe it will take super long (I have never seen a package install that took longer than 10 min).

Lastly, keep in mind that your data can only be preserved for 48 hours. You might want to back it up.

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  • Are you sure that it was a managed package? – Jannis Bott May 7 '18 at 22:50
  • It's a custom unmanaged package as stated in the question. – wp78de May 7 '18 at 22:53
  • Yep - you just updated the question and now it makes sense. Well, if you have all metadata components backed up as well as your data, then I cannot see any issues in uninstalling it and putting it back in if needed. – Jannis Bott May 7 '18 at 22:55
  • You can install managed packages via the metadata API, FYI. – sfdcfox May 7 '18 at 22:57

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