How do I/What is the correct method for exporting my whole database (to csv), including leads, fields, groups etc?
Exporting from the 'export button' takes long and stalls. I would imagine there is better way.
I don't think there's any shortcuts here, the best way is to go to the Lead Database and click on All Leads, then in the middle click List Actions and Export List, select the All Columns radio button, Format CSV and then Export. You will see a Pending Export box appear in the top right, that will tell you how many leads that it will export and will count down to zero, I've only every downloaded 70,000+ leads and that took around 6 hours, it's a very slow process.
I've exported 112,000 leads, it took more 10 hours. After that I tried to click to download but session expired so I lost download link....
Is there any way I can get this URL for download?
Like Frank said, there's no short cuts. But you'll notice when you start the export you can click the option in the box to have it notify you when complete. I'd recommend doing that and exporting towards the end of the day!
+1 on the notification.
It'd be great if some of these functions could happen in the background without an active user session.
I found that you actually don't need to have an active session. You can come back to it later by right clicking on the list an selecting Export Status (or something similar). But full export is probably best handled via the API IMO.
I'm with Jim. If you can set up a simple API to export all leads from your database that'd be more reliable, especially if you regularly need to do this.