Copying Salesforce App and data into development environment. Depending on the edition used, the department might have a sandbox available to them — this is basically a clone of the live environment which you can use for development, and if it’s a full-copy sandbox it will also include data.
If you want to do it via your development org, I’d suggest deploying the objects from the production Org using Eclipse or changesets, to your dev org. Then you can use dataloader or an ETL tool to take a copy of the data, though if you have lookups etc. then you’ll need to do some massaging in excel before using dataloader.
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