Essential tools for the Salesforce Admin and Developer

Written by Charlsey Pearce

May 24, 2022

I’ve been working with Salesforce for over 10 years now, which means there are very few Salesforce related apps and tools I haven’t tried over the years.

Mainstays like Dataloader are where everyone would get started, but there are some really useful tools that I use every day that I share with everyone I can. Dataloader itself hasn’t really changed much in over 10 years, it’s the same clunky UI and the only real improvement was to allow OAuth login.

A few years ago, I would recommend everyone to use the Salesforce Workbench instead of Dataloader, as it was a great way to query data, load data, do single record updates. A benefit being once you used Workbench you would very rarely need to use Dataloader.

Workbench could do so much more, like inspect metadata and even run package deployments – plus most anything else.

Whilst it’s not an official Salesforce tool, it’s still often referenced in Salesforce material.

These days it’s not often that I need to use Workbench as there is an even better tool for working with Salesforce data.

The most essential tool for everyday work now is Salesforce Inspector. It’s a browser extension, a one click process to add any popular browser: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc.

Inspector lives up to its purpose, improving the productivity and joy of Salesforce configuration, development and integration work.

One of its best features is its ability to dynamically prompt for fields and values when writing queries, whilst also keeping a query history – it’s a massive time saver.

When I see admins and developers slowly writing queries in the Dev Console it just makes me sad to see how much time they’re wasting.

It’s ability to seamlessly and quickly export data to excel/csv and from excel with a copy and paste, is probably it’s most impressive feature. Imagine a world with no more csv file manipulation. The only limitation is it needs very specific date formats, whereas Dataloader can be more helpful to convert dates to the required SF format.

Still, this makes it an impressive time-saving tool.

The second essential tool is also a browser extension. Organizer, which as its name suggests helps manage all your orgs.

When you have Production login/s, multiple sandboxes, developer and preview sandboxes and demo/trial orgs it can get pretty messy. Especially as we work with multiple Salesforce customers the number of orgs I need to manage logins for has grown exponentially.

One of the best features of the tool is how it allows you to customise the colour of the tab per org, to highlight when you are in Production vs a sandbox, which really helps prevent you making a change in Production when you thought you were in a sandbox – this is not a mistake you want to make more than once in your career…

It doesn’t stop there, Organizer can also backup and sync passwords across computers which I find very useful as I shift between a desktop and laptop frequently.

There are several other useful features in Organizer, from quick-links to jump directly to a specific setup page, executing anonymous apex, converting Salesforce ID’s from 15 to 18 digits, formula helper, change set helper and field history helpers. All useful ways to increase your productivity when working with Salesforce.

So whether you are new to Salesforce or a seasoned veteran I guarantee if you aren’t using these tools yet you will have wished you knew about them sooner.

If you have any other Salesforce related tools that are a major part of your daily life let us know in the comments.

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