As a Salesforce Admin, you are likely to face difficult and time-consuming tasks on a daily basis. Because of the repetitive nature of these tasks, they are more likely to fall victim to human error. As a result, staying current with the most recent advancements in the Salesforce platform and community is critical if you want to become a productive and knowledgeable Salesforce Administrator. The tools listed below have been provided by the Salesforce community to assist administrators in increasing their workplace productivity. Our administrators at SkyPlanner have integrated these tools into their daily workflow, increasing overall internal productivity.
In this post, we will break down all of the tools we currently use in-house by matching the tools to your immediate needs. Your requirements will be listed in the “What do I need to do?” section, followed by a suggested tool to meet those requirements.
|A command-line interface for managing Salesforce. Very exciting!
|Apex Data Loaders – Previous Versions
|Do you require an older version of Data Loader? Versions 15 through 36 are now available, as are a few Mac-friendly LexiLoader installers.
|Boostr for Salesforce
|Chrome extension with a slew of features to make admins’ lives easier, including
a search filter for adding to Change Sets;
an underscore remover for API Names;
a “check all” checkbox for Profile Perms;
and many more!
|CLIq has a simple wizard for creating configuration files to run Data Loader from the command line (see here for how to use CLIq with OS X or Unix—thanks, Sai Aengareddi!). Data Loader Batch and Synchronizer are also available.
|Convert UI Labels to API Names 1
|This tool is useful for design planning; provide it with a list of UI Field Labels and it will generate API-style Field Names.
|No installation is required for this cloud-based data loader. According to Roger Mitchell, it is best for simple one-time jobs.
|What are you waiting for if you haven’t signed up for a free Developer Edition org?
It’s a Salesforce environment where you can experiment with new ideas without affecting your Production org or depleting one of your Sandbox licenses. Did I already mention the “free” part?
|Utility for (1) viewing Profiles, Roles, and Users in a single screen and (2) reorganizing Roles by clicking and dragging. Handy!
|Excellent app for fully describing a single object (attributes, fields, field attributes, etc). Real Force Explorer and Schema Lister are also useful.
|A professional version of Excel Connector with some fantastic features. The free version is limited to 1000 records at a time (remember your LIMIT syntax!).
|ExactVLookup 1 2
|Excel’s VLOOKUP() function has been simplified.
does not return close matches and can look up a value to the left of the column being searched.
|With this online tool, you can create a large number of fields at once.
|Determine the percentage of records that have a field filled out. Can also be applied to subsets, such as “How many Contacts created this year have a value in the ‘Birthday’ field?”
|Field Utilities 1
|This is a useful spreadsheet.
converts UI Field Labels to API Field Names, generates field XML (see “Field XML Generator” below), converts 15-char IDs to 18-char IDs, and corrects mis-capitalized ID capitalization.
|Field XML Generator 1
|Do you need to add a lot of fields? Navigate to this spreadsheet’s “Generate Field XML” tab to convert a list of field labels, types, and names to XML. You can then use the Force.com IDE to create all of those fields at once.
|An org’s Attachments, Content, or Documents can be exported using this script. Unzip the contents to your hard drive and run +FileExporter.bat.
Data Loader is required.
|Schema browser and SOQL tester; an improved version of an oldie-but-goodie Apex Explorer.
|The integrated development environment (IDE) for personalizing organizations and writing Visualforce and Apex code. This is the app you’d use to convert XML into actual fields if you created a bunch of fields using the “Generate Field XML” tab of Field Utilities for Salesforce Developers.
|Attachments bulk import/export/delete utility. Thanks to Motorola’s Vardhan Gupta for pointing it out to me!
|Inline Account Hierarchy
|Cool AppExchange offering that allows you to display the entire Account Hierarchy right on the Account Detail page, as shown below:
|Jitterbit Cloud Data Loader
|Data loader for local installation. For repetitive data loads or light integration, Roger Mitchell recommends it (along with Informatica Cloud Data Wizard).
|My own ETL tool for Zuora. It has a user-friendly interface that allows you to run multiple data tasks with a single click while also automating Zuora calls in the background.
It is still in early stages and does not yet support update calls.
It requires Microsoft Access in 32-bit mode.
|Microsoft Power Query for Excel
|Excel Add-In for importing table and report data into an Excel spreadsheet. The number of rows is limited to 2,000.
(To begin, select “Power Query|From Online Services|From Salesforce Objects” from the ribbon.)
|No Frills Transformation
|Access Salesforce, SQLite, MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server with this lightweight transformation engine.
Customizing XMLs is required for configuration. Installs on both Windows and Mac. I have not yet used it.
|Text editor for free. Tell the truth: how long have you used TextPad or UltraEdit without purchasing a license?
|Object Metadata Snapshot Tool
|Tool for describing Salesforce objects and storing them in Salesforce tables! It’s a little slow (takes about 10 minutes to run), but it’s cool to be able to run Reports and Dashboards on metadata.
|Dump a massive amount of data and metadata (fields! Workflow Rules! Report Titles! Users!) into a Word document. Too haphazard in my opinion, but YMMV!
|The Permissioner drastically reduces the time required to assign and revoke permission sets to multiple users. Administrators can select one or more permission sets to assign to one or more users at a time using a simple interface.
|Simple utility for quickly adding photos to Contacts.
|Preserve CSV Formatting 1 2
|My custom add-in that prevents Excel from corrupting your CSV files.
It takes longer to open CSV files; not recommended for files larger than 5-10 Mb.
|Product Entry Screen
|Make Opportunity Products easier to understand! Michaelforce’s Visualforce and Apex code simplifies adding Products to Opportunities.
This is the single most-overridden part of the standard Salesforce interface, according to my unscientific survey, and Michael’s code is a great replacement OR foundation for further refinements.
|Real Force Explorer
|Examine the Salesforce schema, run SQL and SOSL, and monitor error logs. I believe I’m in love.
|Reports for Excel (Pilot)
|Do you want to embed a report in Excel? You’re in luck if you use a PC. Salesforce’s “Connect for Office” has been replaced by this bad boy.
|Excellent collection of administrative tools, including Field Creator, Schema Lister, Switch, and others.
|Onscreen, list all of your organization’s fields and export them to an Excel file. It lists the UI Field Label, API Field Name, Type, and Help Text in a simple and quick manner. It would be nice if it also listed other attributes, such as Picklist values or Formulas.
|Schema Spy for Salesforce
|This tool allows you to create Salesforce ERD diagrams as well as a complete field listing for all objects. Nice!
(Synchronizer displays all fields; click the “View All Object & Field Info” button to see them all.)
|A cloud-based ETL tool that connects to Salesforce as well as a slew of other data services* and offers a useful free (not trial!) edition.
* Bigcommerce, Box, Dropbox, Dynamics CRM, ExactTarget, FreshBooks, FTP, Google Drive, Magento, MailChimp, MySQL, OneDrive, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks, SFTP, SQL Server, Sugar CRM, and Zoho CRM are examples of third-party applications.
|Mac OS X schema browser and SOQL tester
|Allows SOQL SQL-like extensions to be run from a command line prompt or in Jython (Java for Python) code. SELECT DISTINCT, UNION SELECT, UPDATE, INSERT, or DELETE statements should be executed. Cool!
With a little help, I created a simple batchfile to launch it for me; tweak it if you don’t install SQLForce to C:Program Filessalesforce.comSQLForce.
|Turn Validation Rules, Workflow, Processes, and Triggers on and off from a single control panel. WOW.
|Talend Open Studio
|Salesforce integration tool that is completely free. I haven’t gotten it to work yet, and I’m about to give up, sigh. Appirio created a tutorial for exporting data with Talend.
|Ultra FieldHistory Tracker
|Dissatisfied with the Field-History-per-Object limits? Use this FREE tool to increase that number. It is applicable to any Object that supports Triggers.
|Create a picklist once and use it multiple times. If this works properly (I haven’t tried it yet), it will address one of the oldest feature requests EVER.
|User Access Visualizer
|This is an excellent tool for viewing all of the permissions (from both Profiles and Permission Sets) that a given user has in Salesforce. Adam Torman created step-by-step installation instructions.
|Salesforce administrators will love this ridiculously versatile power tool. SOQL and SOSL queries are supported, as are metadata for all objects, API data calls, Apex code, and the ability to deploy configuration XML. Among other things, I’m still not sure how to use it properly.
|A tool that automates app workflow (“when I receive a Gmail with this subject line, create a new Lead in Salesforce”). There is a free edition. I haven’t played with it yet.
Permission is hereby granted, without charge, to anyone who obtains a copy of this software.