Salesforce Inspector: The Best Tool for Mass Updating Records in Salesforce

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As an early admin of Salesforce my first tasks were doing data cleanups of our accounts and contacts. Cleaning up 100k accounts with Salesforce's data loader was a nightmare, workbench can work but has major limitations and has a limit of 10k records per month.

The challenge I faced was that this task didn't just happen from time to time, I was doing cleanup of thousands of records every day. I'd seen some tools that tied into Google docs or Excel but none of them were fast and none of them were very intuitive. I wanted something that allowed me to do really simple exports/imports of data from Salesforce without much effort.

Insert Salesforce Inspector

I came across a random blog post mentioning a chrome extension that helped with SOQL queries and was intrigued. I added it to chrome and was immediately blown away. I was able to run a simple SOQL query, copy to excel and manipulate as needed. From there I could copy from excel back into the extension and paste. Error handling was a breeze and it handled asynchronous calls with ease. The best features of Salesforce Inspector is that it's free and well maintained by the community.

Where it Shines

  • Mass inserting/updating records
  • Capturing API names for fields
  • Reference object relationships on the fly

Where it Falls Short

The amount of data in 100k rows with one or two columns isn't a big deal but for every column you add is significant. There can be times when you're updating even a few thousand records but with many rows. I've seen Salesforce Inspector crash when doing massive data imports but those tend to be rare. The easiest way to solve for this is to break the data up into chunks which will mitigate this issue.

One thing we've noticed is that it's easy to blow through API calls when using Salesforce Inspector. This is mostly a function of the fact that doing data updates is really simple not due to any limitations of the extension. Inspector handles bulk queries well and API calls batch 200 records into one call by default.

Becoming a Power User

Salesforce Inspector has far more features than can be covered in this post, we'll release another shortly getting into some of the power features for the more technical folks.

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