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

This post was written by Kicksaw co-founder Kyle Morris and last updated on 03/29/21.

Introduction

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 it has major limitations, and Dataloader.io 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 cleaning up thousands of records every day. I’d seen some tools for this that tied into Google Docs or Excel, but none of them were fast or very intuitive. I wanted something that allowed me to do really simple exports/imports of data from Salesforce without much effort.

Salesforce Inspector

I came across a random blog post mentioning a Google Chrome extension that helped with SOQL queries, and I 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 also handled asynchronous calls with ease. The best features of Salesforce Inspector are that it’s both 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 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 this tends to be rare. The easiest way to solve for this is to break the data up into chunks.

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