Salesforce Inspector is a browser extension (great news for both Chrome and Firefox users!) which allows you to easily interact with data and navigate to setup sections in a more effective way than the standard navigation. This is an essential time-saving solution for all professionals working on Salesforce.
This post will go into the details of a different version of the much-appreciated extension, called Salesforce Inspector Reloaded, and all the additional capabilities which have been made available with inputs from the Salesforce community.
Why Create a New Version of Salesforce Inspector?
First of all, I’m a huge fan of the work done by Søren Krabbe on the original extension, and the only thing that annoyed me was a small bug (the extra comma in the query editor). Since the extension is an open-source project and seemed to be open to contributors, I decided to fix the issue and asked to integrate it. The initial developer no longer supports the extension, which inevitably led to me considering other ways the issue could be solved.
Long story short, here’s Salesforce Inspector Reloaded, which aims to tackle the existing bugs you might have noticed in Salesforce Inspector and add exciting new functionalities to boost your productivity!
Salesforce Inspector is built around a side panel which extends from the right-hand side when clicking on an almost invisible arrow in such a way that it doesn’t impact the experience at all. This is the same mechanism from Salesforce Inspector – so even if you try the new version, it will be accessed in the exact same way.
This panel is ultimately the place where you can find all of the extension’s links and available information – and it will be usable on a wide variety of Salesforce pages once the extension is installed, including record pages, homepage, and even some settings pages.
Let’s take a closer look at what are the actual options you have at your disposal in the pop-up screen with Salesforce Inspector Reloaded:
- Navigation section: Here is where you can find the Objects, Users, and Shortcuts tabs. If you would like to quickly navigate from an account record to your role hierarchy in Setup, this would be your starting point through the Shortcuts tab we’ll dive into below.
- Extension pages: The buttons in this section will open up full pages with additional functionality, such as data export, where you can easily query Salesforce data.
- Additional extension info: This section includes key information, such as the API version, but also a direct link to the repository.
One of my favorite features is the new Shortcuts tab. It allows you to search directly for pages available in the Setup menu and much more, removing the need to navigate to Setup first!
This option is sure to make the navigation and configuration much faster by avoiding the additional loading time and extra clicks, bringing you straight to the item you need. For example, you could check your deployment status even if you are on an account page simply by searching the name of the Setup page.
Within version 1.19 of the extension, you can now also search for flows, profiles, and permission sets and access them immediately. This is definitely a breeze compared to manually navigating to Setup, opening up the Permission Sets list, and manually finding the one you need through dozens of pages, isn’t it?
If there’s anything missing that you would absolutely like to find while searching within the pop-up Shortcuts, you can also add custom links to the default ones. This way, you can create custom searchable links to elements that are unique in your org – such as individual records, page builder for a particular community, or even a custom settings record for that matter.
Adding these custom links does need a bit of technical ‘know-how’ for the time being, but stay tuned for UI improvements on this one!
2. Links Available on the Pop-Up
Inspector can easily be categorized as an accelerator for your daily tasks, and to me, you should have quick access to everything you need right from the extension. In this section, we will dive more into the individual elements of Inspector, the links that you can use to quickly navigate to record details, object configuration, and user permissions.
Once you click on this tab, you will see your own information right from the get-go: name, username, email, etc. Additionally, you can further search for any other user in your organization by one of the identifiers, such as name.
Clicking on any of the buttons will redirect you to the respective assignment page that you would normally navigate to from the Salesforce user record. On top of this, you can still access the user’s details or profile, as highlighted in the screenshot below.
- Click on the user Id: Show all data for this user.
- Click on the profile name: Open the profile’s page, where you can start making changes instead of searching for the profile or accessing the user’s page first.
- Quick access buttons:
- Try login as: Log in as the selected user.
- Details: Link to user’s detail page.
- PSet: Link to permission set assignment for this user.
- PSetG: Link to permission set group assignment for this user.
Intuitively named “Objects”, this tab will allow you to access details pertaining to any Salesforce object in your instance – including custom settings or custom metadata types.
This means that now you can swiftly find out the name of that custom field you need to use in no time, regardless of what page you find yourself in Salesforce at the time. For example, if you need to check for the current object record type configuration, instead of:
- Writing a query to get the recordTypeId and name from the current record Id
- Following the Setup route:
- Navigating to Object Manager
- Searching for the particular object
- Clicking on the Record Types section
- And finally, to the right record type name
You just have to click on the record type detail link displayed in the side panel once you click on the arrow (5). How easy has that just become? Let’s take a look at the other readily available options:
- Click on the object name: Link to SObject detail.
- Fields: Link to SObject fields.
- Record Types: Link to All Object record types.
- Object List: Link to SObject list views.
- Click on the record type name: Link to record type details.
3. Update API Version
While I usually upgrade the extension’s API version after the latest Salesforce release happens, in certain situations, you may want to use the new version before this date!
After Version 1.16, you can manually update the API version directly at the bottom of the pop-up whenever needed.
When manually overwritten, keep in mind that the select API version applies for all orgs and does not update automatically.
To restore the default behavior, simply delete the “apiVersion” localStorage property.
As you surely are already aware, there are quite a few tools out there that you can use to import data into Salesforce – varying from Data Loader to various third-party options. Salesforce Inspector also offers this possibility, with Salesforce Inspector Reloaded providing a few more enhancements.
Perhaps one thing you will notice right from the start – the background color has been updated to red when you are in a production environment to prevent you from doing something you’ll regret. In a situation where you have multiple connected orgs at the same time, this is something you should always know when manipulating data.
Auto Detect SObject on Paste
Sometimes, you might need to work with data in another tool, such as Excel, before importing it into your CRM. While there can be a few ways to do this, in most situations, you might begin by writing a query, then exporting the results and, when ready, re-importing the file in Salesforce.
Salesforce Inspector Reloaded makes this task much easier, in this particular case, when it comes to the configuration. Based on the export header, the SObject and action type are now automatically updated when you paste the data.
Skip All Unknown Fields
If we take a step back to the import process and the Excel calculations, which might be done based on the initial Salesforce data export, you may include additional columns that can’t be updated in Salesforce (related object references, formula, etc.). As you might have already noticed in the GIF above, you can now “Skip All Unknown Fields” directly instead of manually skipping the fields one by one. Of course, the individual “Skip” button remains as an option.
Data export is one of the other immediately available buttons, which will take you to a whole new page which contains a query editor. Here, you can query all available data from your Salesforce instance, filter returned records, and export them if needed – with a few new additions, of course!
Add Label to Saved Query
Everyone will most likely agree that it is extremely convenient to be able to save a query for later use. However, as it stands today in Salesforce Inspector, searching for the one you need can quickly become a confusing mess since they all start with “SELECT”.
You can now set a customized label for your saved query directly in Salesforce Inspector Reloaded and easily find the one you search for whenever needed. There’s no longer a need for a separate local file or other mechanisms to have these queries at hand at all times!
Add Copy Id Option
If you are an existing user of Salesforce Inspector, that means you already know exactly what I’m referring to. How many times did you have to select the Id on the export page and copy it? Probably on most occasions…
That time is over. Now, you only have to click on the “Copy Id” within the export results table, and the record Id will be copied into your clipboard.
Share a Query with a Coworker
Sharing is caring! Not only can you properly label the queries you frequently use, but you can also immediately share with your coworkers – whether they’re fellow Salesforce professionals or even power users. It is to prevent potential typos or simply remove the need for them to rebuild the same query you already have at hand.
This page allows you to edit, delete, clone, and query this record. You also have many useful links, such as Setup field details. Additionally, you can search by any of the available items on the page: value, field label, or even field API name.
Pietro Martino, who already contributed to the extension by restyling the pop-up, also included the show all data page to his bucket!
We now have an SLDS style page for this item, which also warns the user when using “Show all data” on a production org by setting a red background. As I mentioned above in the Data Import section, the ultimate goal is to avoid the “Oops, that was production…” situation – especially when the field is not history tracked or there is no backup available.
Since it would have been a shame to have this option only when querying the data, the Copy Id option has been added to the show all data page to facilitate the Id’s retrieval to the clipboard for further use.
Restrict Access to the Extension
By default, the extension re-uses the access token/session used by the browser to access Salesforce. For security reasons, which may vary depending on your company’s policy, you may need the ability to restrict the usage of Inspector Reloaded to particular users, such as admins or power users, to avoid potential issues.
You can achieve this in almost no time using Salesforce capabilities: enable “API Client Whitelisting” and create a new connected app with authorized profiles and permissions set. Follow this “How to” for the step-by-step configuration details.
What’s Next ?
Since the extension evolves according to new needs or requests, it’s quite hard to have a clear vision of what will be available next. However, here are some ideas I have in mind and would like to address:
- List of enhancements and bugs
- Options page to edit and configure actual configuration options (custom links, preferences, etc.)
- Improved documentation: I would like to create complete documentation on the extension and new features to help both Salesforce professionals and end users better understand how to unlock the full power of Inspector Reloaded!
Contributions are welcomed! There are already some contributors who have been integrated into the extension. Here’s some of them:
Nicolas’s help is precious. He’s the one who provides advice on how to manage your open-source project. He gave me some tips about how to build a great documentation, how to market it, and he never misses an opportunity to promote the extension on Linkedin.
Gary’s contribution was not directly to the Salesforce Inspector repository but to his fork.
I was curious to check the different versions of the extension, and when I saw how he restyled the data export and data import pages, I was so impressed that I merged his contribution in my repo.
Pietro is the guy behind the recent UI updates in the extension. He made the SLDS restyling of the pop-up and the show all data pages to keep a unified experience between Salesforce and the extension.
Samuel was tired of clicking and moving his mouse to navigate through flows, so he decided to implement a new functionality to make the navigation scrollable. Smart move, Samuel!
Overall, I hope you will enjoy the functionality we have worked on adding to Salesforce Inspector Reloaded, as well as what will come next!
Feel free to take a closer look at the repository, where you can check for source code.