Salesforce Workbench: 6 Cool Use-Cases For Admins

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Workbench in Salesforce is a free, web-based Salesforce Data Management tool. If you’ve ever used Data Loader or the native Salesforce Data Import Wizard, it is very similar to those tools. Salesforce Workbench can be used for a variety of things that we normally consider data management activities: bulk updates, mass record creation and mass record deletion, but it can also be used for a lot of other interesting things that you might not have thought of!

In this article, we’re going to go over my six favorite things to do with Workbench. If you have any more, please let us know in the comments below!

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Benefits of Using Salesforce Workbench

There are some differences between these data management tools, but there are a few reasons I like Workbench in particular:

  • If you’re already logged in to Salesforce, it can maintain the current session, and you don’t have to log in again
  • Manage any Standard or Custom Object (example, the Salesforce Data Import Wizard doesn’t let you mass update Opportunities)
  • Run SOQL Queries
  • Force-Reset a Users password for them
  • It’s free, pretty fast, and really easy to use

Let’s dive into my favourite use-cases for Workbench.

1. Force-Reset a Password for any User

If you’ve ever had trouble with a user and the Forgot Password functionality (or the pesky incomplete security question), you can use Workbench to reset a User’s password to anything you choose.

  1. Log in to Workbench.
  2. Click “Utilities”.
  3. Click “Password Management”
  4. Enter the User ID, their new Password, and confirm the new password.
  5. Click “Change Password” and let the user know what their new password is. You’ll probably need to give them instructions on how to reset their password, and their security question after they log in.

2. Run a SOQL Query

I’ll start this section by mentioning that I am NOT a SOQL expert, but Workbench makes it very easy and gives you a ‘builder’ to help you create your query. SOQL queries can be used to extract data from Salesforce (almost like building a report) – except that you can report on fields and records you can’t normally access via a report. For example, you can query which users have a Service Cloud license or query on fields of all the Leads in the Recycle Bin.

  1. Log in to Workbench.
  2. From the Queries tab, click “SOQL Queries”.
  3. Choose the Object you want to query (in this example, let’s do Leads, and we’re going to look at the First Name, Last Name, Email, Last Modified By, and Last Modified Date of the Deleted Leads only).
  4. The builder will populate all Lead Fields in the “Fields Section”. Highlight the fields you want to see in your query.
  5. Use the Filter Results to generate any filters. In this case, we only want Leads that have already been deleted, so we want a filter for “IsDeleted = TRUE” (You can click on the green plus icon to add multiple filters).
  6. On the top, the “View As” section allows you to control how the results will be displayed.
  7. Click “Query”.
  8. View or Download your results.

3. Mass Update Records

Mass Updates are very easy in Workbench. You’ll need to prepare your CSV in advance, with a column for the ID of the Record you want to update, and at least one column for the field you want to update.

  1. Log in to Workbench.
  2. Data -> Update.
  3. Select the Object Type.
  4. Select “Single Record” or “From File”.
  5. Map your fields (make sure you map the ID of the Records you want to update if doing many records!).

4. Mass Create Records

Mass Creation in Workbench is easy too! The steps are nearly the same as Mass Update. Prepare a CSV with all the new records you want to create (make sure your picklist values are correct, and your required fields are all included!).

  1. Log in to Workbench.
  2. Data -> Insert.
  3. Select “Single Record” or “From File”.
  4. Map your fields (make sure you map the ID of the Records you want to update, if doing many records!).

A quick note about “Single Record” – this is a great feature to create or update:

  • A single record
  • Fields that are editable but not on the page layout
  • Fields that you do not want to add to the page layout
  • You do not want to do a full CSV import

5. Mass Delete Records

The Mass Delete feature in Salesforce is fine, but it is limited to only 250 records at a time. If you need to delete more than that, create a report of all the records in Salesforce that you want to delete. You will only need the ID of the record to perform the delete, but it’s a good idea to back up any records you want with a full report, saved outside of Salesforce.

  1. Log in to Workbench.
  2. Data -> Delete.
  3. Select “Single Record” or “From File”.
  4. Map the ID field.
  5. Proceed with the Delete.

6. Undelete Records

Undeleting is easy, it’s just the opposite steps of “Deleting”. Use the SOQL Query above to report on Records you have that are already deleted. We’re only going to need the ID column on a CSV of the records you want to undelete. Workbench still respects the 14-day Recycle Bin rule, so you won’t be able to undelete anything past this time that has already been permanently deleted.

  1. Log in to Workbench.
  2. Data -> Undelete.
  3. Select “Single Record” or “From File”.
  4. Map the ID field.
  5. Proceed with the Undelete.

Summary

These are just a few of my favourite things to do with Workbench, but there is so much more that you can do! I really appreciate it as a web-based tool (no download on my computer) and a higher record limit than the Salesforce Data Import Wizard. Even better, it’s FREE! Let us know in the comments any other cool features you’ve discovered about Workbench!

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