Workbench Overview

The Workbench is an incredibly powerful tool. It provides such a large suite of tools that can transform the way you work with the platform. A brief description from the documentation:

Workbench is a powerful, web-based suite of tools designed for administrators and developers to interact with organizations via the APIs. Workbench includes robust support for the Partner, Bulk, Rest, Streaming, Metadata, and Apex APIs that allows users to describe, query, manipulate, and migrate both data and metadata in organizations directly in their web browser with a simple and intuitive user interface. Workbench also provides many advanced features for testing and troubleshooting the APIs, such as customizable SOAP headers, debug logs for API traffic, backward compatibility testing with previous API versions, and single sign-on integration within the Salesforce application.

An article detailing out all of the Workbench’s tools would be too large, so I am going to go over the basics to quickly show how you can log into the system and view all of the metadata in your organization. Let’s just jump right into the workbench and see how that is done.

The first thing you will notice when you navigate to the Workbench is that you are forced to login to a Salesforce org. You have access to Production, Pre-Release, and Sandbox organizations. On top of that, you have to pick the API version as well. As soon as you log in, you will have to authorize access to the workbench.

As soon as you log in, you will see a page that allows you to jump to a slew of different options.

As you can quickly see, the list of options available in this suite of tools is enormous. In this article, we will focus on the first two options, Standard & Custom Objects and Metadata Types & Components. These two options function similarily, but let’s start with Standard & Custom Objects.

Notice how as soon as Standard & Custom Objects is selected, it automatically populated the Object list with all Standard and Custom objects. For this walkthrough, let’s take a look at the Account object.

Notice how all of the options on the Account are available. You can view the attributes of the object itself.

You can view all of the child relationships.

You can view all of the fields.

You can view all of the record types.

The workbench literally gives you every piece of data associated to an account. My main use for this feature is the ability to quickly get the metadata names for compiling a package.xml file for the Migration Tool. This feature makes it easy to get the Name of any metadata you are looking to deploy.

So, now we know how to get metadata associated to objects, both standard and custom. What about the metadata associated to an Apex class or a Visualforce page? How would we get that information? Well, to get this information we need to view the Metadata Types & Components. To do this, click the link available under the info header.

The Metadata Types & Components provides a slew of different options.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at a Visualforce page. It is important to note that a Visualforce page is listed as an ApexPage on the Workbench.

As you can see, all of the information about the Visualforce page metadata is shown. In the scenario we described above, when attempting to create a package.xml file for deployment, you would use the fullName of the metadata shown here.

On top of all of that, this barely even scratches the surface of what the Workbench can do. The Workbench provides functionality for SOQL queries, data manipulation, deployments, REST Explorer, and so much more.

Even after seeing this, it is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the functionality the Workbench provides. Take some time and check out the Workbench. Trust me when I say you will not be disappointed. Enjoy!

4 Responses to “ Workbench Overview”

  1. Jodi Benz
    September 16, 2013 at 7:41 am #

    Nice job Jesse. I’ll be using this as reference.

    • September 16, 2013 at 8:12 am #

      Awesome. Glad it could help! It is an exceptional tool.

  2. charles mundy
    June 9, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

    Thank you for this gem, Jesse. How do I keep in touch with concerning either Salesforce admin or developer issues?

  3. Jakson M
    August 14, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    Workbench is not working ???

    It shows me DNS server error. Is the page down ?

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