Friday, September 6, 2013

Flying Like A Pro: Salesforce Navigator

You may have noticed that I missed a post last week (though probably not) but I had a good reason for doing so, I was attending the Salesforce MVP Summit in San Francisco. I don't want to write much about the event as so many others have already done a great job of doing so, and there is also's Storify collection of the event. One thing I will say was that it was a mind-numbingly good day, kudos to Matt Brown, Erica Kuhl and co. for creating something so special, and it makes me proud to be an MVP for a company that is obviously listening to the feedback we provide.

The week before the summit I had the privilege of attending a New York Developer User Group meet up, and there Daneil Nakov presented Salesforce Navigator, and announced that he was unleashing it on an unsuspecting world. Luckily we're not doomed, but empowered.

What is Salesforce Navigator?

What to type, what to type....
Salesforce Navigator is a Chrome extension that will make your life easier, period. Essentially it's a quick way of using the keyboard to navigate to any part of Salesforce, setup or otherwise. Many developers use the keyboard for practically everything and this is another tool to help you do that. You trigger the tool using a configurable keyboard shortcut (ctrl + space for example), and up pops a box eagerly awaiting your input.

So what do you do with it? Start typing of course! Essentially you just start typing the name of the screen you want to go to, it supports fuzzy matching so as you type it'll filter out the possible choices until you've found what you're after. So if you want to view Account fields then you can just type in "acc fi" to narrow the list down to the matching options.

Fuzzy matching makes life a breeze

Swap "fi" for "lis" and you'll see it presents options for front-end Account screens:

Front end and back end screens are supported

Because all of the setup screens are included, you can even create new Apex classes with ease:

This is a MUST HAVE tool for developers

Looking good already right? Well the best is yet to come. Daniel has been tackling the task of getting this hooked up nicely with the Tooling API, the upshot being that you can even add fields to objects directly from the pop-up! This is a huge plus as you no longer have to spend time clicking your way through six screens of options, you just type, and if there's one thing developers are good at (or should be good at!), it's typing.

Typing "cf" and hitting space will start the process, with Salesforce Navigator showing you the syntax for the command:

Syntax for creating a new field

As you can see, it's nice and straight forward. Once you've gotten as far as entering the object API name and the name of the new field, it'll then show a list of valid values for the type of the field:

Field types with details

Choose the type you want, and it'll show whether there are any other parameters to add. If so, put those in, hit enter and you're done! Fastest field creation ever. 

Creating a new number field with 16.2 format


The new field ready to rock

Where To Get It

You can get Salesforce navigator right now from the Chrome Web Store; it's still very much under development but this is one tool where you'll have no problems forgiving any rough edges, because it's just too useful not to have!

Related Posts


  1. Wow, this seems like a really cool tool. Adding the Tooling API seems like a brilliant thought. It will definitely make it much faster to navigate around and make minor tweaks like adding fields. Thanks for sharing!

  2. if you use incognito windows to be logged into multiple orgs at the same time, be sure to right click on the icon for Salesforce Navigator and select Manage. On the page with the list of plugins, check the box for "allow in incognito" for Salesforce Navigator.

  3. Also: heads up -- This appears to be highly volatile wrt what works. Custom fields on custom objects are a no go, unless you wanna wear an error like a logo.

  4. Awesome tool, definitely of great help to developers and to Admins doing the config stuff!

  5. Wow .. This is so nice and powerful than the Winter '14 advanced quick find search.

  6. I have an issue that when we have to create a Field with a Field label , like

    Bid Date of Data type Date.

    I used "cf Opportunity Bid Date Date." but it creates a field Bid of Date Data type.

    How we can ensure that a Field label should have a space ?

    1. Hi Jeetu,

      It's not perfect but if you do "cf Opportunity Bid_Date Date" then it'll create a date field with the API Name Bid_Date__c — of course there's an underscore in the label as well which will need to be removed, but at least you can keep on coding!

    2. @Matt Lacey and @Jeetu, there is actually some logic for this. This logic is in no way complete; but, if you run "cf Account Bid_Date__c date" it will create a field whose API Name is "Bid_Date__c" and display name is "Bid Date". So, it strips the __c and then turns the underscore into a space. Not the most brilliant logic but helps your use case out.

      -Wes (Twitter: @wes1278)