Metadata is often defined as DATA ABOVE DATA which is fine and gives some idea but when we say “Metadata in Salesforce” it is a simple way of understanding the objects & field structure in Salesforce. Metadata in Salesforce describes the structure of objects, fields and also the page layouts and Metadata describes many more structures in Force.com.
Metadata can help in a number of ways for an admin like for enabling a multi tenant app in Salesforce.com. Metadata helps in improving an application’s response time and it can be stored in custom setting if required for application performance. There are also actions in Salesforce that can be performed by importing the Metadata and these actions allows a user to work on multiple records, fields and other use cases. There are apps available for different scenarios that work on metadata or Exporting the metadata or using metadata to perform actions for users by importing metadata and some of them are highlighted in the sections below that can be helpful for an Admin.
CloverDx is an ETL tool that can be used to Export the Metadata from a Salesforce org. This can be installed and run on the system and the export is a three step process but it does require admin skills used for querying the object structure. It uses the Salesforce credentials to establish a connection with the org as the first step, and similar to any third party application the security token is required for the connect and few configurations to be added like the login host as login.salesforce.com. Followed by the connection user have to select the object and fields in the query box as you do in data loader or developer console using SOQL query and then the metadata can be checked and exported for the Salesforce org. Read More
Field Dumper - Extract Data Model to Excel
An application available on AppExchange that generates an Excel spreadsheet of the data model of an org displaying the field level information of objects. In a single sheet multiple custom and standard objects can be extracted using this app and different tabs are created in the spreadsheet for each object. The field information is displayed in a row of the spreadsheet and the information that is exported includes API Name of field, Name, DataType (text, datetime, lookup etc), Formula, Help Text, Size etc. Read More
Lightning Object Creator
Lightning Object Creator is a tool provided by Salesforce that allows users to create object structure in an org using spreadsheets with few clicks. It works similar to the data import wizard and has three steps process involved, user uploads a CSV file and it is converted the file and shows the mapping screen after this it will ask the user to add the components like allow reports, chatter etc along with the object and then it is done and object and fields are created in the org. Read More
Salesforce Field Creator
Field creator is a tool available as a Heroku app that provides an interface for setting up and creating custom fields easily in a Salesforce org. Fields for standard or custom objects can be created along with the permissions and page layout setup. This makes life of an admin easier as it saves a lot of time and effort of doing these tasks one at a time and manually in Salesforce. The org credentials are passed from the API integration and they use Metadata API in production and Tooling API in the Sandbox & dev orgs to query and fetch the results Read More
Bulk Object Field Creator(BOFC)
A native Force.com app to manage Metadata that is very popular is BOFC as it is known, that comes with many features all available in few clicks. BOFC allows users to create bulk objects Fields and perform other operations like Updation ,Deletion,Cloning. There are other options available for users that includes Reporting that helps to export Objects, fields, Multiple Page-layouts, Assignment Rules, Validation Rules, workflow rules, Process builders etc (in xls). An Admin can export & compare Users Profiles and update Field Level Security for Multiple Profiles from the app and also Convert multiple Leads in one go. Read More
Astrea’s Quick Creator
Quick Creator is a Lightning application that provides a simple tool to be used by Salesforce admins while configuring an org, to create custom objects and their custom fields using a button click. This app allows the import of metadata to enable the users to create fields and object in an org.
This can be a big help for an admin when migrating two Salesforce orgs or creating similar fields for an object or creation of new object structure based on an existing one. As this will save a huge amount of manual effort and time that requires for creating these otherwise. It works in a two step process, user have to Upload Metadata from a CSV template, Add Objects/fields in a few clicks and Insert/Update the Object structure of an org. Read More
There are many scenarios where metadata can be used to help businesses and to make an easier solution for the users and the apps working on metadata as mentioned above proves that how it can be used. So the main advantage can be for any user or business working on spreadsheet can now easily migrate to Salesforce using the same spreadsheet.