In an effort to become a more powerful Salesforce administrator, I’ve recently been knocking on the door of the developer world. You don’t need to master Apex to take advantage of developer tools. My favorite trick has been using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to speed up manual tasks, such as creating thousands of fields in minutes. This has saved me from literally hundreds of hours of configuration work.
An IDE is, in simplest form, a text editor that allows you to work with Salesforce metadata. Metadata is written in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format, which looks very similar to HTML. Below is an example of how a custom checkbox field appears in XML format:
Mass create hundreds of fields.
If you don’t already have a free Salesforce developer edition account, I recommend getting one (here) to test out using an IDE. Practice creating/searching/moving fields around and revel in the power of your new admin-eloper skills!