Mass Edit and Mass Update

As you might imagine, we do a lot of salesforce data management work and we have a bunch of tools that we use to help us including, but not limited to Data Loader, Workbench and CRM Fusion's DemandTools.   Some of these tools can be a pain to set up or a bit lacking in the ease-of-use department, so for smaller data tweaks and updates, you might find these tools to be a bit unwieldy. 

Salesforce Labs to the rescue!   Salesforce Labs has created a bunch of really great tools and put them out for free on the AppExchange. While I've used many of these tools, I've found Mass Edit and Mass Update to be really indispensable for data migration, integration and CRM development projects. 

Often times when you're doing a big project you might have hundereds of thousands or millions of rows that you're inserting or upserting and then you find out that a handful of those rows have either incorrect data or are missing data.  That's where this tool is really useful, instead of having to reproduce a portion of a large file from some other external system and make adjustments, you can just make those adjustments right in Salesforce. 

The configuration is pretty easy for standard objects, namely you add two custom buttons to the List View display.  For custom objects it's a little more involved, but still fairly simple and there are good instructions on the AppExchange for you to follow.   All in all, it takes about 15 minutes to install and configure in an instance before you off to the races.   Maybe another 15 minutes for each custom object you choose to enable it for.

The tool works based on views, so you create a filtered view that represents the records you want to update or edit.  Once you've added the buttons to the list view display, you simply click on the mass edit or mass update button and there is a wizard that walks you through the process.   At the end of the process you get feedback on how many records have been updated and are returned back to the list view page.

It's also really useful if you've just created a new workflow rule that only runs on Update, but you want to update a series of existing records.  Without mass update, you'd have to export out all of the data and reimport or find some other way (DemandTools for instance).  With Mass Update, you can get that workflow rule to fire by updating an existing field (like perhaps description).

All in all, this is a really great tool with a lot of applications for day to day data management.