If you’re a Salesforce user, 3 great reasons to use Google Chrome

I think Google Chrome is a fantastic browser. I’ve been using it as my default on my MacBook and iMac for quite some time now. Every time Firefox or Safari comes out with a new bell or whistle, I try it for a few minutes and then go running back to Chrome. I live in Google applications (Gmail, Google Reader, Calendar, etc.) so it’s almost a no-brainer for that reason alone. If you’re also a Salesforce user, Chrome is really where it’s at thanks to some nifty Extensions I’ve yet to see duplicated in Firefox or Safari. 

Force.com Utility Belt – This extension, developed by Jeff Douglas at Appirio, is a Salesforce developer manual in a click. Apex, Visualforce documentation…it’s all there. You can browse or search the docs from the little drop-down window. I’m a developer wannabe at best. I get lost in the reference manuals. For me, I love the easy Salesforce ID Converter. In the browser, you can only see 15 digit Salesforce IDs. But there are times that I need to quickly grab the full 18 digit version (for example, when updating a synced record in Convio Online Marketing). This extension makes it easy:


Force.com LOGINS – This one, also by an Appirio employee, is a lifesaver. I administer 2 Salesforce nonprofits. Each one has at least one Sandbox going at any given time. Plus I have Salesforce developer account to play around in and preview new features. Managing all those logins securely used to be a royal PITA. No more. You enter your credentials, all stored locally, and you now have a handy window to manage your logins. Click “tab” to open a new window that logs you right in. I also like that you can store your security token as well. Makes it easier if I want to log in using my laptop while on the go.
Warning: Security-wise, this is like storing your password in your browser. If someone else gets their hands on your computer, it’s not safe. Simple enough: if you share your computer with others, don’t use this extension. However you can be comforted that the passwords are not part of your browsing history. When I add a new ID I typically click “Import/Export” and copy the XML text to a secure note in 1Password. This allows me to keep this info in sync across my computers via Dropbox without actually exposing the sensitive content unnecessarily.

Salesforce.com ID Clipper – Steve Andersen (@gokubi) of the Salesforce Foundation just announced his own Chrome extension to make our lives a little easier. At FightCRC, we share Salesforce URLs all the time to point each other to records. Steve’s handy extension does two things. First, it isolates the actual ID from all the other junk in a Salesforce URL and copies it to the clipboard. When you’re on a page that contains a Salesforce ID, you’ll see a little black scissor icon in the address bar. Click it and it turns green, telling you that the ID only is on the clipboard. Easy.
For the next version, it would be cool if an option-click copied the 18 digit ID, saving the extra step and a need for another extension. Update 6/8/2011: Steve has already updated the extension so a 2nd click on the icon in the toolbar pulls the 18 digit ID. Beautiful!

The second thing the extension does is clean URLs. Quite often when you have a link to a Salesforce record, it’s messy. You only need the https://nawhatever.salesforce.com/ID but you get ‘?’ and a whole bunch of other data on the end.
The extension let’s you right-click and copy just the cleaned up URL.
Wish list: Clean Salesforce URL from what’s in the address bar, not just on selected links.
Nothing earth shaking. But nicely convenient. Thanks, Steve!!

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