Workbench, long available as an open source PHP web application, provides a comprehensive set of tools for interacting with Force.com via a myriad of APIs – REST, SOAP, Metadata, Bulk – you name it. It’s an indispensable tool for every Force.com developer, giving you a level of interaction with Force.com just one step higher than actually writing code to call the APIs, and installs almost effortlessly by extracting the zip file into a directory on any PHP-supporting web server. OK, let’s get real, a directory on Apache. Very cool, but still, it’s always seemed a little bit wrong to have to actually install Workbench as a server app, given the whole ‘no software’ thing.
Well, no longer! Today, Workbench 22.0.1 beta is available in the cloud. Just hit that link, click the ‘Login’ button, authenticate as a user with API access via the standard Salesforce login page (Workbench can now use OAuth, so, yes, even SAML SSO works), and you’ll be spelunking around your org in no time. There’s a lot you can do – examine metadata, run queries, insert data, even switch API versions mid-flight – so be sure to have a read through the wiki page. Have fun!