Introducing the SOQL Query Builder, Now in Beta!

Say hello to a faster, more intuitive way to query your data

We’re thrilled to introduce you to a new, faster way to write SOQL queries! The SOQL Query Builder is a VS Code extension that delivers a rich, intuitive UI for designing and executing queries against your Salesforce data. With the SOQL Query Builder, writing, running, and exploring the results of your queries is easier than ever. Today, we’re releasing this new experience in Beta for VS Code, with future plans to bring it to Code Builder so that you can declaratively build queries from your desktop or browser.

Get started fast from VS Code

The SOQL Query Builder is delivered as a VS Code extension, no different from many other development tools for Salesforce you may already be familiar with. Getting started is as simple as heading to the Extensions Marketplace, searching for “SOQL”, and installing the extension. Once it’s installed, you can easily navigate to the SOQL Query Builder in just a few clicks. Once there, you’ll see a new, reimagined query building experience.

Explore Salesforce data, and extend full queries for further development

For many users looking to explore and better understand their data, the SOQL Query Builder represents a simple, convenient way to query with clicks. But the goal is to make anyone who works with data more productive, not just deliver a simplified querying experience. When you use the SOQL Query Builder, every query you design will also be rendered in standard SOQL syntax. This means that if writing code is your first instinct, you can take the generated query and use it as part of an Apex class, an LWC you’re designing, and anything else you’re building. And to make this easy, we generate a .soql file behind the scenes and save it in your Salesforce project as you go.

As an example, let’s say I wanted to design a new component, using LWC, that can surface product inventory data for a car sales app I’m building. It’s not as simple as just returning a list of products – I need to grab specific data for the vehicles in our inventory, such as VIN and color, as well. For that, I’ll need some SOQL. So I’m going to want to use @wire to import an Apex method, and that method in turn will leverage a SOQL query to gather the data I need.

import { LightningElement, wire } from 'lwc';
import getVehicles from '@salesforce/apex/InventoryController.getVehicles';

export default class Inventory extends LightningElement {
    @wire(getVehicles)
    vehicles;
}
public with sharing class InventoryController {
    @AuraEnabled(cacheable=true)
    public static Object getVehicles() {
        return [
            SELECT
                Id,
                Exterior_Color__c,
                Interior_Color__c,
                Model__c,
                Status__c,
                Year__c,
                Package__c,
                VIN__C
            FROM Vehicle__c
            WITH SECURITY_ENFORCED
            LIMIT 20
        ];
    }
}

In the past, I would have had to build and test this SOQL query used in my Apex method by hand. With the SOQL Query Builder, I can rapidly design the exact query I need for my LWC in a fast, efficient way. As I use this friendly UI to winnow down to the data my query will need to address, I can run it to see the results in VS Code and also copy and paste the generated query into my Apex method for use in my LWC.

This experience not only gives developers a faster jumping off point to using complex SOQL queries in their apps. It also enables deeper and more natural collaboration across teams, as I could have had my peer with more product experience help me understand what data my new LWC would need, and when.

In Beta now, and continuously evolving

As with our other Salesforce Developer Tools, the SOQL Query Builder is built in the open, and constantly improving. Rather than waiting to put in every piece of functionality we think you’d want in a better querying experience, we want to hear from you! Like the CLI and our Extensions for VS Code, we’ll iterate and update the SOQL Query Builder weekly. For example, we know how important the WHERE clause is to your work, and we’re focused on delivering that very soon!

By getting the SOQL Query Builder in your hands now, you’ll be able to benefit from this new experience faster, and also inform our roadmap and priorities. We know how important a positive experience for understanding and manipulating data is to you, and we’re committed to building a tool that represents the capabilities you need most. To let us know what you think, submit a feature request, or even contribute back! Our repo will soon be open and available to all, and our issue tracker is the best way to get in touch with us

The SOQL Query Builder is in Beta as of today, November 19. To get started, make sure you already have the Salesforce Extensions Pack for VS Code, then search for the SOQL extension to start using the SOQL Query Builder. To see it in action, and learn more about the future of Developer Tools on Salesforce, tune into DreamTX on December 17 for the “Everything New in Salesforce Developer Tools” episode. We look forward to seeing you there!

About the author

Claire Bianchi is Director of Product Management for Developer Tools at Salesforce.