It's still listed as "Beta" and missing plenty of features (like the ability to download the results of a query), but per the download page, it hasn't been updated since October 2011. I think it is still using an API version around 23 because it won't allow me to query FeedItem.

Does anybody know if we can expect an update to this in the future? Alternatively, are there any tools out there that are a suitable replacement? Despite its flaws, I find it useful but looks like I need to plan on finding an alternative.

  • 2
    soqlX or Workbench would be good alternatives.
    – superfell
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 1:22
  • Thanks, wish I could use soqlX but I'm a PC user :)
    – jkraybill
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 4:22
  • I use BrainEngine.net. Resembles a Visual Studio environment. Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 14:53
  • 1
    Since the clearest answer isn't top, yes it has been dropped. There are various other tools with Workbench being suggested most often - workbench.developerforce.com Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 21:25

4 Answers 4


Support for FDE has indeed been dropped. We are working with the original vendor to get code open sourced.

I would second a vote for workbench as a suitable replacement.


As a possible alternative, I've been playing with the Partner API for a bit and made a SOQL query runner as part of the FuseIT SFDC Explorer.

To your points:

  1. It is currently built on the 27.0 API versions so you can see FeedItem
    FeedItem Query
    If the results seem to take a long time to come back try removing the ContentData field from the SOQL query. This should also greatly reduce the required API call count.
  2. It can export the SOQL query results as CSV. This will handle paging through all the query results for you.
    FuseIT SFDC Explorer Export SOQL results to CSV

Possible downsides:

  • It is closed source Windows only desktop software.
    The Web Workbench (as initially suggested by Superfell) will save you handling software updates like the desktop client will require.
  • It is still BETA as well. It isn't a funded product, so I haven't had time to work through every possible bug or slow part of the UI.

As to updates for the Salesforce Force.com Explorer. I checked the wiki update history for the Force.com Explorer page. The last update of note was by Dana Le. Based on the tweets and followers/following I'd say @danale_sf is the correct twitter account. Maybe we should give them a nudge?

  • @jkraybill Doh, sorry. Links should be fixed now. Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 2:58
  • Yep, worked, thanks! (Should I delete my earlier comment with the direct links in it?)
    – jkraybill
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 3:00
  • @jkraybill Yes please. Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 3:05
  • If you don't mind going into the Salesforce UI when you need to, I've found Ajax Tools to be very helpful and provide pretty much the same functionality as the Force.com Explorer. The downside of course is that you need to install it in every org that you work in. (sigh)
    – crmprogdev
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 14:40

I haven't had a need for the Force.com Explorer since the Query Editor in the Developer Console arrived. You can access it by clicking your name in the top right, then clicking the Developer Console link. Once the console pops up, click the Query Editor tab.

Here's a screen shot:

Developer Console - Query Editor

It works on any computer with a modern browser, and I'd be surprised if they don't continuously improve it with future Salesforce updates/releases.

  • Really still seems the best option, does work OK for browser version.
    – Kapé
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 16:06

My suggestion, take a look at RealForce Explorer https://bitbucket.org/brsanthu/real-force-explorer/wiki/Home

You can explore, run SOQL queries and ad-hoc apex in an interface that is much nicer than what is provided in Eclipse for the same functions.

It also plays nicely with force.com IDE, I will often select multiple fields in RealForce Explorer and then drag and drop them into my eclipse SOQL query


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