New to salesforce, here!

I would like to display a Report from SalesForce in a third party app. It is effectively just a datatable.

I've been reading various documents in the developer site but I am struggling to fully understand the options.

As far as I am aware, I have broadly two:

  1. We could publish the data in VisualForce which could then be hosted on something called force.com at which point we would be able to embed this page using an iframe in our third party application.

  2. We can use the REST API to retrieve the data directly and then re-assemble this into a table on the website where it should display.

However, it seems strange to me that there wouldn't be some kind of "export html" function. It also seems strange to me that the VisualForce method is so convoluted.

So, I ask humbly - am I missing something here? We just want embed a report on a third party app.

I found something called "Workbench" <- is this the best place to get started with the REST API?

Workbench URL: https://workbench.developerforce.com/login.php

Thanks in advance for any clarity you can provide,


1 Answer 1


Reports in Salesforce is the visual representation of the underlying data with different conditions/filters.

A report is a list of records that meet the criteria you define. It’s displayed in Salesforce in rows and columns, and can be filtered, grouped, or displayed in a graphical chart.

So to be able to fetch the reports in your application, you have the following options.

  1. You can fetch a report and Dashboard using Salesforce Reports and Dashboards REST API

    The Reports and Dashboards REST API gives you programmatic access to your report and dashboard data as defined in the report builder and dashboard builder. The API lets you integrate the data into any web or mobile application, inside or outside the Salesforce platform.


  2. Using REST APIs, you can fetch the underlying data that you need in your application and then construct it visually however you want. This way you will have full control of what you want to construct and display in your application without the need of worrying what may have changed on the report in Salesforce, or if you are running into any of the limitations as in the Report & Dashboard API.

Workbench is a web based tool to help you to interact with Salesforce APIs. And it helps you to make REST API calls.

But to be able to get more information on the approaches as above, below are the resources which will help you to get started:

  • 1
    I believe that Knowledge article is outdated. Reports can be run over the API with the Reports and Dashboards API. It does have significant limitations, though.
    – David Reed
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 17:46
  • @DavidReed - do you know if these API were introduced recently? I do recollect that at one point of time, it was really not easy as it seems now.
    – Jayant Das
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 17:53
  • They've been adding (and are still adding) capabilities to the Reports & Dashboards API. I think it's been around for a while but a lot's been added in the last couple of years.
    – David Reed
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 18:04
  • Thanks for that information. I quickly went over the documentation and looks like it can pretty much (with limited capabilities) resolve the issues. Thanks for pointing that out, I should have been more diligent in looking that up before posting that outdated article, thanks again!
    – Jayant Das
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 18:07
  • Thanks for such a comprehensive and informative response! Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 20:30

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