Salesforce Workbench extension for Firefox and Chrome

WorkbenchToolsForGoogleChromeScreenshotA few months back, I converted from Firefox to Chrome because it was much faster loading javascript intensive sites like Salesforce.com and Workbench. Plus, it supports a bunch of helpful extensions (like these) that make my job easier.

A colleague recently informed me that Workbench has released extensions for both Firefox and Chrome. In Chrome it puts a Workbench icon on the right side of the location bar when you’re logged into a Salesforce production or sandbox site. Clicking on the icon logs you into Workbench for that instance in one easy step. As a bonus, it uses your local ip address so that you can get around any issues you may encounter with restricted IP ranges on your profile (ie the error message; Invalid_grant: ip restricted or invalid login hours).

Installing the Chrome extension was a bit tricky because Chrome has changed to only allow extensions installed from the Web Store which doesn’t have this extension available (yet?). You can get around this by downloading the extension from the project site. Then in Chrome, go to Window >> Extensions and drag and drop the extension onto the page. This will allow you to install it manually. Reboot Chrome and you’re ready to go.

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Firefox 4 Impressions

I installed Firefox 4 a few days ago and I have to say I like some of the improved features a lot. I've been using Firefox as my primary browser for several years now and aside from some past(?) issues with memory bloating, I've continued to prefer it even as I transitioned from Windows (IE – no contest) to Mac (Safari – close, but no cigar).

Now, browsers are a pretty commoditized product and I wasn't expecting any major changes in the overall experience with this new release. But, I have to say that two of the new features really impressed me and are going to have definite impact on the way I use my browser.

App Tabshttps://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/what-are-app-tabs
This is a great idea. Rather than using bookmarks for the web applications you're always in (Gmail, Facebook, Typepad, Mint, Salesforce), just have a permanent tab for each.

Tab Groupshttp://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/what-are-tab-groups
I love Expose on the Mac. I swipe four fingers on my trackpad and get a clean view of the kajillion windows I have open at any given time. Tab Groups is a similar feature for Firefox. Hit Command + Shift + E and you get a similar view of all the open tabs. When I'm doing Salesforce development, I may have a dozen or so open tabs all with the same tab title. Being able to see them all and quickly identify the one I want on sight is a great time-saver.

I was also really pleased to see that Firebug had released it's FF4 compatible update the day prior. That's an add-on I can't do without, so it was wonderful to see that Mozilla had done a good job of keeping partners in the loop on the impending upgrade. Well done, gentlemen.