Org Browser and Package.xml

Oh how I would love to love the Org Browser… it is meant to be so good. It is meant to be the fix for not having to hand build a package.xml file. Org Browser can STILL not download managed package metadata. So if you have for example, NPSP, and you’ve added a custom field onto the Affiliations object, you can’t download that object and your custom fields using the Org Browser. So it is almost basically useless. See the Issue that is still open.


Now, as we are not developers and want to see ALL our metadata we have to get our full package.xml file with the structure of our org. 

You can code it by hand, but that is just boring. You could use another tool like Illuminated Cloud to build it but it’s still not easy. Here’s an example standard package.xml but check if it is what you need for your org and it’s not up to date with the latest things.

Here is the docs for package.xml

Or you can use the app. Now, be careful - this is a community built project that logs into your org. I would probably only do it on a dev sandbox. But it does a nice job. Or there is a chrome extension Migration Tool Package Creator that will work in conjunction with Workbench to create a package.xml. I have not tried it tough. I have tried Salesforce Package.xml Generator Extension which is a VSCode extension, it is adequate and does the job. But it is really slow. It also shows you all the MDAPI metadata that you don’t need to download separately. Eg downloading objects gives you fields, list views, validation rules, record types etc by default, you don’t need them explicitly in your package.xml. There is also Salesforce Inspector Extension that will download your full metadata and give you a Package.xml in the Zip file. This is probably the easiest.

I am still waiting for something built-in, or really easy like MavensMate was. 

Now up to you if you exclude managed packages from your package.xml, but for me, a lot of what I do is building upon managed packages so I like to download the lot. Now if you have FinancialForce, I would strongly advise you to reconsider!. Also feel free to be liberal with what you delete from the package.xml file - eg you may not need sites or translations or stuff you know you just don't use. 

It is annoying that we still have to build our package.xml by hand, and annoying that there is no Salesforce UI to do it. But that's where we are right now. 

Here’s a trail on building and using package.xml but as usual it doesn’t actually tell you much

Org Browser

Getting the Org Browser:

However it is really really lacking:

It is also really slow to load (but so is the package.xml generator extension, so we can’t win either way).


Unless you have a good package.xml file that you maintain yourself it’s going to be a long, slow, involved process to get your metadata.