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How do I update many records in one go???


I am a newbie to salesforce coding and these forums so apologies if this is posted in the wrong place! I hope someone can help me out.

I recently implemented salesforce primarily to improve our case management process. A key requirement is to be able to monitor the time we have spent internally on a case vs the number of hours the customer has on their SLA and the corresponding time left i.e. SLA hours MINUS time spent so far. I downloaded a neat stop clock application from appXchange to provide a simple stop clock and it workw well. I have also figured out how to create the fields and everything is working to a point but....

Rather than have to go into each record and press save to trigger a field refresh, how can I update multiple records in one go?

Is there a simple bit of code that can run against a set of records and update a particular field? Do I need an S control - not really sure how to make one but someone suggested it would be a place to start?

 I have struggled to find an answer to something I have found simple in other systems (in Lotus I used agents set to run on schedule for example).

Any help or guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
We downloaded something off the App Exchanged called "Apex Data Loader".  It's a little wizardy widget that allows you to easily export data from Salesforce, make changes to any field using Excel, then import it back into Salesforce. 
Thanks, I'll take a look. Ideally I'd like to automate something to run on demand/schedule.


When I go to the AppExchange and do a search on "Apex Data Loader", it shows two results.

IBM Information Server

AJAX Tools 1.4

Is it one of these? 

Thank you.


Sorry about that - I thought he got it from the App Exchange, but I guess it's already part of our SF system.
I found this by googling:

"This tool is available in the current release (if you have Enterprise or Unlimited Edition).  To get it, log into Salesforce.com and go to Setup. There, go to Data Management->AppExchange Data Loader and click the Download link."