The typical way to configure in salesforce/force.com is to point and click. This is easy, effective and often the chosen way to do configuration to build applications on force.com.
.. it is almost boring for developers like me.
But, being easy does not mean necessarily quick. The typical ‘point and click configuration’ is good, but laborious when you are trying to create tens or hundreds of fields.
This is where force.com IDE comes in. force.com (and salesforce.com ) applications use metadata underlying the application configuration. Available as an Eclipse plugin, force.com IDE gets you a bunch of XML files that you can configure and a few more tools that make development quicker.
But, it still needs you to type in the XML tags, or copy/paste the code and make changes.
This is not acceptable! It can lead to catastrophe or cause this planet to end.
So, I put together a simple Excel spreadsheet that can semi-automate this job.
Grandly named “COG SFDC Tag Generator”, this will do a simple task - generate SFDC/force.com tags for your given field names. You just supply the fields, type of field etc. and see the tags magically appear.
You can copy/paste these tags in the force.com IDE and import in your own server. This will create those fields for you. You could also use this workbook to grant access to the fields for individual roles.
More instructions are in the workbook.
You have to, of course, have Microsoft Excel 2010+ to use this workbook. You have to enable macros for the tool to work properly.
The tool is provided on an as-is basis. Verify what the workbook contains, and only use it when you know what exactly you are doing. I strongly recommend to not use this tool in production environments.