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A Complete Guide for Salesforce Metadata API


Many Salesforce developers and system administrators use Salesforce Metadata API to manage the modification and release process for complex organizations. This blog covers guide about Salesforce Metadata API, Salesforce metadata types, Salesforce metadata backup Salesforce metadata report, and export salesforce metadata to excel.

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Understanding Metadata API

Salesforce Metadata API is used to assist developers in retrieving, creating, deploying, updating, or deleting customized information. This can be such a thing that is done using custom object definitions and page layouts for the organizations. The Salesforce Metadata is meant to be used for management to make customizations and build tools to assist management at the mode of metadata.

The easiest and simplest way to access the functionality in Metadata API is to use the IDE of or Ant Migration Tool. To simplify the work with Metadata API, both tools are built on top of Metadata API and use Ant tools and Standard Eclipse respectively.

Metadata API enables you to access some entities and feature settings that you can customize in the user interface and manage the setup. Such as-

  • Migrate configuration changes between organizations
  • Export the customization in your organization as XML metadata files
  • Manage customizations in the organization programmatically
  • Modify existing customizations in the organization using XML metadata files

You can make changes in the metadata in test organizations on Developer Edition or sandbox, and then employ tested changes to production organizations on Enterprise, Unlimited, or Performance Editions. You can also create code snippets or scripts to populate a new organization with your custom objects, custom fields, and other components.

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Employing Managed and Unmanaged Packages

Both managed and unmanaged packages can be employed with the Metadata API. The only difference comes in the process of working with unmanaged data. When you call for unmanaged packages, use of an asterisk (*) is prohibited in the package.xml file.

Thumb Rule: Asterisks work great for retrieving assets, but it’s better to not use them for deployments

Employing a managed package is also possible with metadata API, but the method is different. A metadata type named Installed Packages is used to do this. These are named after the namespaces of the currently installed packages. If you employ any one of them or even only one, then the managed package will be installed in the target organization. You will receive an email, just like somebody clicked “Get It Now” on the AppExchange. This is the only metadata type that sends out emails; and the only asset that must be deployed alone.

With Great Power: The Metadata API solves very difficult problems.

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Also, don’t forget to check out this Salesforce Tutorial – An Ultimate Guide for Beginners!

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Valid Salesforce Metadata Types

Here is a detailed list of Salesforce Metadata types that can be used to prepare Salesforce metadata reports, salesforce metadata backup, and export salesforce metadata to excel.

  • Account Settings
  • AccountRelationshipShareRule
  • ActionLinkGroupTemplate
  • AnalyticSnapshot
  • ArticleType
  • ApexClass
  • ApexComponent
  • ApexPage
  • ApexTestSuite
  • ApexTrigger
  • AppMenu
  • ApprovalProcess
  • AssignmentRules
  • Audience
  • AuraDefinitionBundle
  • AuthProvider
  • AutoResponseRules
  • Bot
  • BotVersion
  • BrandingSet
  • CallCenter
  • CampaignInfluenceModel
  • CaseSubjectParticle
  • Certificate
  • ChatterExtension
  • CleanDataService
  • CMSConnectSource
  • Community (Zone)
  • CommunityTemplateDefinition
  • CommunityThemeDefinition
  • ConnectedApp
  • content assets
  • CorsWhitelistOrigin
  • CspTrustedSite
  • CustomApplication
  • CustomApplicationComponent
  • CustomFeedFilter
  • CustomHelpMenuSection
  • CustomLabels
  • Custom Metadata Types (CustomObject)
  • CustomObject
  • CustomObjectTranslation
  • CustomPageWebLink
  • CustomPermission
  • custom site
  • CustomTab
  • CustomValue
  • Dashboard
  • DataCategoryGroup
  • DelegateGroup
  • Document
  • DuplicateRule
  • EclairGeoData
  • EmailServicesFunction
  • EmailTemplate
  • EmbeddedServiceBranding
  • EmbeddedServiceConfig
  • EmbeddedServiceFieldService
  • EmbeddedServiceFlowConfig
  • EmbeddedServiceLiveAgent
  • EntitlementProcess
  • EntitlementTemplate
  • EscalationRules
  • EventDelivery
  • EventSubscription
  • ExternalDataSource
  • ExternalServiceRegistration
  • FeatureParameterBoolean
  • FeatureParameterDate
  • FeatureParameterInteger
  • FlexiPage
  • Flow
  • FlowCategory
  • FlowDefinition
  • Folder
  • GlobalPicklist
  • GlobalPicklistValue
  • GlobalValueSet
  • GlobalValueSetTranslation
  • Group
  • HomePageComponent
  • HomePageLayout
  • InstalledPackage
  • KeywordList
  • Layout
  • Letterhead
  • LightningBolt
  • LightningComponentBundle
  • LightningExperienceTheme
  • LiveChatAgentConfig
  • LiveChatButton
  • LiveChatDeployment
  • LiveChatSensitiveDataRule
  • ManagedTopics
  • MatchingRule
  • Metadata
  • MetadataWithContent
  • MilestoneType
  • MlDomain (Beta)
  • ModerationRule
  • NamedCredential
  • Network
  • NetworkBranding
  • Package
  • PathAssistant
  • PermissionSet
  • PermissionSetGroup (Pilot)
  • PlatformCachePartition
  • PlatformEventChannel
  • Portal
  • PostTemplate
  • PresenceDeclineReason
  • PresenceUserConfig
  • Profile
  • ProfileActionOverride
  • ProfilePasswordPolicy
  • Queue
  • QueueRoutingConfig
  • QuickAction
  • RecommendationStrategy
  • RecordActionDeployment
  • RemoteSiteSetting
  • Report
  • ReportType
  • Role
  • RoleOrTerritory
  • SamlSsoConfig
  • Scontrol
  • ServiceChannel
  • ServicePresenceStatus
  • Settings
  • SharedTo
  • SharingBaseRule
  • SharingRules
  • SharingSet
  • SiteDotCom
  • Skill
  • StandardValueSet
  • StandardValueSetTranslation
  • StaticResource
  • SynonymDictionary
  • Territory
  • Territory2
  • Territory2Model
  • Territory2Rule
  • Territory2Type
  • TopicsForObjects
  • TransactionSecurityPolicy
  • Translations
  • UserCriteria
  • WaveApplication
  • WaveDataflow
  • WaveDashboard
  • WaveDataset
  • WaveLens
  • WaveTemplateBundle
  • WaveXmd
  • Workflow

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Invalid Salesforce Metadata Types

There are some things that you can customize in a Salesforce org but are not available or invalid in the Metadata API. The following components can’t be retrieved or deployed with Metadata API, and changes to them must be made manually in each of your organizations. Also, if you are willing to increase your domain knowledge then learn how to install and use Salesforce ANT Migration Tools and gain a complete understanding of Salesforce Metadata API.

Here is a detailed list of invalid Salesforce Metadata types that can be used to prepare Salesforce metadata report, salesforce metadata backup, and export salesforce metadata to excel.

  • Account Teams
  • Activity Button Overrides
  • Analytic Settings
  • Automated Case User Settings
  • Auto-number on Customizable Standard Fields
  • Calendars
  • Campaign Influences
  • Case Contact Roles
  • Case Feed Layouts
  • Case Team Roles
  • Console Layouts
  • Multiline layout fields for contract line items
  • Currency Exchange Rates
  • Data Category Visibility Settings
  • Delegated Administration
  • Divisions
  • Fiscal Year
  • File Upload and Download Security Settings
  • Lead Settings
  • Live Agent chats routed with Omni-Channel
  • Mail Merge Templates
  • Mobile Administration
  • Mobile Users and Devices
  • Multiline layout fields for opportunity teams
  • Offline Briefcase Configurations
  • Opportunity Big Deal Alerts
  • Opportunity Update Reminders
  • Organization-Wide Email Addresses
  • Outlook Configurations
  • Partner Management
  • Predefined Case Teams
  • Product Schedule Setup
  • Quote Templates
  • Salesforce to Salesforce
  • Self-Service Portal Font and Colors
  • Self-Service Portal Settings
  • Self-Service Portal Users
  • Self-Service Public Solutions
  • Self-Service Web-to-Case
  • Service report templates
  • com
  • Social Account/Contact Settings
  • Social Business Rules
  • Social Customer Service Settings
  • SoftPhone Layout
  • Solution Categories
  • Solution Settings
  • Standard fields that aren’t customizable, such as auto number fields or system fields
  • Tag Settings
  • Territory Assignment Rules
  • User Interface Settings (except calendar features, which are supported in ActivitiesSettings)
  • Web Links on Person Account Page Layouts
  • Web-to-Lead

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Metadata Components and Types

Metadata components are based on metadata types, such as ApexClass and CustomObject, which extend Metadata which is the base class of metadata types. A component is an instance of a metadata type.

For instance, CustomObject which is a metadata type for custom objects, and MyCustomObject_c component is an instance of a custom object. A metadata type can be identified in the metadata WSDL as any complexType that extends the Metadata complexType. A complexType that is a metadata type includes the following element in its WSDL definition:

Here is a brief guide on How to Become Certified Salesforce Developer?

Field Data Types

Each component field has a specific field type. These field types can correspond to other components defined in the WSDL, or primitive data types, like string, that are commonly used in strongly typed programming languages.

These field data types are used in the SOAP messages that are exchanged between your client application and the API. When writing your client application, follow the data typing rules defined for your programming language and development environment. Your development tool handles the mapping of typed data in your programming language with these SOAP data types.

For more information about primitive data types, see the SOAP API Developer Guide. free salesforce demo

Enumeration Fields

<p><xsd name="DashboardComponentFilter"></xsd></p> <p><xsd base="xsd:string"> <xsd value="RowLabelAscending"></xsd></xsd></p> <p><xsd value="RowLabelDescending"> <xsd value="RowValueAscending"></xsd></xsd></p> <p><xsd value="RowValueDescending"> </xsd></p>

Some component fields have a data type that is an enumeration. An enumeration is the API equivalent of a picklist. The valid values of the field are restricted to a strict set of possible values, all having the same data type. These values are listed in the field description column for each enumeration field. See sortBy for an example of an enumeration field of type string. The XML below shows a sample definition of an enumeration of type string in the WSDL.

Supported Calls

All of the metadata types are supported by the main calls, unless it is stated otherwise in the individual component sections. The main Metadata API calls are:

  • CRUD calls, such as createMetadata()and deleteMetadata()
  • File-based calls, such as deploy()and retrieve()
  • Utility calls, such as listMetadata()and describeMetadata()

Also, if you are a beginner and wish to learn the basics of Salesforce, have a look at the complete Salesforce Tutorial.

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Things to Remember

  • Salesforce Metadata types are case-sensitive. Specifying a type name with an invalid case results in a deployment error.
  • Salesforce Metadata types don’t always correspond directly to their related data types. In some cases, the information is accessible but not as organized as expected. For example, dependent picklists are exposed as a type of picklist, not a separate metadata type.  
  • The wildcard character doesn’t apply to metadata types for feature settings, like Account Settings. The wildcard applies only when retrieving all settings and not an individual setting.
  • The list of Salesforce metadata types is just the endless that can be used to prepare Salesforce metadata report, salesforce metadata backup, and export salesforce metadata to excel.

So, give a jumpstart to your Salesforce Cloud professional career by enrolling yourself in a comprehensive Salesforce training program, today!


Q1. Why is Salesforce gaining popularity?

Ans- Here are some reasons for its popularity-

  • Trustworthy
  • Proactive services
  • Improved messaging
  • Automation
  • Efficient

Q2. How long will it take to learn Salesforce?

Ans: The average time to get Salesforce Certified is six weeks. However, the amount of time needed to prepare for a Salesforce certification depends on the person's level of experience. It takes six weeks to prepare for the Salesforce admin certification exam if you are brand-new to Salesforce and must put in a minimum of 10 hours every week.

Q3. How will the training make me job-ready?

Ans- Getting a certification in any discipline is a milestone but it is not a clear indication that you have your skill-building right.If you have a certification but are failing at attracting the job invites - this indicates that your skills, knowledge that real industry demand is not at par level. Certifications are important but only when you have put enough learnings and understanding behind it to get it. At JanBask Training, we don’t prepare you to just pass the certification exam, we prepare you with an intent to make you career-ready.

Q4. What fundamental skills are needed to learn Salesforce?

Ans- A Salesforce developer must first have schooling in software development in order to acquire the necessary abilities. A bachelor's degree is available in math, computer science, software engineering, and related subjects.

Q5. What is the most basic Salesforce certification? 

Ans- The Salesforce Administrator certification is the ideal one to get as a novice. This will provide you a solid foundation for learning more about Salesforce, whether you want to focus on the developer side later or the customer-facing side now.

Q6. How long will it take to learn these courses?

Ans- Being Salesforce certified takes an average of 6 weeks. The time required to prepare for Salesforce certification courses varies depending on your experience. If Salesforce is a new platform, you will need to dedicate at least 10 hours per week to prepare for the exam. It takes six weeks to complete the Salesforce administrator certification exam. You may be able to complete the exam in as little as 2 weeks if you have some previous experience.

Q7. What is the objective of this course?

Ans- The objective of the Salesforce developer course is to:

  • To make you the most demanded Salesforce Developer
  • To help you understand the basic and complex functioning of Salesforce Platform
  • Tlo give you advanced training in overall Salesforce terms, methods, tools etc.
  • To enable you to learn Salesforce developer concepts in a collaborative environment.

Q8.  What is covered in the beginner’s level of this course?

Ans- For the beginners, the online Salesforce Developer training starts with the detailed introduction of CRM, Salesforce, and cloud computing to deliver you all the necessary skills required to start with this technology.

  • No technical background is needed, but you should have a zeal to learn something new and trendy.
  • The course will teach you about cloud technology from scratch so that you can get a broader understanding of the platform.
  • As soon as you are done with the beginning level, this is the right time for you to switch to the advanced salesforce stage.

Q9. How will I know that I need a Salesforce Developer training?

Ans- Go through the job profile of a Salesforce Developer. See what are the skills required to fit into that profile. If you think you can already fit into it then ok but if you feel you lack the skills that it is a sign that you will need a formal Salesforce developer training online session.

Q10. What does a Salesforce Developer do?

Ans- A Salesforce Developer analyzes the processes in a company, designs the CRM workflows and is responsible for providing custom solutions for a company. Salesforce Developers form the backbone of a company in managing old and new records for the company.

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    Shubham Singh

    With his detailed research and unique insights into IT and Technological trends, Shubham has been producing high-quality and engaging content that meets the standards of its end-users.


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