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When querying the layout for the Account object via the Salesforce REST API (v31.0), I am seeing a populated relatedLists array. Could someone please explain what related lists are, where they are managed, and any other useful information about them and the relationship they have to the object?

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Related lists are lists of records that are directly related to another record. They are created automatically when a lookup field is created on an object, and there are many standard related lists, as well. For example, an account may have many contacts related to it. The account is called the parent record, and the contacts are referred to as children. The related list is the inverse relationship of the child object's field that references the parent object.

The lists may be added, removed, and configured on page layouts by system administrators. They can generally have different fields configured, and standard and custom buttons available, and can be sorted by almost any of the fields selected to display in the list.

To configure a related list, click "edit layout" while viewing a record. It's located in the upper right corner of the page. You can also find the object in Setup, such as Setup / Accounts / Page Layouts, or Setup / Create / Custom Objects / Custom Object Name, and scrolling to the appropriate area of the Custom Object detail page.

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This question is very broad and would be better answered by searching on Google, reading documentation, and doing the free online training that provides.

Basically it is a representation of the child records that have a lookup relationship to the record/object/table of interest.

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