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I am new to SFDC and have only been developing for about 6 months, in this time I have noticed some limitations around List Controllers and some standard objects.

Is there any way (programatically) that I could find which Objects cannot be instantiated with a List Controller?

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You cannot detect these failures in a safe manner purely in Apex Code. Attempting to give a StandardSetController an unsupported type causes an immediate halt of the program. Even using a try-catch block will result in the same immediate failure, even if the list is determined dynamically using a query string (e.g. Database.query). I suppose you could get a global describe of all SObjects in your organization, then query them 100 at a time using Visualforce remoting, catching those exceptions client-side and generating a list. However, I daresay that such a program would probably take a while to run.

As Itai's answer points out, however, you do know the list of standard supported types; if it's not in the documentation, you should presume it is not supported, even if your code seems to work with that type. Custom objects that use "__c" as the suffix should all be safe, as well as the standard objects listed. Other types of related metadata, like "__Share" are also not supported.

All that said, you can choose to use your own custom pagination. It's not as handy as using a StandardSetController, because each time you query the database, you might get a different subset as records are added/removed from the database.

If you absolutely need up to 10,000 records in a list using pagination for an unsupported type, consider querying all of the records to the page using the QueryResultIterator, and then rolling your own JavaScript-based pagination, or using some jQuery pagination module, or some other code you could find by using a query.

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According to this page (Standard List Controllers), the following standard objects are supported :

Account

Asset

Campaign

Case

Contact

Contract

Idea

Lead

Opportunity

Order

Product2

Solution

User

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    This answer doesn't really answer how to use objects that are not supported, though. – sfdcfox Sep 4 '16 at 15:05
  • I agree with @sfdcfox , thanks for taking the time to try and help though. – Tiaan Swart Sep 7 '16 at 2:27

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