On the project I'm currently working with, we have Apex Sharing Rules. I see we are passing rowCause as a String everywhere. But the values of these Strings look like API names.

Is there a typesafe way we can work with these?


Refer this documentation: Sharing a Record Using Apex

Apex sharing reasons are defined on an object's detail page. Each Apex sharing reason has a label and a name:

  • The label displays in the Reason column when viewing the sharing for a record in the user interface. This label allows users and administrators to understand the source of the sharing. The label is also enabled for translation through the Translation Workbench.
  • The name is used when referencing the reason in the API and Apex.

All Apex sharing reason names have the following format: MyReasonName__c

Apex sharing reasons can be referenced programmatically as follows:


For example, an Apex sharing reason called Recruiter for an object called Job can be referenced as follows:


So, sharing reason must be used which you have defined and that's why it takes API name. It always hold String value.

  • Thanks for the link, but I think you missed the point of the question... I want to know if there is a typesafe way to work with rowCause. For example, if I pass the value of rowCause from one method to another, could I create a method private void doSomething(RowCause rowCause) { /* do whatever */} which won't accept strings which are not valid rowcauses, and to which I can only pass a valid rowCause by using its API name. – Brian Kessler Nov 25 '18 at 10:25
  • @BrianKessler But the direct answer to that question is a simple "No", which doesn't add a lot of value for anyone. Both Santanu's and Charles' answers seem to me to illuminate different aspects of how you can get some level of compile- and run-time validation of the use of row cause values. – David Reed Nov 25 '18 at 16:41
  • I appreciate the additional information, but I also appreciate directness. Of course nothing says the two need be mutually exclusive. :-) Anyway, I'll leave this question just in case some-else knows a way to make that a "Yes". – Brian Kessler Nov 26 '18 at 9:04

Just to test out... I created a sharing reason for a test object and ran the following line in Developer Console:

System.debug(Schema.MyObj__Share.rowCause.MyCause__c instanceof String);

I got back the error Operation instanceof is always true since an instance of String is always an instance of String. So that tells me it returns a String and not some special type.

However if you want to validate that it's a proper RowCause, you can do:

List<Schema.PicklistEntry> rowCauses = MyObj__Share.rowCause.getDescribe().getPicklistValues();

The results you get back will include all the custom row causes and the standard allowable ones too.

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