I have some apex that generates a PDF and tries to attach it to a custom object type that the user defines.

One issue I have with this is that if the type doesn't support notes and attachments this fails, but I don't really know that until after I already went to the trouble of generating the attachment record and trying to save it - quite a waste of resources for an operation that's clearly doomed to fail.

Is there any way to tell, at runtime in apex, if an SObjectType supports notes and attachments?

1 Answer 1


This is possible, but in a rather roundabout way. There's no way to tell from a Schema.SObjectType or Schema.SObjectDescribeResult, but there is a slightly obscure method on Schema.DescribeFieldResult that can help: getReferenceTo();

Set<Schema.SObjectType> attachableTypes =  new Set<Schema.SObjectType>(

System.debug(attachableTypes.contains(Account.SObjectType)); //true
System.debug(attachableTypes.contains(Note.SObjectType)); //false

What I'm doing here is checking what types of records can be valid in the attachment.parentId field. This returns a list, and there's no efficient way to say "is my type in that big list", so I'm building a Set for it's contains method.

After that I can cache that set somewhere like a static variable an continue to reference it throughout my code as needed.

Bonus: The same idea can be applied to check if an SObject type supports tasks and events or not.

  • It's not that obscure. I use it all the time.
    – sfdcfox
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 23:44
  • 4
    I've downgraded it's obscurity from "rather" to "slightly". Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 23:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .