I'm working on a third-party API integration and whilst modeling the relationship between classes and objects, I hit a roadblock.

I need to write Apex classes that have the same namespace as standard or custom objects. Doing so will allow me to add custom states and behaviors that are relevant to the implementation, while making the code easy to understand.

For example, say that inside of my implementation wrapper class I want to write an Apex class called Contact. I noticed that the documentation gives an example of using the System namespace to disambiguate between local and system scope namespaces.

public class ThirdPartyIntegration {
  public class Contact {
    // Access the Contact in the default namespace
    public System.Contact proxy {get;set;}
    public Contact() {
      this.proxy = new System.Contact();

    public asJson() {
      // convert proxy to a JSON string

Inside of this Contact class I could add any behaviors that are needed. For simplicity let's say that I want to add an instance method that converts the instance into a JSON string specifically shaped for the third party API. From within the wrapper class, I would be able call an instance method on my custom Apex Contact class like so:

// Instantiate a contact
Contact myContact = new Contact();
myContact.proxy.FieldOne__c = 'example one';
myContact.proxy.FieldTwo__c = 'example two';

// Call the `asJSON` method on the contact
// Return a JSON string shaped for the third party API

// Output: '{field_one: ['example_one'], field_two: {attribute_one: 'example two'}}' 

Is it okay to do this? I can see a lot of benefit to using the same names for my classes, namely encapsulating all say System.Contact code under the Contact class.

2 Answers 2


There's nothing inherently wrong with name shadowing standard objects. It can lead to some confusing compilation errors at times (if you miss the Schema.), but otherwise is fairly low risk, especially if isolated to inner classes where it cannot have broader system impact.


It's strongly recommended that you don't use names that match standard sObjects or library namespaces. For example, creating a top-level class named Test will likely break all of your unit tests.

Using names like Account or Contact are not recommended, as you then need to reference the standard objects with Schema. A top-level class of this name can also likewise break every single class in your org. Custom objects are immune to this, as you can't have double-underscore in a class name.

However, if you're modeling JSON, and you need to use a standard name like Account or Contact, you can do so, but I would avoid intentionally adding any code in that class, and reference it from a different class, instead. The main point is to avoid name shadowing as much as possible, as it has the potential to break a lot of classes quickly.

  • I note the OP showed use of nested classes, which is totally fine and really doesn't cause any of the problems you have highlighted.
    – Phil W
    Commented Sep 4, 2021 at 22:06

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