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Winter '16 (API version 35.0)
  • Winter '16 (API version 35.0) 35.0
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  • Summer '14 (API version 31.0) 31.0
  • Spring '14 (API version 30.0) 30.0
  • Winter '14 (API version 29.0) 29.0
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Describe Calls

The following table lists supported describe calls in the API in alphabetical order, and provides a brief description for each. Click a call name to see syntax, usage, and more information for that call.



For a list of API utility calls, see Utility Calls, and for a list of general calls (calls that query, retrieve, or modify data), see Core Calls.

Call Description
describeAllTabs() Returns information about all the tabs—including Lightning Page tabs—available to the logged-in user, regardless of whether the user has chosen to hide tabs in his own user interface via the All Tabs (+) tab customization feature.
describeAppMenu() Retrieves metadata about items either in the Salesforce1 navigation menu or the Salesforce drop-down app menu.
describeApprovalLayout() Retrieves metadata about approval layouts for the specified object type.
describeAvailableQuickActions() In API version 28.0, describes details about actions available for a specified parent. In API version 29.0 and greater, describes details about actions available for a specified context.
describeCompactLayouts() Retrieves metadata about compact layouts for the specified object type.
describeDataCategoryGroups() Retrieves available category groups for entities specified in the request.
describeDataCategoryGroupStructures() Retrieves available category groups along with their data category structure for entities specified in the request.
describeFlexiPages() Retrieves metadata details about a set of Lightning Pages. A Lightning Page is the home page for a mobile app that appears as a menu item in the Salesforce1 navigation menu.
describeGlobal() Retrieves a list of available objects for your organization’s data.
describeGlobalTheme() Returns information about both objects and themes available to the current logged-in user.
describeLayout() Retrieves metadata about page layouts for the specified object type.
describePrimaryCompactLayouts() Retrieves metadata about the primary compact layout for each of the specified object types.
describeQuickActions() Retrieves details about specified actions.
describeSearchScopeOrder() Retrieves an ordered list of objects in the logged-in user’s default global search scope, including any pinned objects in the user’s search results page.
describeSObject() Retrieves metadata (field list and object properties) for the specified object type. Superseded by describeSObjects().
describeSObjects() An array-based version of describeSObject.
describeSoftphoneLayout() Describes the softPhone layout(s) created for an organization.
describeTabs() Returns information about the standard and custom apps available to the logged-in user, as listed in the app menu at the top of the page.
describeTheme() Returns information about themes available to the current logged-in user.


The samples in this section are based on the enterprise WSDL file. They assume that you have already imported the WSDL file and created a connection. To learn how to do so, see the Quick Start tutorial.