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Cookbook Home » Calling Salesforce Web Services Using Apex

Calling Salesforce Web Services Using Apex

Post by LukeJFreeland  (2012-01-23)

Status: Unverified
Level: advanced


Most, if not all, of the Web service examples and tutorials use an external programming language to call/invoke the salesforce Web services. However, this requires external hardware and software to run and is not native to the salesforce platform. With a few tweaks to the salesforce Web services' wsdl and Apex generated classes, it's possible to invoke them through native Apex.


To begin, you always need to have either an Apex Partner or Enterprise Web service class so that you can login and get a session id, which will be used in any future Web service calls.

Let's generate an Apex Partner Web service class first.

  1. Go to Setup | Develop | API -> Click on "Generate Partner WSDL".
  2. Save the file and name it "Partner.wsdl".
  3. Go to Setup | Develop | Apex Classes -> Click on "Generate from WSDL".
  4. Select the "Partner.wsdl" file and click the "Parse" button.
  5. Accept the default class names and click the "Generate Apex code" button.
  6. Now, you'll see the following message "The following generated class(es) have compilation errors: Error: partnerSoapSforceCom Error: unexpected token: 'delete' at 670:51". This results from some of the partner web methods being the same as Apex DML keywords. To resolve this, simply change the name of the Apex method names.
  7. Copy all the partnerSoapSforceCom Apex code in the textbox.
  8. Go to Setup | Develop | Apex Classes -> New.
  9. Paste the partnetSoapSforceCom Apex code.
  10. Change
    public partnerSoapSforceCom.DeleteResult[] delete(String[] ids)
    public partnerSoapSforceCom.DeleteResult[] deleteSObjects(String[] ids) 
  11. Change
    public partnerSoapSforceCom.UpsertResult[] upsert
    public partnerSoapSforceCom.UpsertResult[] upsertSObjects
  12. Change
    public partnerSoapSforceCom.MergeResult[] merge
    public partnerSoapSforceCom.MergeResult[] mergeSObjects
  13. Change
    public partnerSoapSforceCom.SaveResult[] update
    public partnerSoapSforceCom.SaveResult[] updateSObjects
  14. Change
    public partnerSoapSforceCom.UndeleteResult[] undelete
    public partnerSoapSforceCom.UndeleteResult[] undeleteSObjects
Now you have an Apex Partner class.

Next, let's generate an Apex class for the Apex Web service.

  1. Go to Setup | Develop | API -> click the "Generate Apex WSDL" button.
  2. Save the file as "Apex.wsdl".
  3. Go to Setup | Develop | Apex Classes -> Click on "Generate from WSDL".
  4. Select the "Apex.wsdl" file and click the "Parse" button.
  5. Keep the default "soapSforceCom200608Apex" name and click the "Generate Apex code" button.
Now, you should see the following message "The following generated class(es) compiled successfully with no errors: soapSforceCom200608Apex", which indicates that you now have an Apex class for the Apex Web service.

Before we can use some code to demonstrate that this works, we have to configure our org so that we're allowed to call the Web services. Not a biggie.

  1. Go to Setup | Security Controls | Remote Site Settings
  2. Click "New Remote Site".
  3. Enter "SalesforceLogin" for the Site Name.
  4. Enter either "" or "" as the Remote Site URL depending on your org.
  5. Click Save. Now, you have granted your org the ability to login, but you still have to grant it access to the correct salesforce web node to allow the Apex Web service to be called, which we'll do next.
  6. Go to Setup | Security Controls | Remote Site Settings
  7. Click "New Remote Site".
  8. Enter "SalesforceApex" for the Site Name.
  9. Enter "https://<Prefix>" where <Prefix> is the salesforce sub-domain you're using, which can be found by looking at the URL in your browser. Since I'm on "", I would enter "".
  10. Click "Save"
Now, we're ready to run a quick example that will run all the unit tests in our org in a synchronous fashion.

partnerSoapSforceCom.Soap sp = new partnerSoapSforceCom.Soap();

/* For demonstration purposes only, enter your credentials on the following
   lines, but if you're going to use this a lot or in production, encrypt your credentials and store them somewhere and then decrypt them here.
String username = '<Your username here>';
String password = '<Your password here>';

partnerSoapSforceCom.LoginResult loginResult = sp.login(username, password);

system.debug('   loginResult ' + loginResult);

soapSforceCom200608Apex.Apex apexWebSvc = new soapSforceCom200608Apex.Apex();
soapSforceCom200608Apex.SessionHeader_element sessionHeader = new soapSforceCom200608Apex.SessionHeader_element();
sessionHeader.sessionId = loginResult.sessionId; 

// The Web services have a maximum timeout of 2 minutes. The timeout value
// is in milliseconds.
apexWebSvc.timeout_x = 120000;
apexWebSvc.SessionHeader = sessionHeader;

soapSforceCom200608Apex.RunTestsRequest testsRequest = new soapSforceCom200608Apex.RunTestsRequest();
testsRequest.allTests = true;
soapSforceCom200608Apex.RunTestsResult testResults = apexWebSvc.runTests(testsRequest);

/* Do something worthwhile with the test results here */


This is just the tip of the iceberg, since we're only using the Apex Web service. With a little bit of effort, you can generate an Apex Metadata class for the Metadata Web service. This could "theoretically", for example, let you deploy code from one org to another using a "deployment" org without the need of the migration tool.

Another example would be creating an automated testing scheduled job, using the above code as a starting point, and emailing the results to your development team. Keep in mind that if you have a lot of tests, it may take longer than 120 seconds and this approach won't work. You'll have to switch to the asynchronous "ApexTestQueueItem" and "ApexTestResult" objects, but they don't currently provide nearly as much information as the synchronous "RunTestsResult" object.

From here, try out different things and please share your findings. I'm certain I'm not the only interested party.

I hope this helps and happy coding.



Recipe Activity - Please Log in to write a comment

Really like this.  But how can we set the header in the "sForceService" like we could through a C# batch?  I'm trying to call the Partner API for another instance (not APEX WS) and it keeps complaining I need to set the returned URL in the sForceService.  But none of the returned classes have an sForceService.  Thanx!

by bobnunny  (2015-02-24)

Nice artical!

I got a question that is probably to invoke the webservice, customer wants to interact Salesforce with external database like 
SQL server to get the real time data into the Salesforce when visual force action performed.

I'm welcoming to take any suggestios upon to accomplish this using webservice.

Thank you in advance!

by SFDC  (2014-04-04)

Nice artical!
I got a question that is it possible to invoke the web service provided by Salesforce using other web service client like SoapUI?
I've tried to invoke the Login method in enterprise.wsdl, and got successfully response, while how can I do this for other methods, for example the query method? Thank you.

by a093000000XaCHP  (2013-09-12)

Good article, but how could we unit test this?

I know the key is Test.setMock ... but I'm having trouble figuring out how to make the mock server(s)....

by Brian Kessler  (2013-08-21)

Using the APEXtoWSDL option is one way to do this, but creating the XML on your own can lead to a very small and simple set of code.  I wrote a blog post on this option here:

by Terry Luschen  (2013-08-05)

Thanks for explaining in detail !

by Pradnya Sabnis  (2012-12-16)

Oops link got corrupted,

by andyinthecloud  (2012-12-07)

Steve, take a look at this, ttps://, I've taken the pain out of importing the Metadata WSDL and provided some sample code to help. That said if you want to do a describeGlobal that is already supported in native Apex. Take a look at the Apex develoeprs guide for this.

by andyinthecloud  (2012-12-07)

Id also like to call the enterprise wsdl from Rest within Salesforce, which Ive been able to do, but I've only been able to call describeglobal. Id also like to call to get each field of every object.

The xml Im using is

String body = '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>' +
+'<soap:Envelope xmlns:soap="" xmlns:urn="">' +
+'<soap:Header><urn:SessionHeader><urn:sessionId>' + UserInfo.getSessionId() +'</urn:sessionId></urn:SessionHeader></soap:Header>'
+'<soap:Body><urn:describeGlobal /></soap:Body></soap:Envelope>';

This is fine to get describeGlobal but Im not sure what to pass to get the fields?

by SteveJ Fouracre  (2012-11-24)

I'd like to consume the metadata api in Salesforce but Im also having issues doing this, not sure what parts of the wsdl I should change, can anyone help

by SteveJ Fouracre  (2012-11-24)


voted as verified by Rajasekhar Julakanti  (2012-10-12)

by andyinthecloud  (2012-10-11)

I have been successful in getting parts of the Metadata API to work from Apex.

I've uploaded the code and a write up to Github, include pros and cons of this approach. 

    MetadataService.CustomObject customObject = new MetadataService.CustomObject();
    customObject.fullName = 'Test__c';
    customObject.label = 'Test';
    customObject.pluralLabel = 'Tests';
    customObject.nameField = new MetadataService.CustomField();
    customObject.nameField.type_x = 'Text';
    customObject.nameField.label = 'Test Record';
    customObject.deploymentStatus = 'Deployed';
    customObject.sharingModel = 'ReadWrite';
    MetadataService.AsyncResult[] results = service.create(new List<MetadataService.Metadata> { customObject });


by andyinthecloud  (2012-10-11)

Hi Mohammed,
Did you manage to tweak the Metadata API and call it from Apex ?

by Jatin Jain  (2012-09-24)

It is nice.. i tried and it is working for me.


by Someswara Rao Vudattula  (2012-07-31)
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