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Lookup Relationship in Salesforce

Lookup Relationship in Salesforce

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What Is Lookup Relationship In Salesforce?

Lookup Relationship in Salesforce relates two objects together but does not affect deletion(cascade delete functionality) or security. Unlike master-detail fields, lookup fields are not automatically required, they can be made required.

When a salesforce lookup relationship is defined, records from one object(many side objects) can appear as a custom-related list on page layouts for the other object(one side object).

Types Of Lookup Relationship In Salesforce

There are derived 2 subtypes of Lookup Relationships:

1. Hierarchical Relationship

A special lookup relationship is available for only the user object. It lets users use a lookup field to associate one user with another that does not directly or indirectly refer to itself.

For example, You can create a custom hierarchical relationship field to store each user’s direct manager.

2. Self Relationship 

When an object has a lookup relationship with itself, it is a self-relationship.

For example, an employee is related to another employee like a team lead reports to a manager and they both are employees.

Many-to-Many Relationship

Many-to-Many relationships can be created using master-detail or look-up relationships between any two objects. It allows each record of one object to be linked to multiple records from another object and vice versa.
To create a many-to-many relationship, simply create a custom junction object with two master-detail relationship fields, each linking to the objects needed to relate.

Junction Object

 A custom object with two master-detail relationships. Using a custom junction object, you can model a “many-to-many” relationship between two objects.

Primary Relationship

It is the relation created first with any of the two master objects.

  • The object with which the relationship is created first is called the primary master object.
  • The detail and edit page of the junction object will use the color and any associated icon of the primary master object.
  • The junction object records will inherit the value of the owner field.
  • The sharing and security settings of junction objects will depend on the associated master record.
  • Deleting a record of the primary object will delete the associated records of the junction object as well.
  • The owner of the junction record is the owner of the primary master object record.

Secondary Relationship

The second master-detail relationship is created with another master object.

  • The object with which the relationship is created later is called the secondary master object.
  • This relationship does not affect the look and feel of the junction object.
  • The security and sharing setting of the junction object depend on secondary relationships as well.
  • Deleting a record of a secondary object also deletes the associated records of the junction object.


  1. Junction objects cannot be created as master objects in a master-detail relationship with another object as detail.
  2. In an object, we can create only 2 master-detail relationships.
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