What is Indirect Lookup Relationship in Salesforce

Salesforce allows objects to be linked via both external and indirect lookup relationships. This post will focus on indirect lookup relationships –its definition, uses and an overview of how to create one.

Definition of Indirect Lookup Relationship

If a user wants to link an external object to a master standard or custom object, he can use an indirect lookup relationship. Basically, indirect lookup relationships can connect a child external object to its related parent object. The parent object can be a standard or a custom one.

How it Works

The user selects a custom or standard object to start with; this serves as his parent object. He also selects another object with an external data value source; this becomes his child object. Then, he chooses an external ID field on the particular parent object. This field will match against a child object’s indirect lookup field. Once he creates a link between these two objects, he has now made an indirect lookup relationship.

Creating an indirect lookup relationship between two objects forms a new related list under an object page.

Difference between Indirect Lookup and External Lookup

In simple terms, an indirect lookup relationship utilizes either a standard or custom object as a parent, and an external object as a child. Now, in an external lookup, the situation is reversed: the external object becomes the parent record. However, the child record of external lookup relationships could either be an external, custom, or standard object.

Overview of Creating an Indirect Lookup Relationship

  1. Navigate to Setup.
  2. Click on Develop > External Objects
  3. User selects an external object he wishes to link. Once again, this external object becomes the child. Select a field on the object then click on Edit > Change Field Type > Indirect Lookup Relationship
  4. Hit Next, then select another standard or custom object to become the parent. Click on the selected object under the Related To value.
  5. Select another object for the Target Field value. Hit Next.
  6. Type 18 on the field length, and keep the other default options.
  7. Hit Save.

After following the instructions above, a new indirect lookup relationship is created and can be viewed under the tab of the related objects.

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