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What is Master-Detail Relationship in Salesforce

Organizations often have a lot of information compiled together inside their own Salesforce orgs. Most of these business-related information is actually interwoven with each other. Now, Salesforce allows its users to identify these related data and tie them up nicely into various kinds of relationships, depending on how these data are to be used.

Relationships create associations between several objects and data. From among the many relationship types available in an org, this topic shall be discussing a common relationship type called master-detail relationship.

Definition of Master-Detail Relationship

Master-Detail Relationship represents a simple parent-to-child association. The master object acts as the parent, whereas the detail object becomes the child.  Simply put, the relationship enables the master object to impose controls on some of the detail object’s behaviors. This relationship type is common and is one of the simplest forms of relationships in Salesforce.

Characteristics of a Master-Detail Relationship

There are certain unique characteristics that define associated object’s master-detail relationship:

  • The detail object is automatically deleted once its related master record is deleted. There are no options to safeguard the security of the detail object even if the master object gets deleted.
  • Each detail record should always have a master record. No detail record is allowed to exist without a master object to govern it.
  • Detail records aren’t allowed to have their personal owners. Ownership shall always be determined by a detail record’s related master record.
  • The master record’s security and sharing settings are automatically inherited by its related detail record.
  • Relating an object to another object requires that a child object doesn’t have any existing records.
  • Standard object must always be the master record, and the custom object acts as the detail record. The relationship can also be defined between two custom objects.

Creating the Relationship

To define this parent-child relationship between two objects, the user must select an object to act as parent first. He then opens the object’s detailed view and selects Master-Detail Relationship from the Custom fields and relationships option. From there, it’ll be easy to add on values, set security level, and select another object to relate to.

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