The True Power of Junction Objects in SalesForce

If you are as familiar with SalesForce as I am then you know that you can create custom objects in SalesForce which you can then use to customize into using SalesForce for your own business processes.  Where issues are common is with SalesForce’s standard objects and for those of you that aren’t sure what these are the standard objects in SalesForce include…

  • Account
  • Opportunity
  • Contact
  • Case
  • and more…
Traditionally speaking these objects have standard relationships like…
  • One Account can have many contacts (one to many relationship)
  • One Contact can be associated to one account (one to one relationship)
  • and more
You can probably see where I am going with this.  The true is that without junction objects to help you to control relationships you only have access to the standard functionality which is sometimes limiting and often unable to meet the many needs that businesses have today when it comes to integrating SalesForce with their business.
With all this said, lets walk through how you can create a junction object and discuss some of the use cases that putting a junction object in place can help with.
Some use cases where using junction objects solve relationship problems and visibility issues in SalesForce are around 3 particular types of object relationships in Salesforce including…
  • Standard Object to Standard Object
  • Standard Object to Custom Object
  • Custom Object to Custom Object
Some of the business use cases for using a junction object can include any or all of the following
  • Changing the relationship of objects in SalesForce to Many to Many
  • Increasing visibility on the objects involved in the use case via the page layout and related list
Lastly, there are a number of business use cases that fit nicely when considering the use of junction objects from multiple cases associated to bugs to having multiple accounts associated to a contact just to name a few.
  • Step 1: Go to Setup | Create | Objects and click the “New Custom Object” button
  • Step 2: Fill out your information about the custom object
  • Step 3: In order to create the function of a many to many relationship you will need to create two master-detail relationships (a primary relationship and a secondary relationship)
  • Step 4: Once you’ve got the master-detail relationships defined for the two objects that you are trying to relate to one another in a junction object the last thing that you will need to do is to add the associated related lists to each of the object’s page layouts in SalesForce
Once you’ve got it all in place, using junction objects is a great way to get around a lot of the standard object relationships that exist in SalesForce and open up a lot of new areas to define and hone your business processes using SalesForce.

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