Wanted to get the opinion of the community on this one. We currently have a formula field (products_purchased__c) that displays a list of products that have been bought by a customer. We have another field that is a multi-select picklist (products_green__c) where our reps can check the boxes of products that the customer is happy with. I was tasked with creating another field which should automatically populate with products purchased subtract products green. This new field (products_red__c) will show what products the customers are unhappy with. I'm sure there is a better way to build this from scratch, but products_purchased__c and products_green__c are already integrated.

Would a trigger be the best way to solve for this? I can't see this being done with an advanced formula.


Products purchased: product1; product2; product3

Products Green: product1; product3

(New Field)Products Red: product2

1 Answer 1


The only way you're going to get this list easily is with a trigger. There's no way a formula could handle anything more than a trivial amount of values, and the process builder/flow system, as far as I'm aware, could do it, but it would be painful at best. I'd seriously recommend just writing a trigger, which would probably be about 9 lines of code in total, maybe 10 minutes worth of work, rather than messing around with a flow or trying to fit a formula within the compilation limits.

  • Thanks for the tip, Brian. This will save me a lot of time from messing with formulas
    – Andrew
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 15:14

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