Up until this point I was of the belief that roll-up summary operations didn't interfere with custom Apex and were calculated quietly in the backend. However, I am seeing otherwise.

Consider the following configuration:

  • Master object: Invoice
  • Detail object: Item
  • Trigger on before-update of Invoice -> inserts a child Item
  • Trigger on after-insert of Item -> clones Items, then explicitly updates them

Since ItemTrigger is running on after-insert it clones the records in order to be able to update them (this arrangement is part of a generalized complex business logic and is not changeable -i.e. cannot use before-insert).

When an Invoice record is edited I receive this log:

CODE_UNIT_STARTED  InvoiceTrigger on Invoice trigger event BeforeUpdate for [a0J36000003g4we]
DML_BEGIN          [24]|Op:Insert|Type:Item|Rows:1
CODE_UNIT_STARTED  ItemTrigger on Item trigger event AfterInsert for [a0L3600000B2WkR]
DML_BEGIN          [18]|Op:Update|Type:Item|Rows:1
DML_END            [18]|
CODE_UNIT_FINISHED ItemTrigger on Item trigger event AfterInsert for [a0L3600000B2WkR]
DML_END            [24]|
EXCEPTION_THROWN   [24]|System.DmlException: Insert failed. First exception on row 0; first error: SELF_REFERENCE_FROM_TRIGGER, Object (id = a0J36000003g4we) is currently in trigger InvoiceTrigger, therefore it cannot recursively update itself: []
CODE_UNIT_FINISHED InvoiceTrigger on Invoice trigger event BeforeUpdate for [a0J36000003g4we]

Line 24 of InvoiceTrigger is this:

insert newItem;

Line 18 of ItemTrigger is this:

update item;

Assuming I didn't mix anything up during my debugging session I am surprised by the explicit database call. Is this at all expected?!

  • 1
    Rollup summaries cause the trigger on the record to fire. If a child update causes a rollup summary to be recalculated then the parent triggers will run. Just in case you were not aware
    – Eric
    Sep 30, 2017 at 22:20
  • @Eric Totally not aware. That's very useful to know!!
    – Mossi
    Oct 1, 2017 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


Yes, it's expected. See the Triggers and Order of Execution document. You need to anticipate this and plan accordingly, probably by using future methods.

  • Man, that Order of Execution document has grown! If I'm not mistaken it used to only mention triggers, workflows, validations, assignments, processes, etc. I don't remember seeing roll-ups in there. Also I'd been told roll-ups happen behind the scenes and cannot be triggered off of.. I guess I should check the basics more frequently!
    – Mossi
    Oct 1, 2017 at 18:29
  • @Mossi It's been that big for a few releases now, but yeah, they've gotten more detailed than it was originally.
    – sfdcfox
    Oct 1, 2017 at 18:41

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