So I have the following scenario: I upload some data of object A, and within object A there is a field (field_b__c) which I want to use to lookup another object (B) and get a specific field (target__c) from it

The issue that I'm having is that field_b isn't an Id of B, but a field called Name which I have to use to get B.

What I have is the following:

List<A__c> b_names = [SELECT field_b__c FROM A where Id IN :Trigger.newMap.keySet()];

How do I then use b_names to get all of the relevant B objects without iterating through it and adding them one by one?

List<B__c> targets = [SELECT target__c FROM B where Name IN b_names];

Above is my half-baked idea but it's obviously not working.

One possible solution I had was to create a map so that I only reduce the number of lookups to the number of unique field_b__c's but I'm wondering if there's a better way of doing what I'm trying to do


As far as I understood from your description, field_b__c is text field which contains name of B object. It might be ok to use such configuration if name on b is unique.

So you could write some code like following to operate over it:

List<String> bNames = new List<String>();
for ( A__c a: Trigger.new ) {
    bNames.add( a.field_b__c );
List<B__c> bs = [SELECT Name, target__c FROM B where Name IN :bNames];
Map<String, B__c> bMap = new Map<String, B__c>();
for ( B__c b: bs ) {
    bMap.put( b.Name, b );
for ( A__c a: Trigger.new ) {
    B__c relatedB = bMap.get( a.field_b__c );
    a.target_from_b__c = relatedB.target__c ;

In this way you might copy the way from relatedB.target__c to some new custom field target_from_b__c.

However, this might not working as expected is Name on b is not unique.

It is more efficient and reliable to have lookup relationship from a to b. Lookup relationship will contain id. Lookup will simplify the code.

If you have field lookupToB__c on A, you might have simplier code:

List<A__c> arecords = [SELECT target_from_b__c, lookupToB__r.target__c FROM A where Id IN :Trigger.newMap.keySet()];
for ( A__c a: arecords ) {
   a.target_from_b__c = a.lookupToB__r.target__c;

Also, if you have lookup, you might create cross-object formula on A, which would simply point to lookupToB__r.target__c and you can use the formula field whenever you need the value from b

  • Can I specify a lookup during the data upload process? Would I need to change anything? Right now it's just a text field
    – IanQ
    Nov 15 '17 at 21:13
  • If you had a lookup, there would be no reason to use a trigger to set the value, you would just need a formula like LookupToB__r.Target__c. Nov 15 '17 at 21:21
  • See this question for reference on converting your text fields into lookups (You may need to do a little extra work since you're using names as keys instead of ids). Nov 15 '17 at 21:23
  • @user49458 yes, you can specify a lookup value during data upload process, you need to specify Id value of B object record
    – Patlatus
    Nov 15 '17 at 21:30
  • @battery.cord I know about formula, I just explain to post owner how to operate with lookups
    – Patlatus
    Nov 15 '17 at 21:31

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