Hopefully this is a simple oversight on my part, but I can not see why when I loop through my Trigger.new, one of my field values is not populating.

The field (contact's-> account's-> Web_Id_NatFund__c field) 100% has a value, I can query for it and the value shows. But when I run this:

for(Contact c : Trigger.New) {
    if (c.Account.Web_Id_NatFund__c != NULL) {....

c.Account.Web_Id_NatFund__c comes in as a null.

Is there an explanation for this?

My only thought is when I system.debug the Trigger.new or the values of the Contact, the actual field name is AccountId. Is this the possible issue?

Trigger New:: (Contact:{Id=0030t000001rJ65AAE, IsDeleted=false, MasterRecordId=null, AccountId=0010t000002mBnFAAU,....

When I mess around with c.AccountId.Web_Id_NatFund__c, it rejects the AccountId field saying Error:A non foreign key field cannot be referenced in a path expression: AccountId. I am able to pull out other custom and standard field values of the Contact.

Shouldn't it just understand what c.Account.AnyFieldNameCustomOrStandard is?

  • 1
    Related objects are not populated for the object in a trigger, so you'll need to explicitly retrieve the accounts for your contacts. Nov 28, 2017 at 3:55
  • ahh thank you so much I thought I was going crazy. That is interesting! For anyone reading, I will query for the field value and ensure there is not a null value before entering the initial conditional. If you want to post that as the answer I will mark correct.
    – Olivia
    Nov 28, 2017 at 4:18

1 Answer 1


Related objects are not populated for the object in a trigger, so you'll need to explicitly retrieve the accounts for your contacts. You need to loop through your contacts to collect the account IDs, then retrieve the accounts into a Map<Id, Account> so you can reference them using Contact.AccountId

  • Another quick-and-dirty test: If you need to use more than one dot/period/full-stop to access the field (i.e. c.Account.Web_Id_NatFund__c, which uses 2 periods), then it is not available in trigger context variables like Trigger.new, and you need to query to get that data.
    – Derek F
    Nov 28, 2017 at 13:41
  • @DerekF how would I go about querying the data? I am unable to query inside the loop but I would need each Contact's Account Id...do you think the best idea would be to save the Contact's Id and the AccountId into a map and then look at the map on the outside of the loop?
    – Olivia
    Nov 28, 2017 at 17:03
  • @Olivia that is correct, I updated my answer to include that. Nov 28, 2017 at 17:45
  • @Olivia I really think you're trying to over-complicate matters here. It really is just a basic query. Instead of using Trigger.new for your loop, use a soql-for-loop. Use dot-notation in the query to grab the fields from Account that you want. Use Trigger.new to control the Contact records that you query for.
    – Derek F
    Nov 28, 2017 at 18:04
  • @DerekF you are right, I am way over complicating it. I used: for(Contact c : [SELECT Id,pi__url__c, Account.Web_Id_NatFund__c FROM Contact WHERE Id IN :Trigger.new]) and was able to retrieve all the data necessary.
    – Olivia
    Nov 28, 2017 at 19:24

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