I am having a problem with a specific field not being set to a value. It's a field created before I began managing the org and so I'm not sure what exactly was supposed to be setting it. Does anybody have a method of finding where a field is being set which will be quicker than fishing through 50 different workflow rules and about 10 other triggers ?

1 Answer 1


I'm aware of two ways to do field dependency/reference resolution.

  1. Attempt to delete the field. You'll get back at least some information about where the field has dependencies that prevent it from being deleted. I can't vouch for that this actually catches every single use of the field in different corners of the platform; I've done instance migrations where there were broken field dependencies before.
  2. Use the Force.com IDE, MavensMate, or the Metadata API directly to pull down all of the extractable metadata for the organization (Apex, workflows, processes, reports, etc - or in your case just Apex, workflows, and processes). Open the metadata directory in your IDE of choice (Visual Studio Code works well) and simply perform a global search for the field's API name across the source files.
  • I was thinking of something like #2 as well...just wasn't quite sure how to go about it. Might have to get to know my new IDE better...Thanks. ...and #1 is clever :-)
    – Zoom_v
    Feb 21, 2018 at 14:44
  • 1
    Method 1 certainly can be unreliable, like if you use dynamic SOQL or SOSL, and the field list is driven by metadata or something. It's still a pretty good place to start though.
    – sfdcfox
    Feb 21, 2018 at 15:20
  • It probably goes without saying, but trying method 1 in a fresh Sandbox (rather than Production!) is recommended. Feb 21, 2018 at 18:08

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