OK, I know how to debug this error and there are plenty of web resources to assist so please don't answer with those techniques.

What I'm more after is why the ID value in [] is typically null for this error when you know that the cross-reference ID has a value and if the error message just emitted the ID, you would know what SObject was the root cause, gaining valuable minutes/hours for your life.

Here's an example:

  • OWD private on Account
  • Order is controlled by parent
  • running user profile has Modify All, View All on Account and View All on Order. Running user can view the Order via the UI. Modify All does not cascade down to Order even with Controlled by parent.
  • Apex code attempts to insert a custom object Order_Detail__c underneath (not Master-detail) Order, providing a value for lookup field Order_Detail__c.Order__c

Now because there's no sharing rule extending r/w to the Order's Account in question, there's no r/w access to the Order and hence the INSUFFICIENT_ACCESS_ON_CROSS_REFERENCE_ENTITY, insufficient access rights on cross-reference id: [] error occurs when attempting to assign the child record to the parent Order.

What I don't understand is why the ID value of the field Order_Detail__c.Order__c lookup field is not emitted in the error message within the []. Why are the brackets even there?

I suppose this is a security item and not exposing the ID value avoids telling the malefactor even what SObject can't be accessed. I'd be happy if the error message just displayed the first three chars - or converted to an sobjectType. The implication of [] is an empty array . but that is not what is going on in your code.

Is this hypothesis correct?

It sure makes life hard for the sysad who captures a debug log for the running user and then has to go through feats of deductive logic to figure out which related sobject (there could be several lookup fields on the object in question) is the problem one, let alone why.

  • This is pure speculation but, having taken a graduate-level course on compilers, I can't rule out the possibility that it's just plain hard for the runtime environment to emit a sensible error.
    – Derek F
    Aug 1, 2018 at 0:12
  • So, apparently the Apex Code error only comes from the underlying API, so it might be that it literally doesn't like to show you the ID. I'm trying to narrow it down, and Chris Peterson is digging in to this, so perhaps between the two of us, we might come up with something.
    – sfdcfox
    Aug 1, 2018 at 2:39
  • 5
    @sfdcfox - if there were ever a ‘fix’ for this, you and capeterson would get my nomination for “Hero of the Soviet Union” SFDC equivalent award.
    – cropredy
    Aug 1, 2018 at 3:25
  • 2
    Actually that error is for when the Id field is empty. When you do have an id you get the Id before the [] (after the semi-colon) Aug 8, 2018 at 6:38
  • 1
    I have noticed fields in the array for FIELD_INTEGRITY_EXCEPTION, REQUIRED_FIELD_MISSING, and FIELD_CUSTOM_VALIDATION_EXCEPTION (specifically for validation rules with an errorDisplayField). These seem to be errors where a constraint on the field itself is violated. I don't know the developers' intent, but it might be that insufficient access to another object is not considered to violate a lookup field referencing that object. Put another way, there wasn't a problem with the data in the record you were updating, but with the user doing the update. It wasn't caused by any field.
    – MatthewGTS
    May 14, 2019 at 15:38

2 Answers 2


Since you didn't post your entire error I will assume that you have something like this:

Error: Update failed. First Exception on Row 0 With id b1P70000000oxxxxxx; First Error: INSUFFICIENT_ACCESS_ON_CROSS_REFERENCE_ENTITY, Insufficient Access Rights on Cross-Reference Id: b4a60000000xxxx: [].

This error is shown with the Id before of the empty brackets. In case you get an empty Id, that happens when you didn't provide an Id, like in a case of a Master-Detail relationship.

  • i did post the entire message; there's no value after Id: and before []
    – cropredy
    Oct 25, 2021 at 23:53
  • @cropredy the message didn't start with the word Error or a description? I also wrote in my answer when it happens. Does that make any sense with your situation? Oct 26, 2021 at 22:46

You you have an empty value between Id: and []. It means that the field value is empty.

Salesforce SHOULD have a better message for this, but it assumes that if the Id is empty is because you actually tried to query/find a record for that field, but didn't find it for lack of access.

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