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We're planning to use Salesforce Contract(or a custom object) to track signed(active) contracts with the customer. Business wants to see on account level if a customer has active contracts.

Designing the solution, I'm planning to implement a trigger that gets all the contracts checks if there's an active contract and sets checkbox hasContract on Account. The only edge case that a trigger can't handle is when no Account updates and no Contract updates happened

Example: Contract Start Date is 1/1/2018, End Date is 1/1/2019. Account.hasContract equals to true. Nor account or contract had any updates since 1/1/2018 until 1/1/2020. For the period from 1/1/2019 to 1/1/2020 the Business would see that the account has Contract, while in reality the contract ended 1/1/2019.

The only solution I could think about is to make a scheduled batch job that updates Account.hasContract field.

Question - is there any other way to handle the edge case? Maybe salesforce provides a standard solution that I just cannot find?

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This is basically an example of a time-based rollup field (link is to my own article). There's several ways to handle these, but none of them are deeply satisfying.

The primary alternatives to the trigger + scheduled batch job implementation that you've already designed are two:

  • Using time-based Workflow Rules or Processes. The chief problem with this solution is that it doesn't scale very well. Because time-based actions are limited to processing 1,000 per hour, if your org has any kind of data volume, or has a relatively high concentration of records "turning over" in a particular timespan, your data may be wrong for a while until Salesforce catches up.

    I don't really recommend this solution to anyone except the very smallest orgs, because it doesn't scale and because it degrades silently as your data volume grows.

  • Using the third-party application Declarative Lookup Rollup Summaries. You can define a DLRS rollup to populate a field like "Number of Current Contracts", and use a workflow rule or trigger to set HasContract based on that field. Then run the rollup in both real-time mode and scheduled mode (once per day) to get those time-bound updates.

    All the standard caveats for using DLRS apply. If you're a large-volume org or have complex triggers or expensive transactions on the objects involved, you'll need to very carefully test this in a full-copy sandbox before deploying it.

Given that you've already designed the trigger, I might just opt for the scheduled batch class. It can be very simple: all you need to do is query for Accounts that have HasContract set with an anti-join against Contract, to find the ones needing to be unset, or have HasContract unset with a semi-join against Contract, to find the ones needing to be set. Then execute() just flips the value of the Boolean.

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  • Thank you. Time based Workflow wouldn't work if we assume the end date of the contract changes. But RollUp summary solution looks really neat, for the average org we've got. – Curious Squirell Apr 8 at 14:40

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