I have two objects in a parent-child relationship: job order (parent) and application (child.)

I'm attempting to use workflow rules to update the status of certain applications when the job order is filled, and to send an email to the candidates explaining that the job has closed.

However, when I update the job order, nothing happens. I've read that a 2012 update allowed cross-object workflow triggers but I'm only seeing examples of the opposite relationship (where an update to a child object can trigger a workflow on a parent object.)

I'm hoping to avoid the complexity of an apex trigger, but I'm not sure whether this is possible through workflows. I'd appreciate any input on feasibility before I try to work out the proper trigger.


2 Answers 2


Currently workflows dont support this .

As you mentioned other way round is possible where we can cross update parent from child while we cannot traverse in all its child from parent .This is definitely a candidate for tigger

  • 1
    Aha. That's what I was afraid of, but I suppose it makes sense -- I can see a parent record with many child objects triggering a massive amount of updates through workflows. I suppose I'll dig into those threads. Mar 28, 2014 at 18:41

This is bit old post but I'll respond anyway. The answer is a bit clunky but I think you can do this with formulas and workflows.

  1. You need a formula field on detail object that captures changes to the parent. So if your parent field is joborder__c = filled, then you need similar formula fied on detail.

  2. You can then either use this formula field or, in some cases depending on what you are doing, may need another workflow to populate a text field with formula value.

The challenge is that for workflow to fire detail record has to be edited. So must somehow force detail to be edited when master is.


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