I'm trying to create a formula field on a parent object that will retrieve a field from the latest record in a child related list (without apex if possible). The related list is from a lookup field not a master-detail. The parent is a custom object (Sample Orders) and the child is a Docusign Status object.

Is there a way to get a field value from the last created/updated Docusign Status record in a formula field on the Sample Orders object? Again, without apex if possible.

Thanks in advance.

4 Answers 4


You can achieve this without Apex by using Process Builder on DocuSign Status.

Filters: You would want to filter that the DocuSign Status corresponds to Sample Order as follows:

  • Field - use your lookup as the field, but make sure you use the lookup (ends with __c) and not the relationship (has a right arrow).
  • Operator - startsWith
  • Type - Id
  • Value - use the first three characters (key prefix) for any Sample Order Id. For example, if it were to Account you would use a filter value of 001.

Action: You can then set the field you want on Sample Order from the DocuSign Status.

  • Action Type - Update Records
  • Action Name - whatever you like
  • Field Update - select the same lookup as in your filter, set type to reference, and find your field.
  • 1
    Been working with SF for 3 years now and have never looked at the Process Builder. Thanks Adrian!
    – Adam H.
    May 14, 2015 at 15:19
  • @AdamH. It is a very cool new feature! Not without its pain points but definitely worth exploring. If your cross-object architecture is already brittle...it might push you over the edge. But in a healthy system it has room to work even before they fix the bulkification issues.
    – Adrian Larson
    May 14, 2015 at 15:21

Parent objects can't look 'down' to child objects in that way for Lookup relations. You can look 'up' to a parent (from the Child), but not down to the child (from the Parent). In fact, if you go to create such a formula, you wouldn't even see the relation to the child object.

You can look down to children when the relationship is Master/Detail, but only then to create a Roll Up Summary field which will allow you to aggregate a field on the Child record.

I don't think there is a declarative way to achieve what you are wanting to do, the way I would set about it would be a simple Apex Trigger, but you have already stipulated you would rather not use Apex.


Through a lookup relationship, I do not believe it is possible without Apex


You need to create a lookup field in parent object Then write APEX trigger to populate ID of child object when it is created.

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