I'm trying to create ERD diagrams according to the salesforce guidelines.

I'm wondering how to tackle objects that have multiple relationships with each other. For example contact and account. Contact is related to an account as a child parent relationship (account field under contact). However contact is also related to account because of the bill to field under account, which is an optional one to many relationship. How should I display this?This is my attempt.

  • architect.salesforce.com/design/architecture-gallery/… is a good example
    – identigral
    Mar 30, 2022 at 22:04
  • Where are there double relations between objects? I always only see one?
    – ThaNoob
    Apr 4, 2022 at 19:22
  • You have it on your diagram above for Account: child of / parent of
    – identigral
    Apr 4, 2022 at 22:03
  • what I mean with a double relation is indeed in the diagram above: child of / parent of AND bills to / receives bills from. But there's nowhere such a double relationship in the architecture gallery so I was wondering if this is the correct way to show it.
    – ThaNoob
    Apr 6, 2022 at 21:42
  • 1
    Yes, this is perfectly legitimate. The general answer to your question is - each parent/child relationship can be drawn as a separate line. The Data Model Notation doc doesn't explicitly show this.
    – identigral
    Apr 7, 2022 at 0:22

1 Answer 1


I was researching something else and landed here.

In the Salesforce context, Contact is widely considered a child of an Account. While there's nothing that's stopping you from creating a lookup to "Contact" on the Account object, it is an extremely bad idea. Your reporting, sharing & visibility rules are going to get extremely messy.

The elegant way to go about this is to enable contacts to Multiple Account Settings. This will bring to life a standard object called "AccountcontactRelationship". This object is a junction between Account and Contact. An Account can have multiple Contacts and a Contact can have multiple Accounts

ACR object has a multi-select picklist called "Roles" that determines what Role the Contact plays with that Account.

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