I've been using the SOAP API to load different SObjects into an org. When I have a relationship, I can normally use an external ID as follows in order to set up relationships that exist between objects:

Opportunity opp = new Opportunity();
Account acc = new Account();

This creates a lookup from an opportunity to an account that I have the external id for.

however, for some reason I have run into a situation where the API is not offering me a setter method with a signature that I can use to perform the above.

I am being offered:

myCustomObj.setAnotherCustomObj__c(String AnotherCustomObj__c)


myCustomObj.setAnotherCustomObj__r(QueryResult AnotherCustomObj__c)

whereas, in order to use the external ids in the same way as I have been doing, I would need:

myCustomObj.setAnotherCustomObj__r(AnotherCustomObj__c anotherCO)

Does anyone know why I am not being offered this method signature?



As @superfell suggested, I'll post the field definition:

From Field List on FP_Order__c object

Order_Status__c lookup field definition

In addition, and along the same lines, I have run into an issue trying to set the Owner of the Order_Status__c object using an external ID. I was hoping to be able to do the following:

Order_Status__c orderStatus = new Order_Status__c();
User owner = new user();

yet I am not being offered a method on the Order_Status__c object whereby I can set the owner using a User object. Instead the methods I am being offered by the SOAP API are:

setOwner(String Owner__c)
setOwner(Name Owner)
setOwnerId(String OwnerId)

In order to use these method, I would first have to select information (e.g. the owner id) from the database, whereas I would ideally like to set the Owner using an external id which I would already have.

  • Do you have any ext. id / unique field on the lookup target (AnotherCustomObj__c)? If you do - maybe you've marked it as ext. id it after you downloaded the WSDL - can you obtain fresh one and regenerate your classes?
    – eyescream
    Jan 29, 2013 at 12:48
  • Definitely have a live ext id that has been included in the WSDL as I can use it in a lookup from another object.
    – Joe
    Jan 29, 2013 at 12:52
  • Have you tried constructing a QueryResult, placing a object instance in it and setting the field that represents the external reference? This is broadly how it works when using the Partner API, salesforce.stackexchange.com/questions/17660/… Nov 28, 2013 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


Your AnotherCustomObj__r relationship is a parent to child relationship, not a lookup, in these case, the child object has a lookup to the parent, the parent doesn't have a direct lookup to the child (as there can be many child rows)

  • it doesn't look like that's the case, the question uses the opportunity -> account relationship as an example which implies a lookup relationship not a parent to child Jan 29, 2013 at 16:37
  • yes, oppty -> account is perfectly valid, the signature of the relationship in the question indicates though that this is a parent-child relationship.
    – superfell
    Jan 29, 2013 at 17:03
  • doesn't the __r just imply a relationship which can be either? i.e. opportunity.parent_object__r = new Parent_Object__c() or (select (select Opportunities__r) from Parent_Object__c) Jan 30, 2013 at 1:12
  • __r implies relationship of either direction, but because the parameter is a queryresult (a collection of records), rather than a single record,it can be inferred that this is a parent-child relationship.
    – superfell
    Jan 30, 2013 at 3:09
  • Thanks but it is definitely a child to parent (lookup) relationship. I can easily check using workbench and the relationship is there.
    – Joe
    Jan 30, 2013 at 15:30

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