First post, but I think a valid question.

I'm creating a family or household relationship between contact A and multiple contacts B,C,D...

I am equally interested if a User E is also a family member of the contact A.

Is there no way to make a single relationship between contact A and (contacts B-D AND user E)?

I've considered a junction object that contains a M/D relationship to contacts and a m/d relationship to users, but won't this always yield 2 separate lists - family contacts and family users?


Have you considered using the Nonprofit Starter Pack? It has built in handling for familial relationships as well as relationship viewing. It is basically a junction object between two Contacts, including the type of relationship and the date period for the relationship.

They also have three options for handling Households--you can read more about it here to give you ideas about how you'd like to proceed in your specific use case: https://powerofus.force.com/articles/Resource/NPSP-What-is-an-Account-Model

ETA: I just noticed your comment about users. I recommend that all users have Contact records as well as user records, for consistency.

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  • Thanks for the recommendation(s)! I wondered if that was the best way to go - all users as contacts, too, and some relationship User to Contact showing ("That's me.") I will look over the starter kit you mentioned, too! – Bruce Lee Stewart Jul 29 '15 at 15:27

it sounds like you might want to use a self relationship on the contact where you can have one record of a type associated to many records of the same type. I am curious about your use-case and if you have considered groups. Are all of the contacts Users? The junction is great for many to many on different record types but I am not sure if you need that. If your contacts are all users you can add them to groups which will allow you to query in special ways. If not, perhaps you can provide more details. Hope that helps!

infor for groups: https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.api.meta/api/sforce_api_objects_group.htm

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  • Thanks for the reply. No, not all contacts are users, not all users are contacts. Imagine a video store (remember those?), where some users are actually contacts/customers. Keep track of family members via relationships somehow, to build up what you know about them, their sharing privileges & "pick up my father-in-laws rentals". Users who are contacts rent, pay fines, buy candy, all fine. Other contacts may be family members of yours. They rent, pay fines, buy candy, etc. What if you hold a contest, and you need to exclude employees (users) and their family members (related contacts)? – Bruce Lee Stewart Jul 29 '15 at 14:45

how are you defining the relationship? What I mean is what indicator do you use to determine that a user is related to a contact? I wonder if a Self Relationship is all you need if you can 'pick in' the related contacts/users to a contact then you can report on those fields. Users might also need to be Contacts in this case but you can maintain their integrity with an app from the app exchange: https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N30000001qCKXEA2

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