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sharathchandra thukkanisharathchandra thukkani 

what is the difference between contact roles and related contacts which are the related lists on the account object?

what is the difference between contact roles and related contacts which are the related lists on the account object?
Best Answer chosen by sharathchandra thukkani
Maxim MakarenkoMaxim Makarenko
Hi Sharathchandra,
The related list of contacts on the account (or case, or opportunity) is exactly that - a related list, just like any other standard or cutom related list. A related list only allows for one to many relationship (e.g. you can only have 1 account for an opportunity, and many opportunities under an account) and only tells you that a relationship exists.
The contact role on the other hand is essentially a junction object between contacts and accounts (or cases, or opportunities, each of which have separate contact roles defined, btw). A junction object allows for many to many relationship (e.g.you can have many contact roles on the opportunity and each contact can be on many other opportunities as well) and aside from letting you know the relationship exists, it contains some information about the relationship (e.g. what role does contact play on this opportunity).

All Answers

Maxim MakarenkoMaxim Makarenko
Hi Sharathchandra,
The related list of contacts on the account (or case, or opportunity) is exactly that - a related list, just like any other standard or cutom related list. A related list only allows for one to many relationship (e.g. you can only have 1 account for an opportunity, and many opportunities under an account) and only tells you that a relationship exists.
The contact role on the other hand is essentially a junction object between contacts and accounts (or cases, or opportunities, each of which have separate contact roles defined, btw). A junction object allows for many to many relationship (e.g.you can have many contact roles on the opportunity and each contact can be on many other opportunities as well) and aside from letting you know the relationship exists, it contains some information about the relationship (e.g. what role does contact play on this opportunity).
This was selected as the best answer
sharathchandra thukkanisharathchandra thukkani
Hi Maxim,
Even 'Related contacts' is also a junction object which allows many to many relation ship along with role field. 1 account can be mapped to multiple contacts and 1 contact can be mapped to multiple accounts.

The difference which i see is Contact role is present as a related list on accounts, opportunity and cases. But where as related contacts is only present as related list on accounts.

Thank you for your explanation

 
Maxim MakarenkoMaxim Makarenko
>1 account can be mapped to multiple contacts and 1 contact can be mapped to multiple accounts.
Yes, that is true for contacts, but only because contacts out of the box actually have a bit more complicated relationship to accounts than your standard lookup (although this difference from a standard lookup is not really advertised if you just look at it; I assume that's in order not to confuse new users from the start). That's why I used account-opportunity relationship as an example of one-to-many, not account-contact =)