Update child records belonging to the modified record


I want to be able to trigger an action that changes the values in a child table when there is an update on the parent table records. I thought a workflow would accomplish this, but the only available actions are those related to the same table as the workflow target data. The Workflow help article indicates this is possible but I haven’t found a description of how to do this. Any help or advice?


Have you evaluated reference actions?



That got me closer to my objective, thanks! Now I have a different problem. I’ve set up my app with a report that checks the Authorizations table for expired auths and triggers an action that sets the Auth Status column to “Closed”. I also have a workflow that looks at the Auth Status column for updates, and any auth status that changes to “closed” triggers the reference action on the Invoices (child) table, setting the Invoice Status to “Locked”. If I run the report, it triggers the Auth Status action, closing the Auth, but does not trigger the workflow. If I manually trigger the Auth Status action, it triggers the workflow, updating the invoice status. What am I missing?

From your description it sounds that you have a workflow that invokes a data change action in the parent ( Auth Status=“Closed”). Now based on that data change accomplished through the workflow action, you wish to change the child table’s records ( Invoice Status =“Closed”) through another workflow action.

Is this understanding correct?

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The initial data change action is invoked by a Report that runs every day at 12 am. So the action on the report changes the data in the parent table (Auth Status = “Closed”), and that data change is supposed to trigger the workflow action that changes data in the child table records (Invoice Status = “locked”).

Okay, got it, then as per my understanding, the second workflow may not trigger. Please take a look at the below post.

However, this is an old post and I am unaware if there are any changes since then.

Edit: There are some alternative approaches suggested in the post thread. You may wish to explore them.


Thanks for your help! So a report is just a different kind of workflow that’s triggered on a schedule? Sounds like the solution is to chain both actions under the same workflow. I tried that and was not successful, I think because the 2nd action is triggered by a before/after condition in the Auth Status column. I’m guessing chained actions run in sequence, which would mean all the relevant records would be changed by the first action before the second action fired, leaving no before condition. Does that sound accurate?

Yes, we are on same page with whatever you have mentioned in the latest post.

As per my understanding too, the chaining of actions needs to work. You may wish to observe while testing if the parent records are changing at the back end first before the child records related actions invoke.

If it does not, someone else may share his insights or I too will need to test it on a similar test setup before I can opine.


Thanks again for your insights. I think the solution is to change the condition on the second action to look for “closed” auths where the expiration date = Today().