Sugar’s Studio administrator tool has a wide variety of options available so that you can configure the system to match your business needs. One common question we get is on the difference between a relationship and a relate field.

A Relate field would be added through the Fields section in Studio, and allows users to associate a related record from the designated module. You can have multiple relate fields in a module.

A Relationship would be added through the Relationships section in Studio, creating a connection between two modules. You can add as many relationships as needed between any modules in Sugar. Multiple relationship types allow you to deploy the type of connection that you need.

So, with that basic understanding of Relate fields and Relationships, which do you want to create? There are several important differences between creating a Relate field and a Relationship:

  • A Relate field does not create another side to the relationship, with a corresponding relate field or subpanel in the other module. A Relationship is an automatic connection between both modules, with connections on both ends.
  • A Relationship can be traversed for reports, allowing you to pull in data from the other module. A Relate field cannot be traversed for reports; only the name of the record can be included in a report.

Typically, Relationships are going to give you the most flexibility in terms of how you use them, giving you room to grow and report in multiple ways down the line. Relate fields do not have the full functionality of a relationship, but can be nice when you need multiple connections between two modules and do not want to deal with a surplus of subpanels which can be confusing to users.

So, like anything else, it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Understanding the differences helps you choose the right option for your needs.

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