#220 new

Feature to associate a contact or account with multiple other contacts or accounts

Reported by mattgow | August 31st, 2010 @ 08:31 PM

Background: Please refer to ticket #165 "One contact can be in many companies"

Ticket #165 started out as a feature request but then it was mixed in with a defect report. The defect was resolved but the feature request (the original intention of the ticket) did not progress as a result.

There are many cases when a contact has a legitimate association/position with many companies e.g

  • Head of the A club
  • Director of the B company
  • Founder of the C association
  • Owner of E company

It is common to have lines of relationship following more than one of those associations

  • opportunity for donation via A club
  • vendor relationship via B company
  • strategic partnership via C association

There are often also important relationships between contacts (e.g. father, spouse) and between companies (vendor, competitor, subsidiary)

Having said all that, it significantly complicates the architecture (and especially the UI) to try coping with many-to-many relationships in all these directions.

One idea is to retain the one to many relationship between company and contacts but add the idea of "associations" which can be attached to companies or contacts and provide a two-way named link between the two.

An example of this approach can be seen in the CRM Batchbook.

A contact still belongs to only one company but contacts and organisations can have any number of affiliations.
You can define relationships between companies and companies, individuals and companies or individuals and individuals. E.g.


  • child / parent
  • competitor / competitor
  • contractor / client
  • friend / friend
  • partner / partner
  • sibling / sibling
  • spouse / spouse
  • vendor / customer

In Batchbook these are just displayed in a sidebar whenever you view a contact or company. However, in a list of contacts, the "company" field will be populated with the company for that individual with no regard for relationships (so the simple case remains the core path and remains simple)

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