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Auto populate a form's lookup field based on parent field




I am very new to Visual Force, roughly 4 weeks. 


I currently am in the process creating of creating a two page wizard. Pretty standard, multiple steps powered by one controller. 



Page One of the wizard allows the user to create an item. (Master-Detail Parent)


Page Two of the wizard allows the user to take that same item and add as many sub-items as they wish.  (Child)



Here is my only snag. Due to their relation, SUB-ITEM has a lookup field that is based off the ITEM name.


Upon creating the item and landing on page 2, I do not want the user to manually choose the item name in the subitem lookup field again to associate it with the parent. 


What are my options?


1) So far I only attempted a preliminary insert statememt of subitem.item__c = item.name__c which gave me the good old string id error. I assume this is because a lookup does not work simply by pulling the string as im sure it related to the ID on the backend. 


2) I figured another way to do it would be writing java script to grab the apex:inputhidden item.name text and paste it into the lookup field.


3) Or possibly use a trigger?


I have stewed on this for awhile but I figured I would mention this on the forums as I do not want a band-aid or a quick fix. I want to learn how to do it the write way as this will be a recurring problem as i continue my development.


In advance, I greatly appreciate your assistance! 

Best Answer chosen by Admin (Salesforce Developers) 

Have you tried :


subitem.item__c = item.id ?

All Answers


Have you tried :


subitem.item__c = item.id ?

This was selected as the best answer

Yep, i was trying the name field. Also was missing the __r. 


Thanks! Kudos to you!