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How can i get an owner name using a formula?

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Q: How can i get an owner name using a formula?
Q: Lookup user table fields using user_id?

A: You cant and this is a huge limitation if you ask me. If you want to group records on the EMEA region for example a good solution would be to put a region field on the user object and set it to EMEA. Then we could do a formula field on the account object that pulls the "user region" data and it will dynamically be correct on all records... weee...

I have a workaround on how to accomplish that until this has been fixed by SF:
http://mattiasnordin.net/web08/t5/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=17&PID=30#30

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