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Business Issue

Duplicate records are being entered into the system during imports and manual entry.



This is the second segment of a three-part series on avoiding duplicate records. One of the critical steps in data quality is the need to ensure that duplicate records are not entered. Part 1 introduced you to duplicate detection in Dynamics CRM and when rules can be fired. Part 2 will focus on how to set up the rules.

Dynamics CRM has some pre-built rules for leads, contacts and accounts. You can utilize these along with developing additional rules. You can have more than one rule per entity.

To create a new duplicate-detection rule:

  1. In the Navigation Pane, click Settings (1), click Data Management (2), and then click Duplicate Detection Rules (3).

  1. Click on New to create a new duplicate-detection rule.
  2. Type in a name (1) and a description (2) of the rule
  3. Select the criteria to be used to identify if the record as a duplicate. The example we are using today is if a new lead record has the same email address as an existing contact record then I want the system to identify it as a possible duplicate.
  4. In the Duplicate Detection Rule Criteria section, in the Base Record Type box, I will be selecting “Lead” (3).
  5. In the Matching Record Type box, I will be selecting “Contact” (4).
  6. By default, duplicate-detection rules are not case-sensitive. If you want the rule to be case-sensitive then you need to select “Case-sensitive“.
  7. Since we are selecting different record types for the base and matching record types, we need to add:
    1. In the Base Record Attribute column, click Select and select the lead attribute of email (5).
    2. In the same row, in the Matching Record Attribute column, click Select and select the contact attribute of email (6).
  8. In the same row in the criteria column, click Select and specify a criteria operator. In our scenario we are looking for an exact match for emails (7). Other criteria options are Same First Characters or Same Last Characters. If you use those criteria options you need to indicate a value to specify how many characters.

  1. Save, close and publish your new duplicate-detection rule. The rule will not be active until it is published.
  2. Once you publish a rule, a match code is created for every record in the matching record type for that rule. See part 1 of this series for details around match codes.

Now that I published my rule, any time I enter a lead record with an exact email match of a contact record I will be made aware of it via the duplicates detected dialog box at the time of save. I can review the possible duplicate records, determine if it is an actual duplicate and then either proceed with the original record save or choose the potential duplicate and carry on.

You can also set the duplicate detection settings to enable duplicate detection when Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook goes from offline to online and during data imports. You do this In the Navigation Pane, click Settings (1), click Data Management (2), and then click Duplicate Detection Settings (3).


Duplicate detection rules can be set up in Dynamics CRM to prohibit duplicate record entry during the creation or updating of records, when Dynamics CRM goes on and offline with Outlook and during imports. Next month we will look at setting up duplicate detection jobs.

If you have questions or are looking for assistance with Duplicate detection – please reach out to the CRM Experts at PowerObjects!

Happy CRM’ing

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Joe CRM is a CRM superhero who runs on pure Microsoft Dynamics CRM adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe CRM’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics CRM and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.