This entry is part of our Feature Review Series. These short, to the point blogs strive to provide a quick snapshot of information to a user looking for a quick overview of a feature, how it’s managed or configured, some insight into how a business / organization would use it, and provide links to resources or tutorials for a deeper dive.
Data integrity is the cornerstone of an effective CRM system. A common challenge can be that a system contains a number of duplicates of a record type – Leads, Contacts, Accounts, Opportunities, or any other type of record in the system. When duplicates exist, data integrity suffers.
Dynamics 365 has a feature to help combat this issue – Duplicate Detection.
What Is Duplicate Detection in Dynamics 365?
“Duplicate Detection” is exactly what it sounds like—the ability for the system to detect duplicate records. Duplicate Detection rules can be created to help identify when a potential duplicate record is being created.
Duplicate Detection rules are given parameters to look for on the creation of a record. If those parameters are met, the duplicate detection rule will trigger and the user is presented with a duplicate detection warning. We’ll show what that looks like a little later in this article.
How to Create Duplicate Detection Rules
To create a new Duplicate Detection rule, an administrator will proceed to the Duplicate Detection rules area in the admin area of the system. At time of writing this entry, the Duplicate Detection Rule link can be found via the Admin portal (admin.powerplatform.com), however, it will push the user to the legacy interface.
As Microsoft continues sunset the legacy experience, it’s likely that this entire experience will exist only in the admin portal at some point in the future. At that time the process may change, in which case we’ll provide an updated entry outlining this new experience.
Once within the Duplicate Detection area, the user will find a listing of all existing duplicate detection rules.
To create a new rule, click +New to launch the creation wizard.
The form contains several areas to fill out.
First, name the duplicate detection rule. Give the name something logical so that it will make sense when looking at it in the future.
Next, select the tables you wish to compare. Note that you can select different tables. For example, if your company uses the Leads table only for new customer leads, you could set a duplicate detection rule to flag if a lead shares the same email address as an existing Contact.
After selecting the tables, the user can then identify the attributes of the records. There can be one, or several, and the user can specify the level of granularity at which the matching should occur – Exact Match, Same First Characters, Same Last Characters.
Once the user has identified the relevant parameters of the detection rule, the rule must be published.
Now, as users enter records that meet the definition of the duplicate detection rule created, they will receive a notification of a duplicate record. The user can then determine if they want to proceed with what they are doing, or stop and leverage the existing record instead.
The Duplicate Detection feature helps prevent duplicates in the system which tend to cause user frustration and challenges with keeping up to date on recent interactions with the customer. Avoiding duplicate data entries helps maintain a clean and orderly system which contributes to increased data integrity and productive users!