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Duplicate Detection Rules

For every organization, maintaining clean and up-to-date data on customers, members, events, and activities, among other things, is important for using your CRM system. Microsoft Dynamics CRM uses duplicate detection to help you achieve this goal.

Although you can configure CRM to automatically detect duplicates as they are created or imported as you are going along in your day-to-day activities, users and staff can ignore these warnings, which may lead to a number of duplicates in your system. Therefore, it is important to periodically run a Duplicate Detection Job to find any duplicate records within your system.

Prior to running a Duplicate Detection Job, a Duplicate Detection Rule must be setup and published. This article covers how to set up, edit, and publish Duplicate Detection Rules, which determine the criteria to find duplicates when running a Duplicate Detection Job.

To set up a Duplicate Detection Rule, navigate to Settings > Data Management > Duplicate Detection Rules.

This will open up a view of all the existing rules within your system, where you can delete rules, create new ones, and modify existing ones.

1. To set up a new rule, click New in the top left-hand corner of the toolbar.

This will open up a blank form where you will set up the criteria for your Duplicate Detection Rule. If you have set up workflows before, this will look very familiar.

2. Fill in the required fields that have a red asterisk.

Name - Set the name/description of your Duplicate Detection Rule

Base Record Type - This is a picklist in which you pick the entity the rule will apply to

Matching Record Type - Picklist where you will pick the entity to compare your base record type against

You can also set whether or not the rule is case sensitive.

In the following example, we are going to be looking for Contact records that have the same first name and last name.

3. Set up the Duplicate Detection Rule Criteria used to detect a matching record.

In the example, I've opted to do an exact match of the first and last name fields on the Contact entity.

We recommend checking the ignore blank values box so as to have the rule ignore blank fields (fields with no value set). Note that blank values are automatically ignored if there is only one condition.

4. Once you've finished setting up your rule criteria, Save and Close your rule.

5. To make your rule usable, select the rule in the Duplicate Detection Rule view and Publish it.

Note: The status reason will change to Publishing. Wait until the status reason changes to Published.​

You are now ready to run a Duplicate Detection Job. Click here for a link to instructions on how to run a Duplicate Detection Job.