Sunday, August 12, 2012

MSCRM 2011: Duplicate Detection Rules


In order to keep your CRM data (that you worked so hard to gather and cleanse before importing to your CRM system) clean and reliable, duplicate detection rules should be added to your system.  Duplicate Detection will identify and prevent identical or similar records. You can define the criteria upon which you wish to detect the duplicate records in the system. There are two kinds of rules that can be defined:-

1. Single Entity Duplicate detection rule – In this type of rule you can define the criteria of duplicate detection within an entity. For example, Contact records are duplicates of each other if they have same value in Email attribute.

2. Cross Entity Duplicate detection rule – Here you can define the criteria of duplicate detection across two entities. For e.g. Contact records are duplicates of Lead records if they have the same value in Email attribute, i.e. if there is a lead record whose email address matches to some contact record, then this lead record will be the duplicate of that contact.

To define your custom duplicate detection rules navigate to Settings -> Data Management -> Duplicate Detection Rules area in CRM. You will see the Duplicate Detection Rules grid, where you can do perform different operations on Rules: create, edit, delete, publish, etc. Following are the steps for setting up the rule:

* Define a base and matching record type. The Base record type is the record type on which you wish to detect the duplicates, while the Matching record type is the record type in which you wish to look for duplicates. Therefore, for a Single entity rule, the Base record type and the Matching record type will be same, since in that you wish to detect the duplicates within that entity only. In the case of a Cross entity rule, like ‘Contact records are duplicate of Lead records if they have the same email address’, the Contact is the Base record type, since you wish to detect the duplicate accounts, and Lead is a Matching record type since you wish to look for the duplicate records of contact in lead. Note: For an entity there is a limit 5 published duplicate detection rules for a particular base record type.

Note: Only the entities which have duplicate detection enabled at the entity level appear in the record type picklist for defining the rules on them. You can enable or disable the duplicate detection for an existing entity or a new custom entity from the Customization Area. In Settings -> Customization -> Customize Entities. There is a checkbox to enable or disable duplicate detection for the entity.

* The attribute/attributes of the Base record type which you wish to compare to for detecting duplicates needs to be specified. A matching record attribute of the Matching record type which you wish to compare with needs to be defined.

* The Criteria used for detecting duplicates is specified. It can be Exact Match\Same First Character\Same Last Character

* Specify the No. of Characters – In the cases where the criterion is Same First Character      or Same Last Character, you need to specify the number of characters to compare.

* A new rule is always created in an ‘Unpublished’ state. In order to activate that for using you must ‘Publish’ the rule.

You need to also enable the duplicate detection by going to Settings -> Data Management -> Duplicate Detection Settings. Here you will specify when the detection rules should be invoked. Following are the instances in which they can be run:

* At run time as soon as you create or update a record you wish to be notified of any already existing duplicate record.

* When you are synchronizing your records created in Outlook offline. This can be further enabled or disabled on the per user basis, from the Tools -> Options settings in the outlook client.

* When you are importing the records via the Data Import tool.

Taking the time to set up these duplicate detection rules for your organization will help to ensure that the data in your CRM system is reliable and up to date.

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