Weed out duplicate data with Duplicate Management in Salesforce

duplicate management salesforce

Duplicate records can be a hindrance to any smooth working process. In order to counter this drawback, Salesforce has come up with the Duplicate Rule in winter’15 release.  This update comes as a welcome relief for Salesforce users who have to deal with the confusion and the rework that arise with having duplicates. It comes under Data.com but does not require a Data.com license. It is available in the professional, developer, unlimited, and enterprise editions.

How does the Duplicate Rule work?

Whenever a user creates a new record, Salesforce cross-checks the details entered for the record to identify the possibility of such a record already existing in the database. The criteria or rules (for instance the email field or name field) to compare these records can also be set by the users themselves. Once the duplicates are identified, a report for the duplicate records is created.

A Duplicate Rule is set up to define what needs to be done with the duplicate records. Contacts could either be blocked or allowed depending upon the rule defined. Irrespective of whether you choose the Block or Allow options, you are notified on the possible outcomes. The Block option tells the user why they cannot save the record and what needs to be done instead. The Allow option lets the user create a separate record for such contacts. Point to be noted in the case of the latter is that the ‘Report’ check box needs to be checked.

For edited records, the duplicate management initially checks if the value of the matching field has been changed. If the value is changed, then the process follows the subsequent steps as in the case of new records. If not, then there is no further action and the record is created.

How to set Matching Rules:

Go to Data.com Administration > Duplicate Management > Matching Rules. You can set up multiple criteria that need to match with every individual field. You can use either the fuzzy logic matching method or the exact matching method depending upon the nature of the data.

duplicate management using salesforce

How to set Duplicate Rules:

Go to Data.com Administration > Duplicate Management > Duplicate Rules.  After setting up the matching rule criteria, the user can proceed to define the duplicate rules for the objects.  This requires the permissions for enabling Customize Application profile. The user needs to fill in all the details like the field mapping for the matching rule selected and the level of security for each record while creating a new rule.

Duplicate Rules should satisfy the following conditions:

  1. Identify and display a list of possible duplicates by comparing with the matching rules.
  2. Allow the user to save the duplicates, where a report of the duplicate list can be created.


Block the user from saving the duplicate record by alerting the user.

What are the current drawbacks with the Duplicate Management?

Even though the Duplicate Management is a very important and useful update, it is not without limitations.

The scope of Duplicate Rules is limited as it can be created only for the Account, Lead, Contact, and Custom objects.

The alert text message that can be customized is currently not supported by the Translation Workbench.

The fuzzy matching method supports only Latin characters as of now.

The duplication rules do not work in the following cases:

  • If the records are created using Quick Create or Exchange Sync.
  • If the user restores the records using the Undelete Button.
  • If the company does not have the permission to use “Use Apex Lead Convert” and the Leads are converted to either accounts or contacts.
  • If the user has manually merged the records.
  • If a self-service user has created a record that has a rule condition based on the user object.
  • If tools like data import or Salesforce API are used to create records, then the user is always blocked from saving the record and the list of possible duplicates is not generated.
  • If multiple records are being saved, the rules do not compare the records that are being saved simultaneously. Comparison takes place among the already existing ones. Interestingly, this does not affect the report action.

Alternate headings:

  1. Bothered by duplicates in Salesforce? Welcome Duplicate Management
  2. Clean up your Salesforce database with Duplicate Management

Meta description:

The Duplicate Management in Salesforce is a welcome feature as it helps in clearing out the duplicate records and maintaining a trim database.

Have you decided on cleaning up duplicate data using Duplicating Management in Salesforce? Leave your comments below.

To know more about Suyati’s expertise on Duplicate Management in Salesforce, please write to us at services@suyati.com.

Author : Uma Chellappa Date : 16 Oct 2015