New Duplicate Management Tools from Salesforce

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Among the many other updates, duplicate management tools were introduced in the Salesforce Spring ‘15 release. Salesforce admins around the world rejoiced with happiness at having new ways to fight duplicate data. We all know that good, clean data is one of the most important things in your Salesforce org, but it’s also one of the most difficult things to achieve. In fact, it seems that having duplicate data is inevitable when you have more than one person entering data into an org. But, the brainy team at Salesforce has come to the rescue…or have they? Keep reading to learn how to use these new duplicate management tools so you can test it out for yourself.

Setting Up Salesforce Matching Rules

To navigate to the duplicate management tools, follow this path:  Setup > administration setup > administration > duplicate management. It’s important to note that Salesforce automatically sets up a few standard matching rules to look for duplicates on accounts, contacts, and leads. However, even though these rules are automatically created, you still have to activate them. Simply click the activate button next to the matching rule name to activate it.

Salesforce Duplicate Matching Rules

The standard matching rules are a good place to start, but I find them to be too restrictive for my needs, so I also create a matching rule based on first and last names. For matching rules based on names, it is recommended that you use “fuzzy matching,” as people can misspell names when adding them to Salesforce. Matching rules based on emails should use exact matching. After setting up your desired matching rule, it’s time to create a duplicate rule.

Setting Up Salesforce Duplicate Rules

To set up your duplicate rule, navigate through the menu in this way: Setup > administration setup > administration > duplicate management > duplicate rules. Click “new rule” and select which object the rule should run on. For this example I used Contact. Enter the rule name, description, and security information. Now comes the exciting part. Decide what type of action you want when a duplicate is found, based on your matching rule. You can allow the record to still be created but display an alert message, or you can block the record from being created. I prefer to allow the record to be created and have an alert message appear to notify the Salesforce Administrator of the duplicate data.

Salesforce Duplicate Management Tools


In this example I matched Contacts with Contacts, but you can match duplicates across objects. For example, you could match Leads and Contacts for duplicates.

Salesforce duplicate management rules have a few limitations. They are not currently supported for opportunities and person accounts. Duplicate rules won’t run if records are made with quick create, when a record is restored with the “undelete” button, when records are added using exchange sync, or when records are manually merged. In my opinion, the biggest drawback is that there is no historical feature for these tools. They only check new records or edited records.  All of these limitations are minor compared to the huge benefit that duplicate management tools provide. So, in my opinion, the new duplicata management tools provided by Salesforce in the spring ’15 release earn a big thumbs up. Let us know what you think if you’d had a chance to test out these new functions!

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