How To Manage Duplicate Records In Salesforce?

It becomes utmost important to detect potential duplicates when records are being updated in the system via integration i.e when all the records like accounts, contacts and leads are created from data loader, third party integration or soap API.

A few years ago DupeCatcher was used as a duplicate management tool but with several upgradation and enhancement around Salesforce over the recent year, Salesforce build a similar out of box feature Duplicate Management under Duplicate Management uses but you don’t need to have a lisence for it.

DupeCatcher has not been updated for a while and this tool will definitely surpass it in no time. On setting up an comparison between Duplicate Management and DupeCatcher it has been observed:

  1. Duplicate Management works well with Salesforce1 app.
  2. It works with Salesforce for Outlook.
  3. It has more refined duplicate reporting.
  4. It owns to duplicate management rules for mass data load.

To set up Duplicate Management navigate to
Setup –> Administration → Duplicate Management.

Matching Rules:

Matching rules in Salesforce can be accessed as follows: Administration → Duplicate Management → Matching Rules.

Each and every matching rule is made up of multiple matching criteria pertaining to an individual field.Each matching criteria defines the conditions that need to be equated for a specific field. The field comparison is carried out by using fuzzy matching methods which are equipped with number of matching algorithms. provides standard matching rules on the standard objects such as Account, Lead and Contact.In myriad cases, you need to create your own matching rules based on how your organization defined matching rules.

To create your own set of rules, from Matching Rules page click on the New button.

  • Step 1. Select an object i.e Account, Lead, Contact, or custom object.
  • Step 2. Enter the rule name, description and the select fields to compare as matching criteria. It also gives you the provision to add filter logic if it is not always AND. Lastly depending on the selected field type the matching method opted for can either be Exact or Fuzzy.
  • Step 3. Activate the rule: Once the rule has been activated, you will get a notification email that the matching rule has been activated and it is ready to use.

Duplicate Rules:

Duplicate Rules in Salesforce can be accessed as follows: Administration→ Duplicate Management → Duplicate Rules.

The Duplicate Rules comes into play once the matching rules are activated. A matching rule decides whether the record that has been created or updated is similar enough to other records existing to be considered a duplicate. Whereas a duplicate rule dictates Salesforce what action it has to take when duplicates are identified. However users should have Custom application Permission prior to creating new Duplicate rules. On defining a new duplicate rule users need to fill in the rule details which includes record-level security as well as field mapping for each field that has been used in selected matching rules. You can also define the entry criteria for the rule if you want the rule to suffice for particular records of objects.

To start creating duplicate rules click on the New Rule button and select the same object of matching rule created earlier. Next you have to specify the following:

  1. Rule Name and Description.
  2. Select appropriate “Record-Level Security”.
  3. Action on Create and Edit options i.e allow or block.
  4. Alert Text
  5. Selecting the matching rule created
  6. You can take action on Create and Edit i.e weather to allow or block
  7. Configure Alert Text as necessary

It also gives you the provision to add conditions (optional). Once done it needs it be activated.After a duplicate rule is set up it works in the following manner:

  1. The criteria set up to compare records and identify the duplicates are determined by a matching rule.
  2. Records that are being saved are identified as duplicates and a list of possible duplicates are returned.
  3. Duplicate rules will block users from saving the duplicate records.

Thus Salesforce Duplicate Management will surely help to take care of the redundant records and make things more viable for the users.