Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

Duplicate Management and Salesforce Spring ’15

Today's post is written by Richard Failla, a Salesforce Business Analyst at Sonoma Partners.

We told you why we’re excited for Spring ’15 but now we want to dive deeper into one long-awaited feature: native Duplicate Management. While it technically falls under Data.com, it does not require a separate Data.com license to use. So if you’re running Professional Edition or above, follow along as we detail some specifics you can expect when the switch is flipped in your org.

It’s a Plumber, Not a Cleaner

Once enabled, the feature essentially creates a barrier for duplicate records to enter your system. It will not scrub your org for existing duplicates in the first release but we’re hopeful to see this enhancement in the future.

Not All Dupes Are Created Equal

In addition to Accounts, Contacts, and Leads, native Duplicate Management will work with custom objects. It’s good to see support for the core standard objects but adding in custom objects is a huge win for those with more complex orgs.

One Of These Things Is (Not) Like The Other

Any dupe-detection solution requires matching rules and often those rules need to compare data between standard and custom fields. But often we need to go further and cross data between objects. Is your new Lead already a Contact? Crossing standard and custom fields is core to managing duplicate records but to extend the feature and support cross-object detection makes this more robust than anticipated for a first release.

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Warm Fuzzies

Duplicate detection is nothing without the matching algorithm underneath. And rarely will an “exact match” suit our needs. With numerous ways to abbreviate a name, we need to be able to find a match between subtle distinctions like “Incorporated” vs. “Inc.” and 5-digit vs. 9-digit zip codes. The support for “fuzzy match” logic is a great feature to roll out of the gate and Salesforce has even provided preset matching methods to help us get started.

WarmFuzzies

One API To Rule Them All

If you run a data import job via the API and a match is found for a given record, you’ll get an error and that record will not import. However, there is a new Apex Class that theoretically allows developers to force a save for matching records. That should help with those unique cases where you want to avoid turning off a rule just to tend to some admin housekeeping.

OneAPItoRuleThemAll

Search No More

Gone are the painstaking days of training end-users to search for existing records before creating new ones. Now when users try to save a new record, potential duplicate records can pop-up (if found). Users can then peruse these records and even edit the new record’s data on the fly.

Search No More

Agnostic Platforms

Whether your end-users are entering records from their computer, phone, or tablet, native Duplicate Management is supported across all devices running Salesforce or SF1.

The “Silent Reporter”

Any dupe-detection solution brings to the fore the classic dichotomy between administrators and end-users; admins want quality data while end-users want pain-free data entry. Salesforce executed a solution that strives for balance between the two: rather than alerting end-users every time a potential dupe is found (or blocking their entry entirely), admins can now setup reports to track duplicate records on the backend without annoying end-users with popups and alerts on the frontend.

Silent Reporter

Duplicate Management is not a panacea; there are plenty of cases that demand more detailed dupe-detection capabilities. Nevertheless, we’re impressed to see all the nuances Salesforce has packed into the first release of their native Duplicate Management feature. Better yet, releasing it for free for Professional Editions and above goes a long way to help organizations looking to reduce dupes and maximize data quality without breaking the bank on 3rd-party solutions.

Topics: Salesforce