Duplicate Detection Settings in wMobile (Contacts) - Updated

by Fred Block on July 11, 2017

Change is good, especially if you are taking advantage of the ability to avoid duplication in your database. Based on user's needs, we worked with our developers and enhanced the available duplicate checking criteria choices for the "CheckDuplicateContactCriteria" setting. These additions removed some barriers to "de-duping" during contact entry. This now is available for wMobile offering starting with wMobile 3.1.4.742.

In the world of information that we live in today, and especially in our CRM products, duplication is often frowned upon. After all, duplication can create ambiguity. Many software packages recognize the potential for duplicate records finding their way into our databases and provide us tools for merging and/or removing the unwanted "extras." This article isn't about how duplicates get into our systems or how to eradicate them if they exist, but it is about a handful of settings in wMobile Manager Console allowing for some control over handling duplication up front. When creating new contact records or editing existing contact ones, wMobile provides control over duplication, allowing duplicates in without warning, or informing the user before the duplication is made in your database.

Accessing the wMobile Manager Console System Settings

wMobile system wide settings are configured from within the wMobile Manager Console. On the wMobile server, this tool can be started from the Windows Start menu. The System Settings are accessed by selecting the wMobile node in the wMobile Explorer window and then double-clicking the System Settings icon.

The settings discussed here are in the "Common" section and will affect both wMobile Phone and wMobile Desktop. To access these specific settings, navigate the tree list as follows:

Configuration > Common > Contacts

The four (4) settings we'll cover in the next sections are:

  • AllowDuplicateEmailAddresses
  • CheckDuplicateContactCriteria
  • DuplicateCriteriaIgnoreBlankValues
  • DuplicateCriteriaIgnoreRecordOwnership

AllowDuplicateEmailAddresses

This setting controls whether duplicate email addresses can be entered into wMobile for separate contacts. This is normally not recommended because email messages are linked based on a matching email address.

Settings are: True or False

False = (Recommended) Avoids users from saving duplicate email addresses within the database. With this setting, the user will be warned the email address already exists.

True = Allows duplicate email addresses within the database. With this setting, the user will not be warned they're duplicating an email address when the record is saved.

In wMobile Phone, the user will see this message appear:

CheckDuplicateContactCriteria

The desired setting will depend on how the information in your GoldMine database is used. Some companies have a “company-centric” database where each company they work with has a record in GoldMine, and all the contacts they work with are entered as "additional contacts" linked to a company record. Some companies have a “contact-centric” database where they have a separate GoldMine record for each contact they work with. In the latter case, you would not want to be detecting duplicates based on Company, because you’d expect to have multiple records with the same company name. Another consideration is whether you have individual people as customers, where there’s no company name. Detecting duplicates based on Company wouldn’t be very helpful in that case. You’d want to match on Contact, or perhaps Company AND contact, so both would have to match for the new contact to be detected as a potential duplicate. Based on your specific need here is a description of the settings:

This setting has been updated to include a dialog for selecting the duplication criteria. When a user clicks the ellipse button as shown in the next screenshot, the "Duplication criteria editor" will open:

In the Duplication criteria editor, users can select from the "Available fields" list of checkboxes to set the criteria to be checked for duplication. Also available are the "And" and "Or" operator radio buttons.

Used together, the fields selected and the operator chosen will allow you to build the duplication checking criteria.

Using "And" or "Or" (Boolean operators) ...

The "And" operator:

When using the "And" operator, "all" the selected fields of a new entry are checked against each existing record in the database and only when "all" fields are found to have the "same" information on one of those records is a record considered a duplicate. For example, in a database there is a contact record containing the following data:

Company = W-Systems

Phone1 = 800-775-8378

If the criteria are set as "Company AND Phone1", then "both" fields are being tested for duplication, not one or the other. This means that if a user attempts to enter a new contact and sets the "Company" field to "W-Systems" and the "Phone1" field to "800-775-8378", wMobile will consider this a duplicate. If the phone number is different in the record being added, wMobile will not consider it a duplicate because "all" the fields do not match. If a third field was selected ("City" for example) when using "And," then all three fields would be checked and only when "all three" fields in the record being entered match an existing record in the database would wMobile consider the entry a duplicate and warn the user. It's as if we're saying, "A" must match "A, " AND "B" must match "B" AND "C" must match "C" to be considered a duplicate.

The "Or" operator:

When using the "Or" operator, if the criteria are set as "Company OR Phone1", "both" fields are being tested against the same fields of existing records for duplication. However, if "any" of the selected fields match (not all of them), wMobile considers the record a duplicate. Let's use the same example data to make this more clear. Example data:

Company = W-Systems

Phone1 = 800-775-8378

If we are using the "Or" operator, only the "Company" and "Phone1" fields, and the user enters "W-Systems" for the Company field and "800-775-8377" for the Phone1, this record would be considered a duplicate because of the matching "Company" field. For "Or" it's as if we're saying, "A" must match "A" OR "B" must match "B" OR "C" must match "C" to be considered a duplicate.

In this section for the CheckDuplicateContactCriteria setting, we covered how to avoid duplication when more than one field needs to be compared. However, in some cases, there might be just one field to be tested or none at all.

What About "No" Duplication Checking?

If no duplication testing is desired, open the Duplication criteria editor dialog and untick all the checkboxes. This will disable the "And/Or" operators and when saved, will set the criteria to "None" as shown: 

Checking for Only One Field

Lastly, for testing for duplication on only one field, tick only one checkbox in the Available fields list. This will disable the "And/Or" operators and when saved, will set the criteria to the only field that was selected:

Duplication Warning

In wMobile Desktop the user will see this message when a duplication warning is presented:

DuplicateCriteriaIgnoreBlankValues

This setting specifies if the contact duplication criteria will take blank values into consideration. The desired setting will depend on how contacts are added in GoldMine. For example, if you have many records where there’s no company name, then you’d want to set this as True to ignore the blank company field.

Settings are: True or False

True = wMobile will check for duplication using criteria from "CheckDuplicateContactCriteria" and "will ignore" records with Company/Contact fields that are empty:

  • CheckDuplicateContactCriteria = Company and DuplicateCriteriaIgnoreBlankValues = True, if the user is trying to insert a new record with the Company field empty and the database has an existing record with the Company field empty, wMobile will not detect this as a duplicate.
  • CheckDuplicateContactCriteria = Company OR Contact and DuplicateCriteriaIgnoreBlankValues = True, if the user trying to insert a new record with the Contact field or the Company field empty and the database has an existing record with the Contact field or the Company field empty, wMobile will not detect this as a duplicate.

False = wMobile will check for duplication using criteria from "CheckDuplicateContactCriteria" and "will not ignore" records with Company/Contact fields that are empty:

  • CheckDuplicateContactCriteria = Company and DuplicateCriteriaIgnoreBlankValues = False, if the user trying to insert a new record with Company field empty and the database has an existing record with Company field empty, wMobile will detect this as a duplicate.
  • CheckDuplicateContactCriteria = Company OR Contact and DuplicateCriteriaIgnoreBlankValues = False if the user is trying to insert a new record with the Contact field or the Company field empty and the database has an existing record with the Contact field or the Company field empty, wMobile will detect this as a duplicate.

In wMobile Phone, the user will see this message appear:

DuplicateCriteriaIgnoreRecordOwnership

This setting controls whether record ownership is honored or ignored when checking for possible duplication.

Settings are: True or False

True = wMobile will not take record ownership/curtaining into account for evaluating potential duplicates. This means that if a duplicate exists in the database, a user would be notified of a potential duplicate, even if he or she doesn’t have access to see it.

False = This forces wMobile to honor (i.e., not ignore) record ownership/curtaining. If a user adds a record that already exists, he or she will not get any warning of a potential duplicate.

wMobile will take record ownership/curtaining into account for evaluating potential duplicates. This means that if a duplicate exists in the database, a user would not be notified of a potential duplicate because they do not have rights to access that record.

In wMobile Desktop the user will see this message when a duplication warning is presented:

Duplicates in your database: Add control to wMobile and take charge of how wMobile behaves using these tools available in the System Settings of wMobile Manager Console.

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PRODUCT: wMobile

AUDIENCES: Administrators End Users

Fred Block
Application Specialist at W-Systems
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