Especially when there are many users maintaining the customer or vendor lists in Business Central it sometimes happens that a customer or a vendor is registered more than once. Typically this can happen when people are in a rush. Then they tend to not search properly among the existing records before they start creating a new customer or a new vendor record.
Back in the older versions this used to be a pain because once had started putting transactions into two customer number or two vendor numbers that really were the same legal entity it was no want to transfer the transactions to one of the record and then delete the doublet. We would have to manually post the transactions from one customer or vendor onto the other customer or vendor. When that was completed we would block the customer or the vendor that we did not want to use anymore.
As we can see in the list below we have to customer registered with almost the same name. This can be an indication that we have potential doublets in our list.
So to check if this really is a duplicate it can be smart to open the customer card for both these customers and compare the details like address, phone no., e-mail and possibly company registration number.
So when we conclude that these really are doublets we need to handle them. And because they both have transactions and a balance, we can not just delete the customer that was last created.
Then we can use the ” merge with” function that now is available on the customer card.
This will open the merge window where we need to go through some steps to perform the merge.
Refer to the red markers in the image for the corresponding description for what needs to be done.
Step 1 – Decide what values we want to keep for the individual fields.
The first we should do is to compare the two customer records on field value level and decide what value we want to keep for each field. As a default Business Central will suggest that we keep the values from the customer number where we started the merge. In our example that will be customer number 50000.
Then we can use the override column to select the field where we want to use the value from the customer we selected to merge with. In my example i have marked the two fields Last modified Date Time and Last Modified date. The alternative value for these two fields will the be displayed in bold font.
Step 2 – Handle potential merge conflicts in related tables.
As user of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central know the customer table have a lot of related tables where Business Central store data that are related to our customer. Some of the most important are Customer Ledger Entries and sales documents like sales order and sales invoices. To help us solve potential conflict in these related tables Business Central gives us an overview in the bottom part of the merge page.
If the rightmost column show us conflicts in each of the related table. And if there are any conflicts detected there will be displayed a conflicts fast tab where we can handle those conflicts. So be prepared to handle them. You can read more in the documentation from Microsoft about how you can handle these conflicts.
Step 3 – Chose the Merge action
You will find the merge action in the upper left corner. When we select that action we will be presented with a confirm dialog.
After a while we will get a confirmation that the merge is completed.
And if we now go back to our customer list we will see that customer no. 60000 is no longer on the list and the balance for customer 50000 now is the total of the balance for the two customer records that we started with.
The process for merging vendors are the same as for customers. You will find the exact same functions there and the pages look alike.
If you are working with contacts there are a separate process for discovering doublets in the contact table. But that will be topic for a later blog post.