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Chapter 12. Data Importing and Repairing > Finding and Eliminating Duplicates

Finding and Eliminating Duplicates

Duplicate records are a constant problem in databases, particularly if you have to merge data from different sources to update or create them. Even if you're diligent in updating the unavoidable changes in contact person, address, phone and email information, if you have duplicate records you can never be sure that you've edited the right one.

Calculated fields offer a clean and relatively simple way to find and dump the duplicates. They do, however, depend on your having a good definition of what constitutes a duplicate file. In this example, we define a duplicate by the simplest criteria: two records with the same first and last name. In a larger database, however, you'll probably want to expand that definition to include some or all of the address as well, to take into account the fact that more than one individual can have the same name.


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