How Does Formstack Sync Handle Duplicates?

 Formstack Sync Deduplicates contact records by email address. Any two contacts with the same email address are considered duplicate records. Duplicate contacts can be a common occurrence in certain systems, especially CRM systems where you can have multiple contacts all with the exact same email address. For integration solutions such as Formstack Sync where we dedupe contacts based on email since it's the best unique ID for a record, this can cause problems.

What are the primary issues?

The main issue is once duplicates are indexed inside of Formstack Sync, when any of the duplicates are updated in the systems you have hooked up to Formstack Sync, it will go through the Formstack Sync and because there are other several records tied together out of this system, there's the potential that there are different values in each duplicate record for the fields you are trying to update. When this is the case, the duplicates will start overwriting each others values for these fields.

What if I delete or merge my duplicates in my system? Will that solve this issue?

When you remove duplicates or merge them in your given system, this doesn't remove them out of Formstack Sync. Formstack Sync does not receive any data from the systems we are integrating that says a contact has been merged or deleted. It will remain in our index and as mentioned above. Duplicates will cause issues when updates are attempted on the record and will not allow the updated information to sync even if the contacts have been merged.

What does Formstack Sync a do to help with this problem? 

For starters, once Formstack Sync recognizes that there are duplicates present, Formstack Sync will simply stop processing changes for these records to avoid corrupting data within your systems. This is a safety mechanism built directly into the core of Formstack Sync.

To allow for the record to continue syncing again, currently, the only way is to run a reset. First, stop the Formstack Sync and then ensure the duplicates have been removed in your given systems. Then turn the Formstack Sync back on and select the Reset option to flush your Formstack Sync database of duplicates that had been introduced previously. Learn more about how to reset your sync here.

We are continuing to look for ways to improve how duplicates can be managed and handled by our integration.


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