What is a unique field?
A unique field contains a value that helps you differentiate records and prevents duplicate records. Depending on your business, it could be email addresses, phone numbers, student IDs, social security numbers, passport numbers, etc. So if you set an email address as a unique field, then no two contact records can have the same email address.
Why should you have a unique field?
To avoid creating duplicate contacts and accounts, at least one field should be marked unique in these modules. There are a few fields marked unique by default - Emails and External ID fields in Contacts module, Name field in the Accounts module. You can retain these as unique fields or configure your own custom unique fields based on your business requirements. If you don’t have a unique field as per your sales/business process, you can add an auto-number field in the Contacts and Accounts module. Auto-number is incrementally and automatically generated for each record created and thus fills in as a unique field.
What are the Default unique fields?
The following set of fields are marked unique by default:
- Emails on Contacts (Primary Email address only) - You can mark the email address field as non-unique right from the web application
- External ID - You cannot make this field non-unique, however you can hide this field from the forms used to add records.
- Name field on Accounts - You can make this field non-unique when any other field is made unique
How to modify or rename a default unique field to reflect your business
Note: 1) Only Admins can create and assign unique fields. You can choose up to 4 unique contact fields and 2 unique account fields 2) Unique fields can only be of (default or custom). 3) If you add an auto-generate field, it will be counted as a unique field.
To make a default field unique,
Let’s say you want to make the Registration ID in the Contacts field as unique.
- Go to Admin Settings > Contacts module and near the External ID, click Edit field
- In the EDIT FIELD overlay, modify the name of the field from External ID to Registration ID.
- Click Save
How to create a custom unique field
If you have another custom field called ‘Passport Number’ you want to make unique,
- Go to Admin Settings > Contacts/Accounts/Deals Module and click the dropdown on the Passport field and enable the ‘Unique’ checkbox
Alternatively, you can also mark a field as unique from the EDIT FIELD overlay.
- Click the checkbox titled ‘Mark the field as unique’. This presents you with a dialog box that requests confirmation.
- Click to configure the field as unique.
What happens when a user creates a new record after a custom field is set as unique?
If a user tries to create a new contact with a Passport number that already exists in another record, the web application throws an alert that a record with that value already exists. Only when a unique Passport number is provided will the contact be created. This helps you to prevent the creation of duplicate contacts in your account.
This is validated when a record is saved manually, through a bulk update, integration APIs, or CSV imports.
Note: 1) If you have marked either the registration ID or passport ID as unique, records can be created without entering values in the mobile field though it’s marked as unique by default. 2) To remove a field’s uniqueness, you will have to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to make it non-unique. 3) If you have removed the uniqueness of a field say passport number, 2 or more records with the same passport number can be created
How do unique fields avoid creating duplicate records?
If your web application is handled by multiple users and has multiple contact sources set in place, there is always a likelihood of duplicate records being created. While Freddy helps you detect duplicate records, it is ideal if you can prevent duplicate records from being created in the first place by making fields unique.
What happens to the unique fields on the downgrade?
When your account is downgraded to Growth plan or below, the uniqueness applied on a field will be removed and the unique check will be reverted back to the default settings– Emails and External ID fields on contact and the Name field on accounts.
Automatic creation of contacts through Phone when mobile number field is unique vs non-unique:
1) When you have set the mobile number as a unique field - When you receive an incoming call from an unknown number or make an outgoing call to a new number, a contact will be created automatically.
2) When you have set the mobile number as a non-unique field - When you receive an incoming call, the number will be saved in the call logs and a contact will not be created. You can choose to save the contact in the web application from the call logs.
The following are some of the scenarios that you should consider before deleting a required or unique field or hiding the external ID field