Importing Contacts from CSV - Problems Handling Duplicates

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I can't be the first one with this problem --what am I doing wrong?

When importing records via CSV files, RC provides three options to deal with "duplicates."

- Overwrite existing record with the new record.
- Keep the current existing record and add new record imported from import file.
- Keep the current existing record and ignore record in import file.

The second option does not appear to function properly.  I'm bringing in 500 contact records, some of which have the same fax number but different company information.  (These are small medical offices that use shared resources).

I delete all contacts before re-importing a new list. 

Only the last of these shared office records in the CSV file make it into the RC Contacts list.  Well, they all do but I believe only the last one survives the overwrite regardless of which I option I choose..

That's a problem.  But there's more to it than that.

I can manually add the missing records --never mind that that kinda defeats the purpose of importing--  but it doesn't do any good as the programming uses the fax number to search the contacts list.  I (think I) know this because when I select a manually entered record, the imported record's data is used rather than the record I selected.  In other words, the first-matching fax number's data is used to send the fax.

This means that when we send a fax to one office it is actaully addressed another one, while in this shared environment.  Or said another way, you brain surgeon is getting your proctology results.  (It's gonna be a long day in the OR...)    

Is it possible to make option #2 work correctly so that all records are imported.  Even better, can the fax destination be the actual record that we select from the Contacts list?  I recommend using a record ID to locate selected Contacts and not the data that users enter.

In the meantime, what would happen if I added a digit to the fax number?  For example:

Brain Surgeon fax 555-555-55551
Lab Results fax 555-555-55552
Oncology fax 555-555-55553

thanks for reading
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Jerry Holder

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Posted 3 years ago

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Jerry Holder

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Adding an additional digit doesn't work.
Nor does adding the same fax number in the Alternate Fax field.
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Jerry Holder

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Importing Contacts from CSV - Incorrectly Mapped.

I am very comfortable with CSV file transfers and import/export routines.  I find th eimport process does not map column headers correctly in the Contacts form. 

I started by downloading the existing Contacts file in order to get your official column headers.

I then exported my database table into Excel, changed the column header names to yours and removed any excess columns.

I then exported the Excel sheet into CSV format.  It's an extra step to wash through Excel but it's easy and predictable.

The uploaded CSV file imports correctly, however, the Business Street field displays Business State data.  So, my Contact addresses now look like this:

Business Address:  OR    (and fyi, the column header is Business Street but your label is Business Address --a little consistency would be nice)
Business City:  Portland
Business State:  OR

I have tried various other names for the Street Address column but nothing has worked for me.

Other issues I have with the Contact imports is more inconsistencies.  For example, what is the difference between Company and Business?  Which one gets printed on the faxes?  Oh, is it Last Name, perhaps!  What is the Name field versus Nickname, Last Name and First Name?  Why is there Assistants Phone but no Assistants Name.  etc.  (RC appears to pick off information from a number of various places to print on our faxes but I haven't yet found a map that lays this out.)

In the contacts table, RC tries to accommodate various fields of interest such as Birthday (??!) but leaves off valuable fields such as Department & Specialty. 

But really, why try to define all these fields.  Why not let us decide what labels to use and what values to place in them?  Programmatically there's little difference.

thanks for reading.
(Edited)
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Mike, Official Rep

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Hi Jerry,  I see a lot of questions above so lets tackle these in some kind of order.  First regarding the import of the CSV file, rather than editing the column headings on your Excel file and then changing it to a CSV file, copy your data into the CSV file that you exported from our system. That way you are sure to have them correct and should resolve the import/mapping problem.  Give that a try, then please follow up and let us know what issues it did not resolve. 
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HUNTSVILLE

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Mike, I did just that and it still won't let me import
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Mike, Official Rep

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Can you provide us some details on the issue? Are you getting any error messages, or other notifications? Any details or screenshots you can include will be helpful.

Also NOTE:  Import will fail if a contact name on your list has the following symbols: <>/".  Please remove these four prohibited symbols from the contact names,
(Edited)
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HUNTSVILLE

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Mike i was able to do it, it had to do with the headers. I had replaced them accidentally, when I copied from another place. Just did it and now it's perfect. Thanks for the quick response.
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Mike, Official Rep

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Happy to help. Thanks for the followup!