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Managing Duplicate Customers: A Case Study

Jun Wang Profile Picture Jun Wang 4,088 Super User

Managing Duplicate Customers in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: A Case Study

Merging duplicate customer records in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a common task aimed at streamlining customer management and improving data accuracy. However, this process can sometimes encounter unexpected challenges, such as error messages despite having the correct permissions.

The Challenge: Encountering an Error Despite Correct Permissions

In a typical scenario, merging duplicates in Business Central is executed by navigating to a customer card and selecting the Merge with option from the home tab. This action requires a specific permission set named Merge Duplicates. Even with this permission assigned, users may still experience error messages that prevent them from completing the merge.

A Custom Solution: Recording Necessary Permissions

A strategic yet underutilized feature in Business Central is Recording Permissions. This feature can be used to create custom permission sets that precisely match the necessary user activities. Here’s how it can be implemented:

  1. Create a New Empty Permission Set: Begin by setting up a new permission set without any permissions.
  2. Record Permissions:
    • Open a new tab in the same Business Central environment.
    • In another tab with the permission set open, navigate to Actions, then Record Permissions, and initiate the recording by clicking Start.
    • Perform the merge actions in the new tab: navigate to a customer card, select Merge with, and complete the merge.
    • Return to the first tab and end the recording session by selecting Stop.

This process creates a custom permission set containing only the necessary permissions for merging customers, avoiding the need for overly broad permissions.

The Record Permissions feature offers a way to fine-tune user permissions, ensuring security and efficiency without resorting to broad, unrestricted access. This approach not only resolves specific operational issues but also enhances the overall management of Business Central's capabilities.

Recommendations for Organizations

For organizations encountering permission-related challenges or aiming to refine user access, consider:

  • Testing with an out-of-the-box database: This helps determine if the problem lies with the basic permissions or with modifications.
  • Reviewing existing custom permission sets: Check that no critical permissions are missing. Especially on permission sets using the Exclude features, which override the access of a user to tables. 

Using Business Central's flexible user permissions management effectively can greatly improve organizational workflows and data management strategies.

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