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We have recently upgraded to CRM 2016 on prem from 2011.
In 2011 we used to do a manual check for duplicate contacts and then do a Merge (cleanup) where one contacts case got assigned to another contact.
When we try to do it now it doesn't allow the merge because the cases are closed. We don't want to go in an open every case.
what's the best way to do a merge now?
I don't have CRM 2016 On-Prmise but have verified that it works fine in Dynamics 365 Online i.e. the contacts can be merged if they have inactive case records. This means either the problem you are facing could be with something else or there may be a bug which is now resolved.
To confirm, you can try this in a new records i.e. create 2 contact record, for 1 contact create a case and close it. Now try to merge the contacts. If this works then there must be some other problem like you have some custom plugin/ workflow running on update of case which is failing and causing this issue or something else.
If the above test doesn't work then it must be a bug.
Hope this helps.
Given below are two scenarios to ensure that merging of contacts with closed cases is working on CRM 2016 On-Premise.
Please check whether there is a custom assembly or plugin registered on Case entity which is causing the issue. Also make sure that your CRM 2016 On-Premise version is the latest. If it is the latest, then it may be a bug, in which case, you can raise a ticket to Microsoft to resolve the issue.
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