BC #LifeHacks 182: Combine or Merge Vendor Records

Have you ever noticed that you have multiple records in Business Central for the same Vendor? Perhaps the vendor sent an updated W9… and someone didn’t realize the vendor was already in the system, so they created a new vendor… or maybe they are a DBA and someone just searched by the wrong name… so, well… now you have two vendors for the same account. There are a lot of reasons this happens… and when it does, it can be frustrating, or at very least, cause lots of extra work!

Worse yet… what if those duplicates have transactions against them… so now you are stuck with 2 vendor records (or maybe even more) for the same vendor… UGH!

Well, you are in luck! There is a way to merge those master records and maintain all of your history!

In our example, we are specifically talking about Vendor record duplicates… however… this feature is available for Customer records AND Contact records as well! AWESOME!

Take a look at our list of Vendors – notice we have Vendor 10000, Fabrikam, Inc. and Vendor V00010, Fabrokam. These look similar, so we open them both up and realize that they are duplicates… and we need to combine them.

Let’s open up the one we want to keep as our main record. This is an important step because we want to keep this ID, and merge the values from the ‘other’ master records. In my example, I want to keep Vendor ID 10000, so we will open that one up.

Now that we have the Vendor record open, let’s click on the Actions button on the vendor card ribbon.

This opens up a secondary ribbon for actions that are available. The option ‘Merge With” will be found under the “Functions” drop down.

After selecting “Merge With”, a new window will open. Take note that the current vendor ID gets auto populated and cannot be changed. Next we will select the record to merge with the current vendor. Simple click the drop down on the ‘Merge With field or type the vendor ID.

Now that we have identified the current and merge with vendor ID’s, we are presented with an option to choose which fields to keep or override.

I like to display the checkbox on the left by clicking the 3 dots next to the ID and choosing select more. This is a visual aide that makes it easier for me to see which fields I am picking from which record.

Notice that there is a checkbox on the right called ‘Override’. This scrolling window is designed to give us the ability to pick values from the main vendor ID OR values from the vendor ID we are merging into the main ID. If you want the values from the ID you are keeping, choose the checkbox on the left… if you want to keep the values from the ID you are merging, select the override checkbox.

Generally the ID we are keeping is the value I normally keep, but it is nice to have the option. Once these decisions have been made, you can click ‘Merge’ from the top of the window.

Once ‘merge’ is selected, you will prompted to continue.

Be sure this is what you want to do – this process is NOT something that you can ‘undo’. You’ve been warned 🙂

After the merge is complete, you will be taken back to the list you originated from… in my case, my vendor list… and as you can see, the vendor I merged is no longer listed.

All of the transactions associated with the ‘merged vendor’ are now listed on the main vendor ID… you won’t lose any transactions or any history… now THAT is cool!

There are some cases where you may get errors on merging – in my experience thus far, I have had no issues, but it’s good to know what you can do in the event of an error. The errors are from conflicts. To learn more about how to handle conflicts, please click here.

I hope that was helpful!


Thanks for reading!

Shawn Dorward

Microsoft MVP, Business Applications

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