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If I have an existing custom field where there are some duplicate values across records, but which should ideally be a unique key, is it possible to make it unique? If so, what happens to the existing records with duplicate values?

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You won't be allowed to complete the modification. All values must already be unique or null before imposing a unique index. You'll get an error like the following:

Error: Duplicate value(s) found when building unique index, example: ...

You must first clean up the duplicate values before you'll be allowed to make an index.

  • Well sheeeit. If some of those records are leads that have already been converted then I'm just out of luck, huh? – OBerm Jul 20 '15 at 21:35
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    There's a jam, for sure. Probably would involve deleting those old leads, or perhaps making a new field, making it unique, then using the data loader to copy what values you can. – sfdcfox Jul 20 '15 at 21:38

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