Let's talk about an entirely different approach to deleting duplicate records which actually does delete records. What we're going to do is Export the non-duplicates to a separate file, delete all the records in our current FileMaker file and then import the non-duplicates back into our FileMaker file and be left with non-duplicates. Since we're deleting all records it's very important that you do a backup here. In fact, when I was recording these tutorials I made a few mistakes myself and was glad I had the actual backup. It'll really help you out in this situation. It's a much bigger scenario than if we accidentally delete one or two records. We're talking about possibly deleting all records, so a backup is really essential here. And we also have to consider what about related data? What if we have an invoice that's related to one of the duplicates that gets deleted, what happens to that invoice? Well, we've set up an example so you can see that. So let's go ahead and talk about what feature we're going to use to export the non-duplicates. Well, there's a feature in FileMaker that allows you to export Subsummary data to a text file. You can export to a PDF already and that's a much better report, but what if you want to use that data somewhere else? PDF doesn't work real well. What if you want to take that data into Excel and manipulate it further? Well, this feature works great. You can export to a Subsummary Report and remember, when you're exporting subsummarized data what happens is it groups your data. Let's say we sort it by Dup Check. It would sort all of the Billy Adlingtons into one group and export just one record, so you want to remember how that works. We're going to get less records when we export using this technique. So let's demo it manually so you get the idea here. We're going to go into Records and choose Sort Records. We'll Sort by dup check, go to File and choose Export Records. We'll call this dup.fp7 and make sure we're going to FileMaker Pro format although that's not the only format but it will make it much easier. We'll Save and you may have not noticed this before but if you sort before you come into Export all your sort fields will show here. If you don't check any it'll export as normal, in other words, it will export all records. But as soon as you check this it's subsummarizing and you'll get less records. So we're going to clear all this out and then go to our table and move all of our fields in here. Now you really don't need all of the Global fields and the Calculation fields, they're pointless, but we're going to go ahead and leave them in here just to do it more quickly. You can take the time to remove these from your export and possibly make this technique work faster because you really can't import Calculation fields anyhow and Global fields, you know, there's no real data in them anyhow. So we'll Export. You can see the file automatically opened up. We have 48 records of our original 52, so it deleted those duplicates. So let's go write our script. We'll create a new script, call it Delete Duplicates Export, and we can put in Allow User Abort and all that stuff. You already know how to do that. Let's get down to the meat of the solution which is we're going to start off with Perform Find. There we go, move that in there. And the reason we're going to use this is we want to make sure that we don't export all of our records. If we have a million records it's going to take a long time to export and a long time to import, especially on import when it has to go ahead and index all the fields it's importing and we suggested this Perform Find with our Looping method because we don't want to loop through a million records. Well, it's even more central here because the Import and Export is going to take a much longer time. So we'll Specify our Find Request and because I did the manual Find first well, it's going to have it in there already, but if you didn't do the manual Find all you have to do is select Dup Check and put an exclamation point and hit Add and then you're done, that's it. Now it's going to Find and we're assuming here, we're not doing any error check and we assume we're going to find duplicates but you probably want Error Checking in here or there's no point in going over it again. We've already gone over it a million times already. So our next step is going to be Sort Records. We'll move that over, Perform without dialog, Specify sort order, it's already in there, dup check, need to make sure we do that before we export records. Export records, not Export Field Contents. Perform without dialogs, Specify output file, make sure it's FileMaker Pro. We'll add the file that we export. Here's where the benefits of having manually done it, we can simply click on that. It puts it in there and we're ready to go and we don't have to worry about the path, it figures the path out for us. And it could be more complicated than this. This path represents our Desktop which is very easy to type in. So we'll click OK, Specify the export order, it's already in there because we manually did it, so doing these things manually can really save you some time. Then we're going to Delete All Records and here's where I want to warn you again, make sure you make a backup. You can't undo a Delete All Records, or even a Delete Record, but a Delete All Records is much more crucial to make sure you have a backup on that. And then we can finally import the records back in. We'll move that in there, Perform without dialog, Specify data source, choose FileMaker Pro and since we know the path we'll just type file colon dup.fp7, click OK. Specify the import order and, you notice the Source is not up here and why is that? We specified it. We probably typed it in correctly. Let's check that out. Let's go back here and let's Add File and you'll see that dup.fp7 is gone and remember, when we did that export right up here, it said: Do you want to replace? But it actually deleted it because it didn't have any file to export. Why it does that I don't know, but it did delete it. So to make this much quicker we're going to go ahead and save this, close this, quickly export manually again. We'll go to dup.fp7. Don't need to automatically open, Export, go back into our Scripts and this is going to save us a ton a time, look at this. We go back into Specify now everything's there, all I do is choose matching names, make sure it's on Add New Records, we don't want to perform Auto Enter because we don't want to change our modification information or our creation information and that's it. That's the whole script. We'll save that, close that and now what we're going to do is run that script and see what happens, so make sure you have a backup here. And you see we have 3 records that were actually de-duped. If we Show All Records we'll see we now have 48 total and here's the problem that I was talking about. Let's go over to our Invoices and let's look at the last invoice here. Now, I had Billy Adlington but the second Billy Adlington on here. You notice once I deleted this duplicate record this information is now gone here. He still has his products he bought but really what we wanted to do is merge the old Billy Adlington with the new one that, we kept the old one, we wanted to merge this and so that what we really wanted to have happen was for this, for it to substitute the Billy Adlington we kept in for this invoice so we didn't have that problem with our data. So you really have to consider what about the related data when you're using this technique.
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