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Helper I
Helper I

duplicate lookup reference has been found - standard solution is not working for me

Importing Incidents from a .csv file.  We call them Tickets in my world.


There are 3 lookups on the ticket.

Tier1  Tier2  Tier3 records all exist in the same table,  Categories.

These are cascaded lookups.  The user chooses a value from Tier1.  Tier2 is populated based on that choice.  The user chooses a value from Tier2.  Tier3 is populated based on the choices in Tier1 and Tier2.  finally, the user chooses a value in Tier3.


so for each choice in Tier1, there a Tier2 records with a parent of Tier1.

and for each choice in Tier2 there are Tier3 records with a parent of Tier2


Duplicates exist in Tier 2 and Tier3.  some examples:


Tier1, Tier2, Tier3

Data Warehouse, Connection Problems, Question

XYZ application, Connection Problems, Question

ABC application, Policy, Question


so, of course, On the datamap in the lookup for related records for Tier1, Tier2, Tier3 columns I included the value and the primary key to ensure that a unique record is retrieved by the import.


This simply does not work for my records.  I see it in the documentation and in many online questions that this is the prescribed solution and I can see how it should find a unique record since the primary key is used.  It is just not working for me.  very frustrating of course.


I get the "duplicate lookup reference has been found" error for all of the duplicate values.


Ok, so even mores strange and perhaps telling.  I even get the duplicate lookup reference found error for values in Tier 1.   There are no duplicates in the values for the Tier1 records.


If you have encountered this or know why this could happen, please respond. 






Accepted Solutions
Helper I
Helper I

yeah, excel is no problem.  been writing array formulas for a couple of decades.  🙂


The key piece of advice stated clearly :

From Fubar's post: One way to resolve is to replace the column values in your source file with something that is truly unique, ideally the GIUD of the record in the target lookup table 


SOLUTION:   In my excel input file I replaced the Tier 1, 2, and 3 text values with the respective primary key GUIDs and the import worked perfectly.


Many thanks to Dpoggemann and Mr. Repair (Fubar) for your help.

This thing wont let me give credit to more than 1 responder.  ARGH!

View solution in original post

Solution Sage
Solution Sage

Hi @urklnme ,


I have had this problem in the past and you really need to deal with a unique id type of field on the lookup entity if you have multiple records with the same Name field.  You can use the import wizard to map your CSV file to the unique field on the entity which will fix this.  I know this is an old article but shows what you need to do. 


Of course you need to pass that value in from your CSV file...


Hope this helps!




are you saying that the unique field has to be in the import file ?   so the primary key (GUID) for each value must be copied to the excel file? 


the primary key is included on the lookup reference in the datamap and it does not work.  see image.


 tier2 related field lookup.png

Solution Sage
Solution Sage

Hi @urklnme ,

What I mean is a field on the Category table that will not have the same value (text) for two entries.  So you could have two rows like the following:


ID.      Name                                     Parent Category

1.        Connection Problems.           Data Warehouse

2.        Connection Problems.           XYZ Application


You would import the ID field from the CSV file in the mapping and it would map the appropriate Connection Problems Lookup Category instead of hitting a duplicate because there are two with the name "Connection Problems".


Make sense?





to be clear.  my data is coming from a legacy system.  there are no unique fields for the categories other than the primary key.  The primary key was not included, nor could it be, in the legacy data.


So when this situation arises (duplicate lookup reference has been found) for anyone using powerapps imports, they must hand manipulate their data to include the GUID of the existing record in CDS?  


Duly noted.  begrudgingly understood.  


Solution Sage
Solution Sage

It does not need to be guid but could be auto-number field or another that is unique per category.  If the name is same across multiple records it won’t know which to match.


sorry about this limitation.





I am dumb I guess.. i just dont understand the solution.  I added the primary key to the excel data file.  how do I reference that column in the datamap?  There is no column in the lookup reference to select that matches the new column of primary keys.   


Question 1: The only place that fields can be used to help identify the unique value I am after is in lookup reference for tier1,2, and 3 in the datamap correct?

Question 2: I have to use a datamap b/c the import will not be able to automatically match the tier values to a unique value?


I have no other field to use except for the primary key.  it should be enough.  it is a <expletive removed> unique GUID.


Question 3: Are you asking me to alter the CDS category table?  Is that what you are suggesting? add an auto-number field to the Category table that would act as another unique field?  that field would then be selectable in the lookup reference for Tier 1,2, and 3.     (this is the part that kills me... if I add a unique field to the category table, how is that gonna work when the primary key does not.  Is the microsoft import process so messed <expletive removed> up that this works when the primary key does not?)  


I don't have any other options I will try it this way too.


Anyone have 2 cents to add?

ok.  I added an autonumber field to the category table with unique values.


I selected the auto number field and the category (name field) in the lookup reference for the Tier1, 2, and 3.


The Tier 1, 2, and 3 values still threw duplicate lookup reference found errors.


There must be something wrong with my configuration.  I am stumped.

Solution Sage
Solution Sage

Hi @urklnme ,


Can you share your updated import file mapping?




Helper I
Helper I

see attached file



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