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Helper IV
Helper IV

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. 






I used xrmtoolbox to write a query to ensure that it is possible to return a unique value from the category table.

returns a single row.

1209    SecurityTier 3


It just does not seem to matter what I put on the lookup reference in the datamap, the import will not resolve the request to a single result.


Microsoft in there great design and execution of powerapps has provided many awesome features.   just put what I import into the field is not one of them LOL.  It would be nice to be able to override the lookup.


All of the workflows that have been created for this application have been deactivated.  I don't imagine that there is a managed workflow that would affect this custom entity during the import.  

There are no plugins or other custom code components that are using the category table.


Even tried to update the tier1, 2, and 3 values using Excel Online.  No go.  that uses the same f'd up import process.  the duplicate lookup reference found error was thrown for all the rows I updated.


This is a showstopper for my little application with many thousands of tickets to be imported.  The client is not interested in hand updating them with the categories.


We are less than 2 weeks to a go-live date.  Yikes!

Multi Super User
Multi Super User

The error message indicates that you are looking up another table and that table has multiple items that match the criteria and so cannot resolve to 1 record.  

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 - in this case you then change the data import mapping to use Primary Key and uncheck other options so it doesn't even attempt to match on others.  (this is using the classic Data Import)

In the classic interface also worthwhile confirming which lookup fields it is thrown on in the error message (just in case its not the one that you are attempting to fix)

thanks Mr. Repair!


yeah, I am just getting that.  the fact that a GUID can be put into the import file in place of the values in the column(s) in question.  That had escaped me.   I had tried to put the GUIDs in as an additional column, which of course, was not going to work with the way I was configuring the datamap


I am relatively new to D365 and Powerapps. 


I will be changing the input file tonight, ugh!


I think Mr. Pogge was trying to get me to understand this concept and I didn't get it.  

Multi Super User
Multi Super User

There are other workarounds, but they get convoluted, E.g. you construct a unique value on the lookup buy concatenating fields and putting it in another field and using that field, if its an initial data import run a series fill down in Excel to get a sequential number and then use it (if the data already exists often the easiest is the GIUD).  If you do a lot of data import, you get used to using Excel functions such as VLookup etc, and you know that lookups are a pain in the backside so usually spend a fair bit of time verifying uniqueness and making unique.

Helper IV
Helper IV

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!

Super User
Super User

Awesome!  Can you mark accepted if possible?  Thanks much!  Drew

Hope this helps. Please accept if answers your question or Like if helps in any way.

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