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I have a database full of records of people with simple information like first name, last name, email, location, ... . I need to eliminate the duplicate records. As I've search the process is called "duplicate elimination in Data Cleansing". Does anyone know a good open source tool to do that?

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What RDBMS ? Is it using TSQL or PL/SQL ? –  Kin May 28 '13 at 2:21

2 Answers 2

Using T-SQL & PL/SQL, you can use ROW_NUMBER() OVER (PARTITION BY) to find and delete duplicate records in a Table.

Refer to some best examples Removing Duplicates from a Table in SQL Server and How can I remove duplicate rows? as well as Oracle 'Partition By' and 'Row_Number' keyword

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The thing is my duplicate records are not exactly the same. two records may differ in one field or more. –  AliBZ May 28 '13 at 16:47
@AliBZ In that case, I would recommend you highlighting the duplicate records (selecting) and then asking your Business owners to decide it. If you refer to the links that I have mentioned, then it has all scenarios of finding duplicate records. Also, if the same record differs in one or more field then how is it a Duplicate ? Post create table statement with some data and your expected results to help you better –  Kin May 28 '13 at 16:58

For PostgreSQL you can do so with a "simple" SQL statement which may apply to other SQL databases with little or no tweaks:


Note that it deletes all entries that have a higher ID, better to know that...

DELETE FROM tablename
         row_number() over (partition BY column1, column2, column3 ORDER BY id) AS rnum
         FROM tablename) t
  WHERE t.rnum > 1);
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