Database entry - avoiding duplicate records
I'm working on a web application, and the application allows people to enter, edit, and search for people. I have one table that stores all people, and an autonumber is automatically assigned to a person when they are entered. Therefore, since I'm using an autonumber as a primary key, there is the possibility that a person can be duplicated.
I want to avoid duplicates as much as possible. I've thought of 2 solutions, but I'd really like to hear more. Here's what I have:
- Don't provide the user with a link to the entry page until they've ran a search (i.e., the link to the entry page is on the search page).
- After submission on the entry page and before the record is written, show a list of possible candidates for the information that was entered. If the person already exists, they can cancel the entry process.
What are some other techniques I can use to avoid duplicate names?