In addition to the Person and Application scoped system IDs and the record GUID generated automatically in Slate, Slate allows the creation of custom text fields that can hold external IDs or other unique record specific values. External IDs stored in Slate can be used for matching to records on import and via forms and play a critical part in integrations.
The default unique for merging setting for a text field is Do not use value for merging. When set to Value contains a unique ID which identifies a single record for merging, Slate will use the value of the custom field to match onto records in the dataset.
To create a Unique for Merging field create a Text field using Field Editor, then update the Unique for Merging Setting to Value contains a unique ID which identifies a single record for merging.
Example Unique for Merging Fields
A nine-character text field could be set as a Unique ID. If a record has the value 123456789 in this field, no other record in that dataset could have that same value. If another record were to be added to the Dataset with the value123456789 in this field, Slate would merge the existing and the incoming records together.
The Consolidate Records tool will also use this field to find potential matching records. Configuring unique fields is important when uploading data from external systems (for example, unique system IDs) into Slate.
A custom field should only be configured as unique if each record is guaranteed to have a unique value for the field. Examples of unique custom fields include:
- SIS ID
- Banner ID
- CommonApp ID
- Questbridge ID
Be careful when mapping a data import to multiple unique for merging fields: the import may use any of the unique for merging fields to match a candidate application or person.
Similarly, collecting values publicly (that is, through a public-facing form) to unique for merging fields can result in record collisions if transcription errors occur.
Please refer to the following articles for further information on how matching criteria and ordering works: