FAQ: Can I use Email as the Match-On Field for my Datafeed?

by C.W. Holeman III

While you can use email as the match-on field for your datafeed, we generally recommend against it. Here's some context:

Whatever you use as the match on field will be central to the datafeed. If you are using company-distributed & controlled email addresses, these can work, though not without issue.

However, if each user may have an address @gmail.com, or @yahoo.com, or... etc. and they update their email address on the Wisetail site, then the next time that the datafeed runs (each day), no existing user would be found with the email address provided in the datafeed file. This would lead to the user's account being disabled, and a new, empty, account being created.

This can also happen with company-managed email addresses. Most company email addresses are something like [FirstInitial][LastName]@company.com. For example:

If you have a user, Rosie Cotton, her email address would be RCotton@Shire.place. If Rosie then gets married to Samwise Gamgee --changing her name to Rosie Gamgee-- then there is a mismatch. Either she has to keep using an email address that no longer reflects her new surname, or her email address is updated in your HRIS to RGamgee@shire.place.  If the latter happens, as is typical, then her existing account on your Wisetail site will be deactivated, leaving you with a manual mess to clean up.

This is why it is generally a bad idea to use email as a match on field in a datafeed.

We recommend any value that you have in your HRIS that is a unique & static value. This field can be set up on your Wisetail site as an Invisible field, which even the users themselves cannot see (only admins can). This provides a reference point that the datafeed can use to keep your users working as expected.


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