Case-insensitive identifiers and emails in Alma
Case sensitivity in computer programs determines how fields values are treated. Case-sensitive means that the computer program only matches values with the same case (lower/upper). Case-insensitive means the program ignores case and matches values regardless of their lower or upper case letters, e.g. “My Name” = “my name”).
Alma has always treated primary identifiers in user records as case-insensitive. So if you searched for a user with the primary ID of “jsmith”, the user record whose primary ID is actually “JSmith” would be found. However, email addresses and additional identifiers were always considered case-sensitive in Alma. When searching for a value you needed to know exactly how it was stored in Alma. From the September 2018 release, two significant changes have been made.
Now Alma ignore case when searching for email addresses. This means that when searching for an email in Alma in lower case, as below (‘firstname.lastname@example.org’):
We find the regardless of how the email is stored (‘Josh.Weisman@test.com’):
This is especially important for those who use the “Login via email” option for authentication. Now regardless of which case a user enters their email in the email field, s/he will be able to receive the magic login link to their email mailbox:
In addition, searching for a user record via the Retrieve Users API will yield results regardless of the case of the email address:
For customers who’s first test load occurred after June 2018, Alma will treat additional identifiers as case-insensitive as well. This means that when searching for a student ID which includes letters, you can search a value in any case (i.e. ‘BV123456’):
And Alma will treat the value as lowercase (i.e. ‘bv123456’):
This is helpful when searching for user records by additional identifier or when using an additional identifier to authenticate in Alma.
In addition, when searching for a user by additional identifiers using the Retrieve Users API, the record will be found regardless of the case provided:
This new behavior should make it easier to work with email address and additional identifiers in Alma user records.