What is the difference between System Owned and Custom Attributes?

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Introduction

By assigning a user profile to one or multiple attributes, one can refer to a group of profiles by attribute segmentation. There are two types of attributes including System Owned and Custom Attributes, whereby the former has a combination of attribute values that are required, configured as defaults, and pre-populated by the system upon user creation. Unless marked as required, custom attributes are optional to form a part of the user creation process; the user data uploaded into GAN ICM should be structured to allow for effective segmentation and to enable user activity reporting. 

 

System Owned Attributes 

System Owned attributes form an integral part of the user profile. Unlike Custom attributes, the attribute-name for System Owned attributes are pre-defined and cannot be modified. The System Owned attributes can be grouped as follows:

Attributes required for the core functionality for user profiles:

  • Email – unique email address of the user
  • External ID – user id that is used in the real world
  • First name – a users name
  • Last name – a users name

Attributes that have default values pre-configured:

  • Archived – signifies whether or not a user profile can access the site
  • Language – a users language setting
  • Roles – access rights based on a combination of Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) as well as user-defined access control (Governance).

Attributes that are populated by the system upon creation of a user profile:

  • Created from – this indicates how a user record was created. Possible values are:
    • Self-registration
    • Comma Separated Values file (CSV) import
    • API
    • System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM)
    • User Interface (UI)

Note: System owned attributes cannot be used for criteria-based groups.

 

Custom Attributes 

Custom attributes that can be configured on the client instance, capture any additional data that should be part of a user profile. A non-exhaustive list of examples includes Department, Country, Date of Employment, etc. These are directly configurable in the UI and can be created by your Solution Delivery Manager or Account Manager at GAN as well as a user with the Compliance Manager role.

Attributes play an important role in the Integrated Compliance tool: 

Using an example, an attribute-name with the name Department that has the key-value Sales, which includes a group containing 10 user profiles. The Sales group is enrolled in a Campaign, where these users have received a welcome email at the point when the Campaign was published.

Now, if the Department attribute-name was changed to Division, the connected Campaign for the Sales group remains valid. However, existing users tied to the original attribute titled Department will not automatically update. The original 10 users will still be tied to the attribute of Department, but subsequent users will see the name changed to Division. Ensuing CSV imports will need to reflect the new attribute name. For an existing API integration, the connection to the field will not be affected by changing an attribute-name. 

Now, if the key-value of the attribute value Sales was changed to Inbound Sales then the original key-value is no longer valid, thus the 10 user profiles are not tied to the Group or the Campaign anymore via the shared attribute. Should they have completed the Campaign then their completion data remains stored, so if they signed a policy as part of the Campaign then that record remains unchanged. However, if the user profiles are re-introduced to the attribute key-value Sales by re-assigning the attribute for an individual user profile or by re-saving the Group, the active campaign will trigger a re-enrollment thus a welcome email will be sent for a task they may have already completed. 

In essence, any changes in attribute configurations made in the UI can have a significant impact on your instance of GAN ICM and can lead to irreversible asynchronous processes being automatically triggered.   

Note: Once created, a Custom Attribute cannot be deleted.

 

Want to know more? 

Suggested next read: How to prepare a formatted CSV file to import users into the GAN platform?

Questions are welcome

Contact us through your GAN Solution Delivery Manager, GAN Account Manager or GAN Support

 

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