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Working with Person-scoped and Application-scoped Unique Identifiers

Identifiers and Integration

Unique identifiers are important for successful data integration. Two types of data are transferred:

  • information about an applicant (person-scoped)
  • information about an application (application-scoped)

Person-scoped information is relevant to the applicant regardless of the program applied to. Things like birthdate, name, and email address are person-scoped information. Application-scoped information is specific to an application to a particular program and isn't relevant to applications to other programs. Things like area of study, degree, and start term are application-scoped information. Uniquely identifying each person and application record as it moves from Liaison's systems to your local systems makes it easy to avoid serious data errors like duplication and overwriting.

CAS ID: Unique to the Person

The CAS ID (usually named according to the specific CAS, such as "EngineeringCAS ID" or "PTCAS ID") is an identifier unique to the person. One person will have the same CAS ID for each program she applies to. So, a CASPA applicant applying to the Physician's Assistant programs at University ABC and University XYZ will have the same CAS ID. Furthermore, the CAS ID sticks to a person from cycle to cycle and even from CAS to CAS. So, a person who applies to a program in PTCAS 2018-2019 will have the same CAS ID if he applies to a program in PTCAS 2019-2020. And a person who applies to a program in SOPHAS 2019-2020 will have the same CAS ID if she applies to a program in NursingCAS 2019-2020. The CAS ID is appropriate to use as a person-scoped identifier in your local systems.

Note: When you register for a CAS, a CAS ID is assigned to you. You can create separate and distinct CAS accounts if you represent yourself differently during the creation of each account.

Application-Scoped IDs

When loading application-scoped data to local systems, you'll want to uniquely identify the application for smooth matching. Here are the best ways to do that across Liaison's portals.

WebAdMIT

Concatenating the CAS ID and the Program ID produces a unique application-scoped ID. Both of these fields are available in the Export Manager and the PDF Template Manager (in the customizable file name template). The CAS ID uniquely identifies the person, and the Program ID uniquely identifies the program applied to. An applicant can only apply to a given program once per cycle, so you can be sure that a single applicant can only have a Program ID once per cycle. Furthermore, each program's ID is specific to the cycle of the application. Even if the institution offers the same program of study with the same details (degree level, start term, etc.) in the next admissions cycle, the programs have different IDs in each cycle. That means you can be sure that even if an applicant applies to the same program of study in two different cycles, the application-scoped ID created by concatenating CAS ID and Program ID will be unique.

Field Export Manager PDF Manager
CAS ID Field category: "Applicant"
Field name: "[CAS] ID"
Field category: "Applicant"
Field name: "[CAS] ID"
Program ID Field category: "Designation"
Field name: "Program Identifier"
Field category: "Document Properties"
Field name: "Program ID"
CAS API

Concatenating the CAS ID and the Program ID produces a unique application-scoped ID. Both of these fields are available in the GET Application payload. The CAS ID uniquely identifies the person, and the Program ID uniquely identifies the program applied to. An applicant can only apply to a given program once per cycle, so you can be sure that a single applicant can only have a Program ID once per cycle. Furthermore, each program's ID is specific to the cycle of the application. Even if the same institution offers the same program of study with the same details (degree level, start term, etc.) in the next admissions cycle, the programs will have different IDs in each cycle. That means you can be sure that even if an applicant applies to the same program of study in two different cycles, the application-scoped ID created by concatenating CAS ID and Program ID will be unique.

Note: The CAS API allows you to return details from a single applicant's applications to multiple programs. Calls to GET Application that don't specify a program can return payloads that contain application-scoped information from more than one application. For application-scoped data transfer, ityou should make all GET Application calls at the program level so that each payload contains information for a single application. Operating under this paradigm would return different payloads for a single applicant with multiple applications: one for each application.

Field Node Node 2 Node 3 Node 4
CAS ID casApplicantId      
Program ID (API v1) programMaterials organizations programsSelected programId
Program ID (API v2) programMaterials programsSelected programId  
Admissions by Liaison

It's possible to export a single, application-scoped unique ID from Admissions by Liaison. So there's no need to manufacture an application-scoped ID by concatenating other elements. Use either the "Public ID" or the "Internal ID" field under the "Application" field category to export a unique application-scoped ID. The "Public ID" is a short numeric ID and the "Internal ID" is a long alphanumeric ID. Since both are unique, the choice of which to use depends on the constraints of your target system. For example, some systems have character limit constraints, so the shorter "Public ID" would likely be a better choice.

Field Category Field Name Format
Application Public ID Short numeric
Application Internal ID Long alphanumeric

 

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