What is a Third-party ID?
An ID that you assign to a Drillster account. From Drillster’s point of view, you are the third party, hence the name third party ID. (Drillster always assigns its own ID to each account, which is called the account ID). The TPID must be unique, meaning that no two of your users can have the same TPID.
Why use a Third-party ID?
It can help you to recognize and manage your accounts more easily. In many reports, but also in the Drillster API, the TPID is or can be used to identify an account. Using your own IDs avoids having to know the Drillster account ID for all of your accounts.
In some cases, using a TPID is mandatory. Some of the integrations that Drillster supports don’t use the Drillster account ID, but solely rely on a (from Drillster’s point of view) externally provided ID. An example is the Drillster SCORM integration. The ID that the SCORM protocol provides is used as TPID when an account is set up. Other integrations relying on TPIDs are all Single-Sign-On (SSO) solutions supported by Drillster.
Requirements for a Third-party ID.
The TPID can be anything, including text and numbers and other characters like hyphens, underscores, etc. The TPID is case sensitive and is not restricted in length. The TPID must have the following properties:
Unique: No two accounts can have the same TPID.
Immutable: The TPID of an account can’t be changed.
What should I use as a Third-party ID?
If you want or have to use TPIDs, you should take great care in selecting the right ID from your system. Selecting an ID that is not well suited to be used as TPID can quickly result in various identity-related problems once start using the TPID in the production environment. These problems could be having multiple Drillster accounts per user, or having your users accidentally signing in to each other’s Drillster accounts!
Don’t use an email address
First of all, the ID meets the unique and immutable requirements (see above). Immutability means that the ID will never change during the lifetime of the account. Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to use the email address as the ID. Although it is unique, it happens quite often that an email address changes, e.g. due to marital status changes, department or business unit changes, etc. The same applies to IDs that are otherwise based on the user’s name, e.g. “johndoe”. The best IDs are so-called synthetic IDs, that don’t have any meaning associated with them, such as randomly generated IDs or UUIDs.
Typically, a personnel number that is generated by your HR system is an excellent candidate, assuming that all your users have one.