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RE: Connecting web users to their pre-existing data

From: Adrian <>
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 16:18:52 -0000
Message-ID: <>

My old university did this recently.

They did a physical mailshot to alumni's providing a unique randomized alphanumeric string, with details of the website to go to. I guess an email with this kind of content would be fine too.

Once the unique string was entered, the https website asked a couple of questions based on personal information and that which only the university would know.

If you got it wrong there was a phone number to call to sort the mess.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of stv
Sent: 26 January 2007 22:21
Subject: Connecting web users to their pre-existing data

I'm sure this has been solved, or at least thought about, many times. But I'm not sure what terms I should be using to begin my research.

We have a ten-year-old database with 200,000 names, addresses, etc. One of our long-range goals is to properly expose user data to users so they can access it, modify it, and so forth.

Obviously, we'll want to do this via the web. Obviously we'll want to have our security procedures nailed (there's no financial data or anything dangerous like SSN anywhere in the database).

Where should I start my search for methods for connecting un-authenticated users to pre-existing data. We're a non-profit Oracle shop in the US (middle-of-nowhere). Is there a term for this process? It's not a data scrub, per se, but that is part of the process (and, hopefully, part of the outcome as users connect to their data and update it).

We maintain old address/phone/email information in our database. We also maintain a lot of "relationships"--parents-children and spouse-spouse--with the same address information (but kids move out and so do spouses).

We also have data unique to our organization (courses: title, date, location etc). Right now address changes are done via a simple form-email. User queries about their course history are handled over the phone or email.

Our first step will be to get a major update of all our address data via one of the credit bureaus (Trans Union). This will allow us to have up-to-date data users can verify/correct.

Following that, there are several options:

I realize this is vague. What I'm looking for is direction: search terms, general patterns, industry standards, etc.

--Steve Smith (stv)


Received on Sat Jan 27 2007 - 10:18:52 CST

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