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Identity and Access Management

PUID System On-Line Documentation

The PUID system assigns PUIDs to persons and gives authorized staff the ability to verify persons' relationships with the University. The PUID is a ten-digit identification number, formatted as xxxxx-xxxxx and assigned to each person based on his or her unique relationship with the University. The ability to determine whether the person is or has been a student or an employee is important, especially when information about that person needs to be shared across systems.

The PUID is not considered to be a public identifier, and should not be published in a directory or used as an identifier externally to the Purdue University system.

The Purdue Person Search (PPS) Application

The Purdue Person Search (PPS) application provides web access to the data stored by the PUID system, and it provides facilities for managing PUID system data.

Who owns the PUID system and PPS application?

Information Technology at Purdue (ITAP) owns the PUID system and the PPS application. Data from participating operational systems are fed to the PUID system, and are stored in an Oracle database accessible through I2A2 login. For additional information look here.

The data owners currently include Student Services and Human Resource Services, although it is anticipated that other offices will be added. Each office has designated staff members who are system users. System users have been granted access to the PPS application. System users are responsible for adding new people to Purdue University systems and provide daily support to PUID. The integrity of the data included in the PUID system is the responsibility of the data owners.

Who is in the PUID system?

The PUID system was populated in March 2000 with any person who had a student (SI) record or a employee (HRS) record. Students and Purdue University employees from all Purdue campuses are included in the database.

Requesting Access to the PUID System - The PPS Application

Access to the PUID system is through the PPS application. Requests for access are made through the Data Steward in either the Human Resource Services or Student Services. See the following URL for the name and contact information for the Data Stewards:

To request PPS access, use the Purdue Person Search Access Form and submit it to the appropriate Data Steward.

In making access requests, the data owner must identify the Purdue University employee and the business need. Once the Data Steward has approved the access request, the staff member is given access to PPS.

The Data Steward will use PPS to verify the employee and department. Within the same application, the Data Steward also will confirm whether the employee's career account is "coordinated" with other accounts the staff member has. If the accounts are not coordinated, the person's alias will be the PUID. To be able to access the PUID system, the employee must have a Purdue University career account. The Data Steward will contact the employee and direct them to the ITaP Customer Service Center to coordinate their accounts, or complete a Form 10. For additional information on coordinated logins, look here.

The Data Steward, collaboratively with the data owner, decides the type of access rights that are granted to the system user. Possible assignments include: PUID read only access; and update capability to records for one or more relationships. In addition, the Data Steward and the data owner can decide whether the person who is given rights can update capability to other staff. The latter assignment is typically done for someone who supervises a work area.

How PUID Works

Each night the PUID system is fed updates from each participating system. Currently, Human Resource Services (HRS) and Student Information (SI) are the participating systems. The first update to the PUID system changes system keys, specifically the student identification number from the Student system and the Operational System ID (OpSysID) from the HRS system. The second update is made from data that have changed in the participating system. These are changes to data in records that are in the PUID system and new records that have not been added to the PUID system. Changes to system keys and changes to data in existing PUID records will update automatically.

Records are automatically added to the PUID system if:

  • The new record has no high or medium score matches on name, birth date, and system key to any other record in the PUID system (see Scoring). As a result, a new PUID is assigned and the person is added to the PUID system;
  • The new record has one and only one high score match on the PUID system, and it is to a person with a different relationship to the University (see Scoring). For example, a new employee record matching a student relationship. In this case, the new employee relationship is connected to the existing PUID record.

Otherwise, the record is sent to "Suspense" (see Managing the Suspense List).

The system users in the central offices must review records placed "in suspense". The review entails determining whether the person is a new person requiring a PUID or is the same person with a pre-existing PUID. See Managing the Suspense List.

Each day, the system users with update capability to the PUID system receive notification about the previous evening's transactions. Within the notification, the system users are informed about records that were updated with operational system identification changes, the number of people added to the system, and the number of people who were not added to the system (i.e. "suspense" records). In addition, e-mail notifications are sent to system users that identify people with similar operational system identifications and the same PUID or the same operational system identifications and different PUIDs. These data integrity conflicts must be resolved as well and corrections made in the appropriate operational system and within PUID. See Mechanics of deleting records and clean-up in the authoritative source (Student).

How Will New People be Added to PUID?

New people will be added to the PUID system through nightly batch feeds from the HRS systems and the Student systems. New people also will be added "on-line" from managing the Suspense list. There is a manual override to enter new people to the system that is currently available to I2A2 administration only, since a PKI certificate is required. This override is a secure web interface that supplements the manual process for staff and precedes the batch update. This is sometimes necessary to overcome a gap between when service and privileges for a person is needed but before the person is populated in the operational systems.

How Will Service Departments be Able to use PUID?

Central offices that provide service to students and employees that include computer accounts for courses, e-mail accounts, identification cards, library access etc., receive nightly files from the HRS and Student systems. In the future, the PUID will be included in these files as part of nightly processing. I2A2 will associate PUIDs with sets of characteristics to determine the type of access to resources for which the person is eligible. These resources might include establishing an e-mail account, access to a data account for a class, receiving class rosters, privileges at service offices such as the Libraries and Card Services.

Departments currently using the Social Security Number (SSN) as an identifier or database key should migrate to use of the PUID, per the Social Security Number Policy (V.5.1). Currently, departments can use PUID/I2A2 to provide access control (authorization) to their applications and services.

Support for PUID

The IT Security and Policy division will handle support for I2A2 and PUID applications. Questions about a person's identity and their relationship(s) with the University should be referred to central offices, such as Human Resource Services, the Office of Admissions, the Office of the Registrar, the Graduate School, or the Office of International Students and Scholars.

The PUID project team, that includes the PUID system users and the I2A2 administrators, receives e-mail each day summarizing the nightly batch processing from either Student or HRS systems. The message confirms that the batch process occurred and summarizes the number of records that were added, updated, added to suspense, or edits. The system users are responsible for the quality assurance of people in the PUID system and have a vested interest in the ability to identify one's identity and to track the many relationships the person has with the University.

To Begin Using the PUID Application
(For Authorized System Users)

Go to the following URL to begin to use the PUID system. System users will be prompted for their career account login and password (BoilerKey is typically required).

Using PUID for Lookup

The next screen that will be displayed is the home page for the Purdue Person Search. The system user must place the cursor in the box under "NAME" and enter the name of the person for whom verification is needed.

The next screen that will be displayed is a list of all the people who match on the name criteria selected. The data that are displayed include the person's full name, the birth date, the system (such as student and campus, HRS if an employee), the status (such as school of enrollment, department if an employee), and the system identification. The system identification shows the most recent activity on that person, such as last date of attendance. If the person is an employee, the position title of the person is displayed.

By scrolling through the list, the user can select the person for whom they are searching or confirm that the person entered does not have a previous relationship. If the person exists, the user can click on that person's name and obtain more detailed information about that person. Information displayed includes the name, operational system ID, gender, birth date, relationship(s) with the University, and address. If some information is restricted, the record will be marked with "***". On the individual record detail, a warning is highlighted and the type of information, such as "restricted data: omit home phone" is displayed.

Managing the Suspense List

It is estimated that more than 90% of new records can be automatically handled by the PUID system. The remaining 5% to 10% are put on the suspense list and require a review by a system user. Suspense records are given a "reason" which indicates how many and what kinds of matches were found.

These reasons are:

  • Multiple high-score matches -- more than one high score match was found, indicating that the new record is quite likely one of these people, but the system cannot be certain which one.

  • Multiple medium-score matches -- more that one medium score match was found, indicating that the new record might be one of these people, but likely not.

  • Single medium-score match -- one and only one match was found on the PUID system, but it was not a close enough match to be certain this is the same person.

  • Single match found; same relationship / different System ID -- one and only one high score match was found on the PUID system, but it is for the same relationship as the new record. For instance, a new employee record matches only to another employee relationship in PUID. It could be a duplicate record has been created in the participating system, or a system key change was missed, or it is a new record for a person who very closely resembles a person already on the PUID system (such as a twin).


Determining whether a record is added to the PUID database or placed in "suspense" is done through a score that is derived from comparisons of data fields within PUID. These comparisons are made on name, gender, date of birth, and operational system identification number.

  • If gender or date of birth is missing in either the searching or the found record, and if the operational system identification number begins with 999, the high score is above 100. (That prevents name-only matches.) A medium score is 99-100 and a low score is 98 and below. Note that neither date of birth nor gender are required fields in the HRS system, and are not present for many new student employees.

  • If gender and date of birth are present, the high score is 86 and above and the medium score is 75-85.

  • Matches on gender are scored at 100%; a miss is 50%. Matches on gender will raise the overall score, particularly if other criteria are missing (date of birth) or ignored (999- operational system identification numbers).

  • Operational system identification numbers that are present, both begin with 999 and do not match do not contribute to the score.

  • In cases where the "Found" records have no date of birth, no gender, and the "Searching for" record has an operational identification number that begins with 999-, more records will be returned as "Found".

  • The count summarized on the Suspended Record Matches is based on the number of people who had high or medium score matches with the "Searching for" person. People with scores less than the range for medium scores are reviewed, but not displayed for those managing suspended records. Instead this population is noted in the count as "count=5 of 125 examined".

  • The name finder software considers some syllables as name prefixes. Some examples include Di, De, Mc, O, etc. Name prefixes are combined into the following word for processing; for instance "di Angelo" is treated as "Diangelo".

  • The name finder software also defines some letter combinations as "noise" words, words that do not add understanding to a name, such as Mr. Many of these would be commonly found in company names, such as And, Inc, Co, The, etc. Most of the noise word definitions are being removed, and these changed definitions are now in testing.

  • The composition and length of international names, particularly Asian names, and the inclusion of a 999- operational system identification number, mean that more records will be held in suspense.

The system users with update capability are responsible for managing the suspense list, as identified by the data owners. Such records are those for which the system is uncertain whether the person is the same as one already in the PUID system or a new person that should be added. A manual review within the central offices entails an investigation of information found in core data systems or, in some cases, paper records, to verify the person's identity. A variety of reasons for how a record becomes held in suspense, including data entry errors, use of another person's Social Security Number, or names that are slightly different between the HRS and Student systems. To review records held in suspense, the system user must click on the "Process Suspense" link at the bottom of the Purdue Person Search page.

Purdue Person - Suspended Records Count

The Suspended Records Count page shows a list of relationships with which the system user is set up to work and the number of suspended updates for each. Each count is a link that takes the system user to the next page, which is a list of suspended updates for that relationship.

Purdue Person - Process Suspended Records

The Process Suspended Records list is arranged first in date sequence, from oldest to most recent and then alphabetically by the person's name. Currently, the list shows name, operational system identification number, gender, birth date, and the reason the record was placed in suspense.

Clicking on any name in the suspense list will re-do the match to existing records in the PUID system, and display the resulting matches. If updates have been made in PUID since the automatic update, the match list may vary from the reason shown.

Purdue Person - Suspended Records Matches

The Suspended Record Matches list first shows information about the suspended update that needs to be processed ("Searching for"). The list of matches ("Found") is arranged by descending match score, to show the best matches first, and then alphabetically.

Each entry shows name, birth date, relationship, and system status and identification. The content of these last two fields varies for each relationship; for Student relationships, system status contains school and classification, and identification contains the year and session for which the person last attended or applied. For HRS relationships, the system status contains the home department name, and the identification contains their job title.

A person may be listed more than once in the "Found" list if they have more than one relationship or name that meets the matching criteria. All the relationships and names are shown on the Suspense Match Details page and accessed by selecting a name from the "Found" list.

The response time to display this page varies depending on the number of name matches found in the PUID system, which in turn depends on the commonality of the name parts. The most common seem to be names that are of Asian origin.

Only medium- or high-score matches are listed; a count shown at the end of the match list shows how many matches are displayed, and the total number of names compared.

Choices - options listed on this page include:

  • Show more info for match to PUID - If a Suspense Match Details page for a PUID not listed is needed, enter the PUID and click the "Submit" button. This might be needed if the system user knows that a match exists, but the name / date of birth / operational system identification are not close enough to give at least a medium-score match.
  • Add as a New Person to the People database - Following the examination of all matches displayed, including the Suspense Match Details page, the system user reaches the conclusion that the suspended record (listed as "Searching for") is a new person to PUID. Clicking this link will create records in the PUID system for this person / relationship, assigning a new PUID.
  • Delete the "Searching For" - Following the examination of all matches displayed, including the Suspense Match Details page, the system user reaches the conclusion that the suspended record (listed as "Searching for") should not be added to the PUID system. By clicking on this link the record will be not be added to PUID and the system user is instructed to delete the record from the operational system (Student or HRS). The record also will be deleted from the Suspense list.
  • Go Back to the list of suspense records - By clicking on this choice, the system user has completed the examination of the matches and concluded that there is not enough information to decide how to process this suspended record. Clicking this link will re-build the "Process Suspended Records" list. Note that the "back" button on the system user's browser may return to the Suspense Records list more quickly. The difference is speed versus listing only those suspended records that have not been processed yet.
  • People search page - clicking this link will cause the initial search page to be displayed.

Handling Unusual Cases -- Merging, Splitting, and Deleting

Each of these unusual cases starts with an essential similarity -- a person has a relationship to the University established where it does not belong.

Handling each case starts with an essential similarity also. The errant relationship must be "deleted" from where it is. This will create an entry in Suspense for this relationship.

Then the Suspense entry is processed using normal Suspense processing to add the relationship to an existing person (Merge), create a new PUID (Split), or delete the Suspense entry (Delete).

Merging - Where One Person has Two PUIDs

The system user will select merge when it has been discovered that the same person has been issued two or more PUIDs. This can occur when relationships for a person were not identified as belonging to the same person when they were created. The system user will need to merge the relationships from two PUIDs into a single PUID.

Splitting - Where Relationships for Two People have One PUID

The system user will select split when it has been found that relationships for two different people have been incorrectly identified as being for one person.

Deleting - To Eliminate a Relationship

The system user will select delete when it has been found that the same person has been set up with multiple PUIDs and the relationship for this system ID is a duplicate and is being deleted from the Operational system.

Business Rules on Managing Suspense Records

  • The suspense records are arranged in chronological order based on the date for which they were placed in suspense. The earliest date is at the top of page one, while the most recent list is at the bottom of the list. System users must begin at the top of the page with the oldest records. The reason for taking records in date sequence is that some people may be found on suspense for a more recent date. This is particularly true if a person makes more than one application for admission.

  • "Searching for" -- is a person for whom an attempt was made to assign a PUID, a person (or people) in the PUID database was "found" who looked very similar to the "searching for" person.

  • The system user should check the information displayed for the "searching for" person with the same information displayed for the "found" records to help decide whether the "searching for" person is the same person as a "found" record. The "found" record is a person who is already in the PUID database and has been assigned a PUID.

  • If additional information is needed, the system user can click on "show details" to display additional information, such as address information.

  • FOUND -- is a person who already has a PUID; SEARCHING FOR -- is a person who has not been issued a PUID.

  • For student records, use the Student Information Teleprocessing System (SITP) as the authoritative source for information to verify data about the "search for" person.

  • For employee records, use Payroll (PATP) or Personnel (PEDB) as the authoritative source for information to verify data about the "search for" person.

  • In cases where there are multiple records for the same person, one's business processes for the individual office will help determine which record is the "parent".

  • The Active Reflector status is displayed following batch processing where a person's relationship is not active. The Active Reflector allows for an override where the person has been identified by a service provider as eligible for a service, but in looking to provide the rights, doesn't find that person to assign the rights. An example would be a student enrolled at Calumet, but one of his classes meets at West Lafayette. The person is not enrolled at West Lafayette but has been identified as being eligible for a computer account for her course work. The Active Reflector is set to activate that person, which will then make her eligible to have the account established.

  • Why is it that we cannot update or add a new relationship? The reason is that there could have been a substantial change to the record that was processed after the record was placed in suspense. The application is saying that this relationship already exists in PUID. What fields contribute to scoring and in what order? The operational system identification number (OpSysID) is checked and the record is compared with the PUID database. The NAME is checked, followed by the operational system ID. If the OpSysID is a '999', the record is skipped; the application continues its check of the date of birth field followed by gender.

  • In handling records where it's the same person but a different OpSysID, the system user must first determine what OpSysID is tied to the official record. Effort should be taken to contact the person to determine which number should be used -- especially if the different OpSysIDs include a 999-number and a Social Security number. Depending on the decision, the system user must first clean up the authoritative source record if it is tied to the identification number that will not be used; re-enter the application under the identification number that will be the official OpSysID; delete the record with the "old" OpSysID; and fix the records in PUID.

  • Records that were created through the Active Reflector but show up on Suspense should be added as a "New Relationship".

Student Specific Issues:

  • For student records, the "Most Recently Attended" message does not necessarily mean that a record is present for the student. The person may have been accepted, but never enrolled and the academic record screen may return a "no record found" message. In such cases, the system user must verify whether the person has any application record to confirm. If an application record is not found, it could mean that the person was fixed through an OpSysID change or deleted from the authoritative source file (mainframe, SITP). If no application or academic record is found, the suspense manager should delete the "Searching For" record within PUID since the person has no relationship with Purdue.

  • People with a fee residence code of 300 or higher are international students. If the school is "GR", the Graduate School will resolve; if the school is not "GR", International Students and Scholars will resolve if the person is an applicant.

  • For students, if an "SI" record is present, the custodian flag will help identify which office is the data owner for that record.

  • Multiple OpSysIDs that are associated with multiple student admissions applications will require investigation by the central offices to determine which OpSysID is correct. The process should include fixing the record in the authoritative source file (SITP) or within SIS or Graduate School's database, then fixing the record in PUID on the same day. Note: The correct record may or may not be associated with the oldest date. This is regardless of the academic level for which subsequent applications are received and regardless of whether an academic record is present.

  • If an academic record is present, retain the record and the PUID. New PUIDs are not issued to persons submitting graduate applications under a different SID.

Mechanics of Deleting Records and Clean-Up in the Authoritative Source (Student)

  • When deleting a record held in Suspense, the system user must fix the deleted record in the SI, SIS and/or the Graduate School database. Within the SI, delete records on Screen 1R. Enter option "1", and enter four (4) Xs in the SID line. The user will be prompted with "SI record being deleted". Enter "YES" to confirm the deletion.

  • CAUTION: if the user wishes to re-enter the application or work with another student, the user must either exit from the SI or enter the SID for another student.

  • The message "Not Authorized For Inquiry - Z0Z0" can be resolved by going to an admissions screen within SITP (0G, 0A, or 0S). At this screen, the user must create an application to populate fields on the screen. Then toggle to screen 1R and delete the SI record, using the instructions in the previous bullet.

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