Configuring contact matching

When users submit information through forms on your website, AbleOrganizer will look at the contact information being submitted and attempt to identify duplicate contact records that may already exist in the database. This process is called Contact Matching, it refers to the logical rules in place for identifying duplicate contacts.

AbleOrganizer comes with a set of tools for identifying duplicate contacts in your system. It is preconfigured with a set of basic matching rules, which you can modify on your own.

Configuring matching rules

For each contact type in AbleOrganizer, you will find a set of rules for identifying duplicate contacts records.

Matching rules work off a points-based system, where matches (or partial matches) on individual fields increase the score for a particular contact record. Once the score (called a threshhold) has been exceeded, a contact record is considered a match. AbleOrganizer will always take the highest scored contact record and use that as the ultimate match.

There is a separate interface for administering the matching rules for each contact type. The interface for each looks similar to the one depicted in the following screenshot.

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When configuring this screen, the things you want to pay attention to include:

  • The Enable Checkbox, which must be checked for contact matching to be enabled for the selected contact type. If this is unchecked, AbleOrganizer will not look for duplicate contacts for the selected contact type.
  • The Threshold, which must be a numeric value. This is the score that a contact must exceed in order to be considered a match.
  • The Fields. To enable matching on a specific field, check the box to the left of the field name. Assign a numeric value to the field in the checkbox all the way to the right.

Administering matching engines

Matching rules are created and administered through something else called a matching engine. Matching engines are small applications that extend AbleOrganizer to provide specific ways to identify duplicate contacts.

AbleOrganizer comes with a single matching engine called Default Matching Engine. This matching engine can be found on the Matching Engine administration page.

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Over time, the list of matching engines supplied with AbleOrganizer will grow, and you will see new entries on this page. What is important to understand about matching engines is that they are applied in order, from top to bottom, and that the order of engines can affect the results that are returned. This screen has a drag and drop interface for controlling the order in which matching engines process, and you can move matching engines up and down by dragging the icon to the left of the name.