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External Key Fields
External Key Fields

Updating data from an external system can leverage an ID from that external system.

Bryan Nye avatar
Written by Bryan Nye
Updated over a week ago

When importing data, MetaLocator can use multiple methods to identify whether an existing record is a match for a record that is being imported.  Once identified as a match, MetaLocator can then update that existing record, or skip it based on your preference. MetaLocator recommends the use of an external key in all but the simplest applications.

To create an external key field navigate to Data and select Fields. Select New in the upper right and name the External Key Field. Select the External Key field from the Field Type dropdown and select save. If creating a composite key add the fields that will be combined to create the key under the composite key section:

The methods used by MetaLocator to identify an existing record as a match for a record being imported are as follows, these rules apply when using the API or manually importing data in bulk:

  1. Address:  The system can compare the 'address', 'city', 'state', 'postalcode' and 'country' fields.  If each field matches exactly, the system will consider the record as a match.

  2. MetaLocator ID:  When exporting data, or creating data using the Data Management API, the MetaLocator-assigned ID number can be provided.  This unique key, if provided under the "ID" column when importing, can be used to uniquely identify a record.

  3. External Key:  Within the account Fields, a special type of field called "External Key" can be created.  The External Key field can only contain unique values. Additionally, only one External Key field can be created per table.  When importing data, if an external key is found, MetaLocator will use that column as the method to uniquely identify that record.  External Key fields can be used to maintain synchronization with an external system.

  4. Composite External Key: Keys can also be comprised of multiple elements in the imported data. In this case, the key is created on-the-fly based on other values in the data import. When creating the field, choose External Key as the field type, and enter the field values as a CSV list of "safe" field names as shown


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