Utility to merge duplicate user accounts

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1/8/2014 1:24:59 AM
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Utility to merge duplicate user accounts

For the frequent cases where a user ends up with two or more accounts (e.g. me on mojoportal.com!) an administrative utility to merge these, specifying the account to keep. This would reassign posts, merge roles, reassign authored features and pages, store purchases, etc, and finally bin the old account. I think duplicates often arise due to use of social sign in alongside manual registration.

This could be initiated by user request and carried out by an user with permissions to manage users.

Even better would be to facilitate and even automate this, and here's one possible way, which would be simple for the user while still preventing users hijacking other accounts: perhaps within "My Account", a tool to "Request Account Merge" which asks them to identify the account they are signed on as either "to keep" or "to delete", and enter a "pass code" for the deletion (a string which simply serves to cross-reference the accounts to be acted on). When they save this, we check for other accounts with that passcode, and check whether we have a target account specified, and if we do then the user is shown a confirmation warning and the merge takes place automatically (without admin action). If we do not, the user is shown feedback with guidance that they must mark at least two accounts with same passcode, with one account flagged as "to keep".

 

1/8/2014 1:05:00 PM
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Re: Utility to merge duplicate user accounts

In practice anything to move feature specific data from one user account to another would have to be implemented within the feature because only the feature has knowledge of its own data. mojoPortal core does not depend on features, and has no knowledge about feature specific data that may be related to a user.

WebStore feature for example does have built in functionality to move an order from one user account to another. I implemented this because 3-4 times a year I was moving orders by manual sql statements. over time it became worthwhile for me to work on it. Other scenarios such as moving forum posts might be nice to have and maybe get to it someday kind of thing but would have to be sponsored financially to make them a more immediate priority. If someone really needs to do it today they could write their own sql statements to do it so it isn't impossible for those who really want to do it but it is not a urgent problem that attracts my attention.

1/8/2014 5:56:06 PM
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Re: Utility to merge duplicate user accounts

Thanks for giving it some consideration.

I wonder, could you by any chance merge my two accounts ;-?

1/9/2014 11:42:08 AM
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Re: Utility to merge duplicate user accounts

which account do you want to keep?

1/11/2014 6:00:50 AM
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Re: Utility to merge duplicate user accounts

I was only kidding really, as I imagine this hard graft (hence my o.p.). But if it is possible then I'd keep the account that has our purchases - it's associated with an @esdm.co.uk address (not the one I am signed in with now). Most of my posts are associated with the @live.co.uk account and I'd want to keep them.

On a related note, would it be possible to enhance an existing account with more ways to sign in? On StackExchange, for example, you can add different sign in methods to your account, e.g. Google, Facebook. I believe they use Janrain.

I know it is already possible to add an OpenID to an existing account, but I can't seem to enable the nice things described on this documentation page https://www.mojoportal.com/using-openid.aspx - the settings form is not as shown on that page, and www.idselector.com no longer exists.

And on a site with Janrain enabled, I still cannot find a way to add a social sign-in to an existing account. Where the email addresses match, it appears to nicely map the social sign-in to the existing account, but often it doesn't (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft will all want you to have their flavour of email).

1/14/2014 11:46:49 AM
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Re: Utility to merge duplicate user accounts

open id and the old selector are legacy items that were never user friendly.

The recommended thing to use is Janrain as we use on this site.

When a user registers with Janrain the Open ID URI is populated on the user account and can be seen or edited from the manage users page and could even be moved from one account to another by an administrator. A random password is also generated upon registration but is not needed if logging in with Janrain but it could be used independently of Janrain to login if the user knows the password or gets it with password recovery.

If you'd like me to consolidate your accounts on this site I can do that but please email me privately with details of which email address you wish to use/keep and which to discard. Your other account which has your main purchase history appears to have an open id uri so that one should be able to login with Janrain or directly with the password.

joe [at] mojoportal dotcom

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