Unique Contact Emergency Priorities

OpeningAre you having trouble keeping contacts in order? Do you find individual students wind up with a number of contacts with a priority of 1 or 0? Use Aspen functionality to force priorities to be unique.

Each contact should have a unique Emergency Priority, but Aspen will allow you to enter the same value multiple times. This can result in the system returning an unexpected result when a report, export, or field set is set to display the higher priority contact.

You can leverage the User Unique Fields option on the details of a data table to require each contact to have a unique Emergency Priority.

Enforce Unique Priorities

User Unique Fields are used to identify fields to be unique within a table. There are a number of ways fields can be set to be unique. Entering the OID’s of fields can result in the following conditions:

  1. Single field – example: stdEnrType – this field must be unique, no two records can store the same value.
  2. Combination fields – example: stdEnrType,stdEnrStatus – this combination of fields (separated by commas) together must be unique
  3. Multiple unique conditions – example: stdIdState|stdEnrType – each field (separated by pipes) must be unique on its own
  4. Multiple and combinations – example: stdIdState|stdEnrType,stdEnrStatus – State ID must be unique on its own, and the combination of type and status together must unique

We’ll leverage this by using the student contact’s emergency priority number and the student’s unique record OID together to create a combination.  We’ll set this up on the Student Contact table.  This is the join table that connects the Student table to the Contact table. It stores values such as Receives grade mailing, Has portal access, and specifically the Emergency priority. One contact can be associated with many students, but the values stored in Student Contact are specific to each student and contact relationship.

In the User Unique Fields on the Student Contact table enter:  ctjEmergncyPri,ctjStdOID. ctjEmergncyPri is the Emergency priority field and ctjStdOid is the related student object identifier, or value that links the contact to a specific student.  Those two fields together will require that each combination of emergency priority and student contact be unique.


Save and Reload your Data Dictionary.  Now whenever a contact record is saved you will be required to have unique Emergency Priority for the contacts that student is related to.


By leveraging the User Unique Fields option you can keep all your student contact priorities in order by forcing them to be unique.

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