I am preparing to do an import of a lot of data, and I want to properly map my data into CiviCRM. This is primarily for event participants of various kinds, so I exported the basic participation data to use as a template. There is a column therein called "Unique ID (OpenID)" that I can't locate in the Contact view or anywhere else. Some of our data already in CiviCRM has this populated, some not. It could have been populated via original import and is completely useless. Or not?!? I don't know.

I have tried googling for the answer, and all I come up with are two pages from the manual referencing data export columns that include this for Organizations and for Households, but not individuals.

There is an OpenID field that includes a location selector, but this implies a relational join to another table, not a single column in the Contact record (which is what I am looking for). And for those contacts that have the "Unique ID (OpenID)" column populated in the export, this field is NOT populated on the Contact view page.

So, what gives?

2 Answers 2


OpenID was designed to provided a universal login to all your online accounts. You can read more about it at http://openid.net/get-an-openid/what-is-openid/ . It was created in 2005 around the same time as CiviCRM and I think the standalone version of CiviCRM would let you sign in using OpenID. There are modules/plugins that will let people sign into your CMS with OpenID.

As Karin has commented, if this is not a single step, one-time import of data, then you should use External ID to store the identifier from your other application.

  • I think this is a better answer - to the actual question that was posted - voting you up! Commented May 20, 2016 at 2:10
  • It may seem that way, but only because I neglected to say that I am well versed in OpenID; we use OpenID as a sort of SSO system with each username bound to our domain name. In other words, "foreign" OpenIDs aren't allowed, only OUR OpenIDs are allowed. We've even branded them as our own IDs. So my question is really about this particular field,which can be found in the table civicrm_contact, in a column 5th from the end: "user_unique_id. I cannot find it in the user interface.
    – Rob Brandt
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 21:54
  • If I am still confusing you about what I am after, try manually adding a value to that column in phpMyAdmin and then locating where it shows up in the CiviCRM user interface.
    – Rob Brandt
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 21:55
  • I know each Contact can have multiple OpenIDs, but those are stored elsewhere and can be toggled on/off in Display Preferences. I know about the External ID, we use that as well. The above column is a mystery to me. It very well might be that this is a legacy issue; a single OpenID value that is no longer used because multiple values can now be stored in the other field. If that's the case, I just want to know that so I can ignore this one, and move the data that's there elsewhere so it can be used.
    – Rob Brandt
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 21:56

To map data between CiviCRM and a legacy application - we use External ID (which is unique and available in all CiviCRM import screens - whether you're importing Contacts or Contributions or Memberships, etc.). External ID is in the View Contact screen (bottom left in 4.6.x) and is is in the civicrm_contact table: external_identifier

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.