Nicknames in HCL Connections

I got an interesting incident last week. A user named Bob complained that he was listed with the name Robert behind his name. When I looked at his profile, I didn’t see any mention of ‘Robert’ anywhere. As this user was a department director, the helpdesk people were pressing it and showed me how to uncover ‘Robert’. When you press the slide-in search icon and search for Robert and part of his surname, he would pop up and indeed between parentheses it would list ‘robert’.

Nicknames in search I was aware that in the US people who are called Robert in actual life are usually called Bob, just as people who are called William are called Bill. I wasn’t aware however that this form of Americanism found its way in the product.
Further investigation showed that these nicknames are stored in the EMPLOYEE.GIVEN_NAMES Table in the PeopleDB. Interestingly, Bob has multiple nicknames. This SQL command:
showed that also rob, robbie and even roebi are considered valid nicknames. A quick search for William showed that bill, billy, will and willi are all valid names to search for when searching a William. Joseph is a name that’s also worth some nicknames (joe, josef, joseph, sepp), but a name like Andreas does only have Andrea as nickname and not the, in Europe, more common Andy/Andi. It seems these nicknames therefore are pretty much targetted to the American market.

You can disable the creation of these nicknames in the given_names table by editting your tdi-profiles-config.xml file in your <TDI assemblyline>\conf\LotusConnections-config directory and adding:

<properties><property name="" value="false" /></properties>

That however only prohibits the future creation of nicknames and doesn’t remove the current ones. For this the SQL table needs to be cleared and the search index needs to be rebuilt.



Thanks to Ted Hardenburgh for pointing me to the right piece of documentation.