*Problem with Aliases*

General Server Forum (Inactive)
*Problem with Aliases* slatour  2018-11-27 07:01
Status: Closed

Hi LabKey team,

I have created the following tables in a study:

  1. Alias mapping table
  2. Demographics table
  3. General dataset with participant IDs

These are the steps I took:

  1. Turned on the alias settings within the "Manage Study" page.
  2. imported my general dataset with lab IDs


  1. General dataset with lab IDs successful were transformed to the alias IDs as expected.

However, as per our change management procedures I tested how to remove aliases and found the following:

Results (2):

  1. I went to manage study view and removed aliases from the study
  2. The general dataset did not revert back to the labID, and in fact kept the alias

This is a major concern for us as we had know way to revert back to LabIds, and we are concerned that the database was overwritten with the alias ID. Furthermore, I even tried to manually change back the ID to no avail - It seems as though the study would not refresh.

Please advise.


  • Sara
Jon (LabKey DevOps) responded:  2018-12-12 23:27

Hi Sara,

What you're seeing is by design.

Per our documentation under the section "Viewing the Original, Non-Alias Participant Ids" (https://www.labkey.org/Documentation/wiki-page.view?name=aliasIDs):

Note that clearing the alias settings in a study does not revert the participant ids back to their original, non-aliased values. Alias participant ids are determined at import time and are written into the imported dataset.

However, there is a way to view the original participantIds. From the same doc:

But you can add a column to your datasets that shows the original ParticiantIds, which can be useful for displaying the dataset to the source organization that knows the participant by the non-aliased id.

To display the original ParticipantId values, add the Aliases column to the imported dataset as follows:

  • Navigate to the dataset where you want to display the original, non-alias ParticipantIds.
  • Select the Grid Views button > Customize Grid.
  • In the Available Fields panel, click the plus sign next to Datasets to see the available datasets in the study. (Don't open the node "Dataset", which contains metadata about the current dataset.)
  • Locate the dataset that contains the alias id mappings. Click the plus sign next to that table, and place a checkmark next to the field that contains the alias ids, adding it to the dataset for display.
  • Save the grid view, either as the default grid view, or as a named view.
  • The dataset now displays both the alias id and the original id.