The Identity application allows other applications to rely on a stable identifier to identify people. This document provides a high-level overview of the capabilities of the application. More detailed documentation is also available:


Statistics of this nature have the potential to be misleading, but they may provide some sense of the overall magnitude of the application.

  • Python code (automatic processes): 240 lines
  • SQL code (schema definition and stored procedures): 760 lines

This application depends on the WatIAM application.


The information within WatIAM is limited in that most identifiers do not exist for everybody (UW ID for students and instructors, HR ID for employees), while the userids and “P-” identities that do exist for every account change sometimes. The purpose of the Identity application is to maintain a stable permanent identity for everybody, using the WatIAM data as a source. This isolates the individual applications from anomalous changes in WatIAM.

As far as other applications and developers are concerned, the Identity application is simply a few tables and views that are available for querying. They will be available only to applications that actually need them, and a Privacy & Security Impact Assessment will likely need to be done for new applications or major changes to existing applications.

The Identity data are currently updated from WatIAM whenever WatIAM is updated.