EBS: Contact Integration Testing

Introduction

This article explains the steps necessary to test the Contact Integration impact on an Organization that contains contact data. Once you have completed the steps outlined below, you will have a successful Contact Integration from your HR system and contacts will be synchronized automatically daily. Using Contact Integration with your HR system is a great way to have an easy way to synchronize your contact data and ensure it is always accurate.

This article assumes that you have a good working knowledge of the Everbridge Suite platform and how contact data works. If you require assistance, please contact your account manager to review your options.

IMPORTANT: We recommend that you back up your contact data before making any changes to your Production Organization contact data. Instructions on how to do that can be found here. Store your downloaded contacts file in a safe place until you are comfortable that the integration is working.

NOTE: To access links to the embedded Knowledge Base articles, you must be logged in to the Support Center. You can access the Support Center from the Manager Portal.

Understanding the Impact of a Synchronization

IMPORTANT: External IDs are used to identify contacts to be updated and are case-sensitive.


When synchronizing your contact data from your HR system, all Contact Records for your chosen Record Type(s) will be replaced by the active records in your HR system.

  • Contacts where the external ID is an exact match between your HR system and Everbridge Suite will be updated to match the data in your HR system.
  • Contacts in your HR system without a match in Everbridge Suite will be added to Everbridge Suite.
  • Contacts who are not in your HR system will be removed from Everbridge Suite based on their External IDs and Contact Record Type.
    • If there is no exact match for the External ID, the contact will be removed from Everbridge Suite.
    • You might notice that a new contact has been added for an existing contact. This will be the case if the case of the External ID does not match between your HR system and Everbridge Suite.
  • Contacts in other Record Types will not be affected unless the external ID of an Everbridge Suite contact matches the External ID of a contact in your HR system.

Here is an example to illustrate what will happen to contact data during the contact synchronization. In our example, the user selected the “Employee” Contact Record Type for synchronizing their data with their HR system. On the HR System External ID column is a list of External IDs for active records in the HR system. In the Everbridge External ID column is a list of External IDs for contact records in Everbridge Suite.

HR System External ID Everbridge External ID Contact Record Type Result of Synchronization
SMcCulloch SMcCulloch Employee
  • The Contact Record in Everbridge Suite will be updated.
  • All fields selected for synchronization will be replaced with the information in the HR system. All other fields, including Groups, will be left untouched.
  • REASON: The external ID match in both systems
christinesmith CHRISTINESMITH Employee
  • The contact in Everbridge Suite will be deleted and a new contact will be created with external ID “christinesmith”.
  • REASON: External ID is not an exact match, external ID is case sensitive
MCowley bAllen Employee
  • MCowley will be added to Everbridge Suite.
    • REASON: MCowley does not exist in Everbridge but they do in the HR system.
  • bAllen will be removed from Everbridge Suite.
    • REASON: bAllen exists in Everbridge Suite but not in the HR system.
tThompson tThompson Vendor
  • Contact Record Type will be replaced by Employee
  • REASON: The External ID is an exact match between the HR system and Everbridge Suite.
  jJohn Vendor
  • Unaffected
  • REASON: The External ID does not exist in the HR system and the record type Vendor was not selected to be replaced.

 

NOTE: When a contact is deleted in Everbridge Suite, it can be restored for up to 30 days. See here for instructions on how to restore contacts.

Testing to Understand the Impact of Synchronization on Your Data Set

This step is optional but will allow you to evaluate the impact of your synchronization before it happens. For this step, you will need the First Name, Last Name, and External ID from both your HR system and your Everbridge Suite Organization.

Use the attached Excel spreadsheet. Under the HRIS tab, copy the First Name, Last Name, and External ID from your HR System. Under the Everbridge tab, copy the First Name, Last Name, and External ID from your Everbridge Suite organization. The results will be shown in the Results tab.

  • Records in green have an exact match for the External ID. This means they will remain in Everbridge Suite and updated with the information in your HR system.
  • Records in orange have a matching External ID but the case does not match. These records will be deleted, and a new record will be created for them.
    • For these records to update correctly, modify their External ID in Everbridge Suite.
  • Records in red are not in your HR system and will be deleted.
    • If they should be retained, modify their External ID in Everbridge Suite.
    • If they should not be retained, they can be ignored.

Testing Strategy

There are two options when testing synchronization: 

  1. Using an existing Contact Record Type.
    • With this method, contacts in the Contact Record Type that have an External ID that is not an exact match will be deleted.
    • The advantage of this method is that there will not be duplicate contact records.
    • The disadvantage of this method is that there might be data loss.
  2. Using a dedicated Contact Record Type (example: HRIS_Sync).
    • With this method, contacts with a matching External ID will be moved to this dedicated Contact Record Type.
    • The advantage of this method is that there will be no data loss.
    • The disadvantage of this method is that you might end up with duplicate contact records.

If you want to use a dedicated Contact Record Type, create one in the Organization you are testing in. Instructions on how to create a Contact Record Type can be found here.

Testing in a Test Organization

Everbridge recommends testing in a Test Organization before configuring in your Production Organization. If you plan to establish the connector directly into your Production Organization, skip down to section Set Up the Contact Integration section.

To test accurately, match the setup of the following fields in your Test Organization to your Production Organization:

  1. Contact Record Types
  2. Delivery Methods
  3. Additional Information Fields
  4. Groups (Optional)
  5. Calendars (Optional)

Matching the Contact Settings

Follow these steps to match your Production Organization settings as closely as possible.

  1. Ensure that the Contact Record Type(s) you intend to use with your Contact Integration exist in your Test Organization. The spelling must be the same, including the case. Information on how to create Contact Record Types can be found here. Having unused record types will not cause any issues.
  2. Ensure the Delivery Methods in the Test Organization match those of the Production Organization. The Code and Prompt must match. Information on how to create Delivery Methods can be found here. Having unused Delivery Methods will not cause any issues.
  3. Ensure that the Additional Information fields in the Test Organization match those of the Production Organization, including Name (which is case sensitive) Data Type, and Display Format. Instructions on how to create additional information fields can be found here. Having unused Additional Information fields will not cause any issues.

NOTE: The Contact Integration will not modify Groups and Calendars. However, if contacts are deleted, they will drop from Groups and Calendars.

Download Production Organization Data and Upload it Into a Test Organization

If you’re testing in a Test Organization, copy the data from your Production Organization to your Test Organization.

  1. Download a list of your contacts for the chosen Record Type(s) from your Production Organization. Instructions on how to do that can be found here.
  2. Upload the contacts from Step 1 to your Test Organization. Instructions on how to do that can be found here.
    • These instructions will show how to perform an upload using the Replace option, which is what the Contact Integration does.
    • Please note that this option will replace all contacts with the Contact Record Type(s) included in the upload file. This means that for each Contact Record Type found in your file, if a contact is in Everbridge Suite but not in your upload file, the contact will be deleted from Everbridge Suite.
  3. Review the list of contacts who were deleted and identify if any deleted contacts should be retained.

Set Up the Contact Integration

Whether you are using a Test or Production Organization, set up the Contact Integration using the instructions outlined in the Contact Integration Guide

Testing the synchronization

Testing with an existing Contact Record Type – Testing Strategy 1

The following steps apply whether you are testing in a Test Organization or your Production Organization.

  1. Take a backup of your contact data. Instructions on how to do that can be found here.
  2. In your Contact Integration, click Sync Now to run the synchronization.
  3. Review your data for accuracy.

Correcting Your Data

If you are testing in a Test Organization, make sure to make the required changes in the Correcting your data section in both your Test Organization and your Production Organization.

Look at the deleted tab and using the Advanced Filter option, look for records that were last modified on the day you ran the synchronization by selecting the correct date.

Review all the deleted contacts and verify whether they should be retained during the synchronization.

  • If the answer is No, you can disregard these contacts.
  • If the answer is Yes:
    • Search the contact list to see if a new contact was added for them. This would be the case if the External ID existed in both your HR system and Everbridge Suite, but the case did not match.
      •  If a new contact exists, take note of the External ID before deleting that record.
    • Go back to the Deleted Contacts and restore the contact by selecting it and clicking on Restore.
      • Once restored, modify the contact’s External ID to match the External ID from your HR system.

NOTE: If you are unsure how to proceed, contact Technical Support before attempting to recover the data yourself.

Once all Contact Records have been reviewed and restored as appropriate, you can run the synchronization again and repeat the steps above to correct your data. Once you feel comfortable with the data synchronization, you are ready to move to the next step.

Testing with a dedicated Contact Record Type – Testing Strategy 2

The following steps apply whether you are testing in a Test Organization or your Production Organization.

  1. Take a backup of your contact data. Instructions on how to do that can be found here.
  2. In your Contact Integration, click on Sync Now option to run the synchronization.
  3. Review your data for accuracy.

Updating Your Data

This step is only necessary if you want to have all contacts from your HR system under one Contact Record Type.

If you are testing in a test organization, make sure to make the required changes in the “Correcting your data” section in both your test organization and your production organization.
By looking at the dedicated Contact Record Type, you will see how many contacts had a matching External ID.

If you wish to identify duplicates, under the Contacts tab, perform an advanced search to narrow your results to the Contact Record Types you are interested in and your dedicated Contact Record Type. Download the list of contacts so that you can manipulate it in Excel. In Excel, sort your contacts by First Name, Last Name, and External ID. Look for duplicates. For any duplicate:

  1. Delete the newly created contact.
  2. Modify the external ID of the original contact to match that of the contact that was created.
    • This will ensure that the next time you run the Contact Integration synchronization, this contact will be moved to the dedicated Contact Record Type instead of having a duplicate record being created.

Once all Contact Records have been reviewed and appropriately updated, you can run the synchronization again and repeat the steps above to correct your data. Once you feel comfortable with the data synchronization, you are ready to move to the next step.

Setting Up Your Production Organization

If you have been doing testing in your Production Organization, then your data is now synchronized with your HRIS data!

If you have been doing testing in your Test Organization, by this point, you should have made the required changes to contacts in both your Test Organization and Production Organization. All there is left to do is to set up the Contact Integration in your Production Organization by following the instructions outlined in the Contact Integration Guide.

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