I had a query last week on the best way to handle first names which contain a space, within CA Service Desk Manager (SDM/ITSM).
First Name: "John WM"
Middle Name: <None>
Last Name: "Lee"
Note - the First Name contains a space. The client treats this as one First Name (But I've changed it from the actual Hong Kong example, for privacy.)
This opens up the wonderful variety of different name structures used around the world. Working in a Support department, you encounter some of these. There is an excellent article here, both for the interesting read and for the interface design challenges that arise:
Personal names around the world
Richard Ishida, W3C.
How do people's names differ around the world, and what are the implications of those differences on the design of forms, databases, ontologies, etc. for the Web?
People who create web forms, databases, or ontologies are often unaware how different people’s names can be in other countries. They build their forms or databases in a way that assumes too much on the part of foreign users. This article will first introduce you to some of the different styles used for personal names, and then some of the possible implications for handling those on the Web.
In many locations, CA SDM will assume that a space in a name indicates the separation between the First Name and Middle Name.
For example, when creating a New Incident, entering "Lee, John WM" in the "Requester" field will cause "No contacts found" to be displayed.
The reason for this is that Search Filter processes this as:
Last Name = "Lee%"First Name = "John%"Middle Name = "WM%"
How can the data entry be done so that John WM Lee may be found?
1) Install the Auto Suggest option from Options Manager - auto_suggest_status.
Use:* Enter in the last name such as "Lee" only and a drop down of all "Lee"s will appear. Then pick from the list.* Do NOT enter a comma or keep typing the full name, otherwise the Auto Suggest will stop working at this point, unless you type the whole name. See (3).
2) Enter last name and first name only, then stop.Use:* Enter in "Lee, John" with only one comma - after the last name - and tab through the field.* If there is only one name with "Lee, John", then it will auto-fill.* If there are multiple names, the Selection filter will be brought up showing the options, and you choose the one you want.
3) Enter all of the commas.Use:* Enter in "Lee, John WM,".
Note carefully the last comma. This is the comma that indicates that the first section was the last name, the next section was the first name, and that what comes after is a middle name.
4) Perform data entry with an underscore in any name with a space.Use:* Create a Contact called "Lee, John_WM".* In data entry, enter "Lee, John_WM" and no trailing comma is needed.
Customisation may also be used to handle a case like this, but it is not recommended as the process solutions work well. In the long term, a customisation needs maintenance. The key concern though is that a change to the Search lookup will need to account for the much more common scenarios of (a) people who do not have a space in their first name and (b) people who do have a middle name. Otherwise the auto-fill will be broken for a lot more people than it helps.
If anyone has encountered similar issues and has comments, please put them here.
Thanks for the tip Kyle!
Tip: Handling first names with spaces in Service Desk