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Define the reference key

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Define the reference key

By default, reference fields store the sys_id of the record in the database.

Before you begin

Role required: personalize_dictionary

About this task

By defining a reference key, you can identify a field other than sys_id to use as the unique identifier for the reference field. The value of the reference key field, instead of the sys_id, is stored in the database for that reference field.


  1. Navigate to System Definition > Dictionary.
  2. Open the field record (for example, resolved_by on the Incident table).
  3. In the Reference key field, enter a field name on the referenced table (for example, email on the sys_user table).
    Note: Always choose a field from the referenced table that is both required and unique.
  4. Click Update.
    Reference key