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|Purpose: Introduces the Anonymous service and its management.|
An anonymous service is a service which is assigned to an anonymous customer. This customer is still unknown, so no customer ID is assigned to the service. Your application is in charge of assigning this customer ID as soon as the customer is identified. Read also Services, States, and Tasks.
In many situations, your application can identify the customer prior to the creation of the service, which ensures the possibility of adding the customer ID to the service in the Start Service operation. Two examples: the customer explicitly logs in the website before invoking the service, or the IVR identifies the customer and then chooses a service. In those cases, your application cannot specify the customer ID at the service creation. However, in other cases, your application may start the service before the customer is identified. Therefore, if your application cannot specify the customer's ID at the service creation, the service is anonymous. Let's consider a customer who is filling out an order on a web site before he or she has explicitly logged in, or a preliminary service delivered in the IVR before the customer is prompted for identity information. In these cases, the application is not able to provide the customer identifier.
The Contact Key
Your application can create an anonymous service with the Start Service operation. In that case, although the customer is not identified, your application must pass a contact key, based on the current information available. The "contact key" is supplied at the service creation. Then, your application is able to query the service even if it is anonymous. See Query Anonymous Services Examples of contact key can be the following: e-mail address, phone number, lastname+firstname.