Name Object:FAQ

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What is the Name Object?

Answer
The Name Object is a programming library used to split full names, assign genders and create salutations.
Typical uses for this library are Real-time splitting and genderizing during data entry, processing of files with custom file structures (i.e., files that cannot be exported into a format that Personator for Windows could use), or providing splitting and genderizing for a custom written application seamlessly (i.e., without shelling to another application).


How easy is it to use the Name Object?

Answer
Very. Just add the Object library or COM object to your project. Create an instance of the Name Object. Then call:
NameObj.SetLicenseString("");
NameObj.PathToNameFiles = file path;
NameObj.InitializeDataFiles();
To process your data, loop through each record and call the Parse, genderize, and or Salutate methods.


If my Name field contains Full Names and Inverse Names, will it split each format correctly into separate FIRST and LAST name fields?

Answer
Yes, names in different formats like ‘John L. Smith’, ‘Smith Jr., John’ or ‘Mr. John Lydon Smith Jr. PhD.’ can all be processed simultaneously, it will be able to distinguish first name from last name from prefix, etc. regardless of their order.


Will Name Object recognize and split Dual Names?

Answer
Yes, the Name Object can recognize various dual name patterns such as ‘Mr and Mrs John Smith’, ‘Mr John & Jane Smith’, and ‘Mr. John Smith and Mrs Jane Seymour’ along side of records like ‘Mr. John Smith’, returning two sets of parsed output names when necessary.


How do I know the assigned Gender is guaranteed to be 100% correct?

Answer
You don’t, short of seeing and interviewing the respective person. That’s why the developer can set Gender bias (the more likely gender) and aggression (conservative or aggressive in assigning somewhat neutral names) properties to the object


Can I change the aggressiveness in assigning genders, as to not offend anyone?

Answer
By calling the GenderAggression property, you can aggressively assign genders to neutral names like ‘Chris’ or ‘Lee’ (as Male or Female gender bias) or set this property to conservative thereby setting these names as neutral. Why? I would feel more comfortable assigning ‘Chris’ as a female if I was processing a database to a woman’s magazine than I would if processing a blanket mailing to a registered voter list.


Will names containing typos get genderized?

Answer
Yes, Name Object can genderize and correct the spelling of common first name typos by setting the First Name Spelling Correction property.


How does Name Object decide how to create Salutations?

Answer
By default, Name Object will attempt to create a salutation in the order of Formal, Informal, First Last, Slug. If the required name components are present, that salutation will be created, but in the event one of the components is absent, the next salutation format will be used. For example, using the default order, for a name ‘John’, a formal salutation can not be created due to lack of last name, so the next format – informal - since it does not require a last name. Likewise, a record with blank name data will cause the format to fall through to the slug format.


What is a slug salutation?

Answer
In the absence of no name data, a generic salutation will be created. Examples are ‘Dear Valued Customer:’ or ‘Hello, current resident:’


Do I have any control over salutations?

Answer
Yes, The developer can change the order of desired salutations by calling the AddSalutation method and overriding the default order. This could allow you to move up the slug format second, so either a formal salutation gets created or a neutral slug, common when creating salutations in a business environment. Even the salutation prefix (Dear,) makeup of the slug (Valued Customer), or salutation suffix (‘family’ or ‘;’) can be changed by can be overriding their respective properties.


What’s the config file?

Answer
Name Object is compiled with default options and extensive databases of names which enable accurate processing. The config file allows you to override these default settings, and to add, remove or edit names from the compiled list, allowing you to fine tune processing behavior. This file also allows you to maintain your edits separately from the default list shipped with the API.


Can Name Object recognize non-names?

Answer
Yes, in addition to handling the various formats of good data, non-name data like vulgarities, companies, nuisance names, misspellings and other problems will be flagged with a status and error code. Evaluating the status code allows you to stop bad data from entering your system or wasting postage on non-existing customers.


Will it split International names?

Answer
Parsing is driven by the format of the name and by the existence in the programs data files, which contain over 190,000 names. So even if an unknown name is parsed, knowing and setting the format beforehand will ensure the correct split. Adding foreign or new names to the config file also increases accuracy in parsing and genderizing.
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