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Unique emails


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After writing a custom login handler, a new issue appeared: What about unique emails?

Our application allows a single user to have multiple identities. Say they have one super account, and many sub accounts.

The super account contains information such as email, first & last name, password, etc.

The sub account contains information such as nickname/username. Because of this model, many "nicknames" may have the same email. 

When a user authenticates with the custom login handler, I see 3 things I could do:

  1. Prompt the user for the email they want to use. I don't know what will happen if they pick one that's already in use. Probably they will be denied, or asked to merge the accounts, neither of which are preferable.
  2. I provide the email in my custom handler. Again, I don't know what will happen if I provide the same email on multiple users
  3. I provide a dummy unique email. This will however disable all email features of the forum.
  4. Desired option: Make emails not unique to a user. I don't know if this is possible at all.

How do you see these things, what are your for's and against's?

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I've never encountered this situation, so I can't say for sure what the best solution would be. Many email providers allow "name+whatever@domain.com". you could take "email@domain.com" and turn it into "email+nickname@domain.com" perhaps.

A more robust bullet proof solution would be to route the emails through your front end somehow so that they can be forwarded to the correct address.

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