Changing your WatIAM username

All WatIAM username change requests are reviewed by IST. IST does not recommend a username change because of the many systems/data processes with which your username is associated. Please see below for an explanation of username change implications.
An option is to change your display name and keep your username.

Previously, IST has approved a username change for two reasons:

  • A legal name change (e.g. marital status)

  • Their current username implies a questionable meaning

Why a username change can cause issues

While University of Waterloo Identity and Access Management (WatIAM) can make some changes automatically, there are many manual steps in performing a rename. Human Resources or the Registrar's Office starts the process.

  • Rename the account in WatIAM: this process has caused trouble in the past, with failed updates downstream etc.

  • Rename any Exchange or mail services account, and update the mail routing address in WatIAM. There's a window here
    where mail can bounce - Exchange only synchronizes with University of Waterloo Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (UWLDAP) every 30 minutes.

  • Rename any Unix account - if it's forwarding mail there's another bounce window.

  • For those working in Academic Support, the name of the folder mapped on the N: drive needs to change on a username, and then the mapping to it is changed. The profile name also changes. Security groups are handled automatically (presumably by the Security Identifier (SID) being the key).

  • Change all username-based access control (e.g., for web pages)

  • Change login ID which on some systems may entail changing the home directory name

  • Change all username-based resource allocation configuration (e.g. lists of who gets accounts where recognizing that multiple staff are involved, multiple computing architectures are involved, and that in practice, some of what has to be changed will only be discovered later, when something fails to work).

These steps have to have the renames coordinated so they are done at the same time. Also, the user cannot be logged on.

  • Rename any mailing list subscriptions in mailman - and the person needs to deal with external lists.


Need help?

Contact the IST Service Desk online or 519-888-4567 ext. 44357.

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