Data entry on no surname/last name

Cecil

19+ years progress programming and still learning.
If you had a table that required, the given name (first name) and the surname (last name) to be both mandatory.
What would you do if the person only had a single name and no Surname.

Bad Examples: STING, MADONA, LORDE etc.

Would you test for "FNU, LNU or NA", when printing a name on a document?
 
Are there any instances where first and last name are the same? If not then I would put the name in both fields and test for equality.
 
Some people have the same first and last name.

Dealing with the names of people is hard. They don't all conform to the arbitrary rules that application designers tend to make about them.
 
“Mandatory” fields pretty much always lead to bad data because users will lie in order to move on and get their work done.
 
“Mandatory” fields pretty much always lead to bad data because users will lie in order to move on and get their work done.
Luckily this was not my database design.
It was an "off the shelf" product and these tables are core to the application and can't be changed.
It's a NZ government requirement that First name and Surname was a mandatory.
 
Bad requirements lead to bad data.

Anyhow, if I were saddled with such foolishness and couldn't get the business analyst to provide clear direction and was none the less required to do "something" to resolve the unhappiness I would probably use an easily recognizable string like NOFIRSTNAME, or NOSURNAME, or good old "N/A" for "blank but I am not allowed to leave it blank". Extra credit for doing so silently and behind the scenes so that the poor users don't have to see it and it only shows up 3 years later on some downstream system and nobody knows where it came from :)

FWIW I used to attend standards meetings for a certain industry group and one of the things that they wanted to do was to make "street number" a mandatory field in an address. At that time I lived in a house with no street number so I could very confidently state that such a field could NOT be required because the real world conflicted with their vision. They also had lots of other inappropriate "requirements" this data set.
 
Are there any instances where first and last name are the same? If not then I would put the name in both fields and test for equality.
I've spoken the head of the customer facing web services team and they say it's a real problem. The recommendation is to repeat the name in both form fields.
 
I've spoken the head of the customer facing web services team and they say it's a real problem. The recommendation is to repeat the name in both form fields.
That could be problematic if the data is subsequently exported to another application.
 
I've spoken the head of the customer facing web services team and they say it's a real problem. The recommendation is to repeat the name in both form fields.
So you have no distinction between Abraham Abraham and Abraham? Or Dong Dong and Dong? Or closer to your neck of the woods, Grace Grace and Grace? See more examples on Wikipedia.
 
The best part is that it is not my problem to resolve. It transpired that we have a free format field called the preferred name that seems to resolve a lot of these issues.
 
If you had a table that required, the given name (first name) and the surname (last name) to be both mandatory.
What would you do if the person only had a single name and no Surname.

Bad Examples: STING, MADONA, LORDE etc.

Would you test for "FNU, LNU or NA", when printing a name on a do
If you had a table that required, the given name (first name) and the surname (last name) to be both mandatory.
What would you do if the person only had a single name and no Surname.

Bad Examples: STING, MADONA, LORDE etc.

Would you test for "FNU, LNU or NA", when printing a name on a document?
In which country or culture are people truly only identified with one name?

Sting = Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner
Madonna = Madonna Louise Ciccone
Lorde = Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor

Does the mandatory field allow you to get away with entering a space character, thereby not greatly effecting printing of letter addressing etc.?
 
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