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Wouldn’t you like to connect customer data across messaging channels? Unique identifier, user-level identifier, alias, customer ID or named user: regardless of what you call it, managing user level data across systems requires the use of a unique, shared piece of data.

Personalized or one to one messaging requires data from every channel.  Named User helps connect user level data across digital systems of record, including Airship channels and your own customer-chosen IDs (such as a subscription or Profile ID).  

Note: Airship does not collect Personally Identifiable  Information (PII) and requires customers to set appropriate Named Users that are not PII. Take this into consideration when thinking about what identifier to use.

With Named User, you can orchestrate, automate, and optimize messaging across multiple channels.

Example uses:

  • Connecting store loyalty card and point of sale data to in-app coupon experience based on loyalty status and purchases.
  • Re-messaging app users on other channels.
  • Sending flight status alerts to individual travelers.
  • Reducing costs and over-messaging by sending to a user’s channel of choice, based on user’s interests.
  • Data collection mechanism for mapping users within your backend system for better retargeting, such as subscription based modeling.

Why use Named Users?

Named User is a requirement for tying your backend database to Airship data. Implementing Named User also enables deep functionality in other Airship features, such as Performance Analytics and the Real Time Data Streaming API, which provide much higher resolution data down to the individual user rather than just the device.

How does it all work?

The most optimum time to set the Named user is on login and registration within your app.

Note: If a device will be used by multiple users, you will also want to make a disassociation call upon logout or uninstall.

Additionally, if there are other platforms that you’ll be integrating with, such as Web notifications, Email, SMS, etc., you’ll need to determine how and when to set the Named User for users that interact with those systems.

Once you have set the Named User on a user’s device, this allows you to be able to message that user by that ID for whichever platform you may choose. This also allows you to be able to view more in-depth information about that user’s behavior within our reporting tools, granting you more insight and capabilities to message that user or users.

How do I get started?

In order to integrate Named User, ensure you’ve already completed the Basic Push integration (see Getting Started section of the platform you are setting up),

Additionally, ensure you have built the Sample App for your preferred platform in order to take full advantage Named Users. Our sample app will guide you to a better understanding of how Named Users work amongst your platforms.

For more detailed instructions check out Implementing Named Users can be found in our iOS and Android documentation.

Given that you may have multiple platforms to support, you may choose one or both of the options below to integrate Named Users.

Mobile App integration

Note: Associating a Named User from the Mobile app requires enabling Client Side Named Users

Associate the channel to a Named User ID.


UAirship.namedUser().identifier = "NamedUserID"





Server/Non-Mobile App integration

Server Libraries

The Airship Server Libraries allow you to be able to easily integrate Airship APIs and start using features, such as Named Users, out of the box. With the Server Libraries, you’ll be able to associate and disassociate Named Users to Channel Ids, making using the Server Libraries an even simpler integration.

Named User API integration

The Airship Named User API allows you to be able to associate and disassociate Named Users to Airship Channel Ids. You also have the capability to add additional tags to the Named User. Lastly, the API allows you to query for specific Named Users and retrieve all your Named User information.


Strategic Advice:

Even if your app does not require authentication, consider setting up Named User to tie multiple devices (such as iPhone, Android phone and desktop computer) to one unique user. A user’s actions on these devices can be captured and used for improved targeting.

With Named User, you can then message based on the user’s preferred device or device last used.

Implementation best practices:

Tech Support best practices:

  • Make sure to setup automatic disassociation calls to avoid running into the 20 devices per named user limit.
    • This limit is easily reached if there are multiple developers testing on multiple devices.

To make the Named User association on the device, as opposed to a Server/Non-mobile integration, this needs to be enabled by navigating to Settings > APIs & Integrations > Named Users > Allow Named Users to be set from devices.


Next Steps:

Now that you have Named Users, your next task should be to set up your app to utilize Deeplinks. Deeplinks will allow an app to be opened to a specific UI or resource, in response to some external event.


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