According to OEP-32, The LMS_USER_ID is now the standard for uniquely identifying users within an Open edX system. The credentials service has a column on the CORE_USER table (called LMS_USER_ID). This column will automatically populate in the following contexts for new users:

  1. If a user is awarded a credential by the LMS, when credentials is notified, a user in the CORE_USER table is created. The LMS_USER_ID will now also be populated.

  2. If a user logs into the system, and navigates to their record page, if a user does not already exist for them in the credentials service, one will be created and the LMS_USER_ID will be populated.

Backpopulating Pre-existing users

Although new users interacting with the system will automatically have this column populated, users who already exist in the system will not. For those users, a management command exists to backpopulate the data. This command requires an S3 bucket to dump information into. The command also allows for stepped completion, to facilitate manually verifying information before completing the process.


Although credentials now supports LMS_USER_ID, it is not currently being widely used within the service. It is only being updated for new users, and is not required for use with any API. If the data is missing from a user, there should be no issues for general operation of the service.