Site.createExternalUser() creates a new Contact record even if a matching one exists only if Contact's Name and Email are encrypted
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Site.createExternalUser() creates a new Contact record even if a matching one exists only if Contact's Name and Email are encrypted

Sites , Platform Encryption

Last updated 2020-02-15 ·Reference W-5989461 ·Reported By 12 users

Fixed - Spring '20

When Contact's Name and Email are encrypted via Platform Encryption, Site.createExternalUser() creates a new Contact record rather than attaching the new portal user to the contact record matching the provided user object's email address. When these fields are not encrypted the created portal user is attached to the matching contact, which means Salesforce sets the ContactId on the new User record to the ID of the existing contact record.

1) Create a perm set with "Manage Encryption Keys" and assign it to sys admin
2) Create below Apex class

public with sharing class ActivateController {
public PageReference activate() {
Contact c = [SELECT Id, FirstName, LastName, Email, AccountId FROM Contact WHERE id = '0031U00000GRcSR']; // Id of contact used in step 9

User u = new User(Username = c.Email, Email = c.Email, FirstName = c.FirstName, LastName = c.LastName,
CommunityNickname = c.Id + '-' +;

Id portalUserId;
try {
portalUserId = Site.createExternalUser(u, c.accountId, null /* password */, true /* sendEmailConfirmation */);
} catch (Exception ex) {
ApexPages.addMessage(new ApexPages.Message(ApexPages.Severity.ERROR, ex.getMessage()));
return null;

3) Create below VF page

Name: "Activate"
<apex:page controller="ActivateController">
<apex:pageMessages />
<apex:form >
<apex:commandButton value="Activate customer portal user" action="{!activate}"/>

4) Go to Setup | Domain Management | My Domain. Enter a My Domain, click Check Availability. Click Register Domain. Wait for domain to be ready. When email notification was received, refreshed the My Domain page, click Log in, and Deploy to Users, OK.
5) Go to Setup | Communities | Communities Settings. Click Enable Communities. Enter a community domain, click Save, OK. Click New Community. Selected Salesforce Tabs + Visualforce. Click Get Started. Enter a community name and click Create.
6) Go to Administration | Pages, and select the "Activate" Visualforce page as the Community Home. Click Save.
7) Go to Administation | Members and select Customer Community User as a selected profile. Click Save.
8) Go to Administration | Login & Registration, and click "Allow external users to self-register", and select Customer Community User as the Profile for self-registration. Click Save.
9) Go to an existing Contact that is not a customer portal user yet. Take note of its record ID (003...). Change its email to
10) Make sure sys admin user (and site contact) has a valid role.
11) Go to Setup | Platform Encryption | Key Management, and click Generate Tenant Secret. This enables Encryption Policy under Setup | Platform Encryption.
12) Ensure Contact's Name and Email are encrypted at /_ui/com/salesforce/encryption/setup/EncryptStandardFieldsPage.
13) In an incognito window go to the community URL. Click Activate User. It will complete without errors.
14) Open Developer Console and run below SOQL query in Query Editor:

SELECT Id, ContactId FROM User WHERE Username=''

15) Copy the ContactId and navigate to its detail page (e.g. /003...). Notice this has been created by the Site Guest User.

Actual result: New contact has been created.
Expected result: Existing contact with matching email address should be used.

Deactivate encryption of Contact's Name and Email.

Is it Fixed?

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