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contact id merged into a web link is different from the contact id retrieved using api


The contact id of the same contact is composed of different characters when getting it from a merged field of a web link and getting it from partner api. The example is:

00330000005RJCf (from merged field of contact id in the web link)

00330000005RJCfAAO (from a partner api query)


see the section in the docs on 15 vs 18 character Ids.

Is there any way to configure the weblink to return a  18 character id instead of converting the 15-char id programmably?


Not that i know of.

If it's not already in there, I would like to suggest an important feature request/enhancement to the weblink generator tool in Setup:

When setting up a weblink, enable developers to choose the 15 character or 18 character version of an ID field.

We have custom apps that pass the 15 character ID fields via weblinks as querystring parameters; some of these in turn go into SQL Server databases (and we can specify the SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CS_AS collation attribute to ensure case-sensitivity).  This alone is fine, but things break down if we want to do internal reporting using database dumps from saleforce and join on our 15 char weblink-provided data, as all the ID fields from dumps are 18 characters.

For now, it appears the workaround is to append the 3 chars to the 15 character version.  I plan to use this one for C# (http://forums.sforce.com/sforce/board/message?board.id=NET_development&message.id=535) unless there's another more official one out there.