tRecordMatching properties - 6.1

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Component family

Data Quality



tRecordMatching joins two tables by doing a fuzzy match on several columns using a wide variety of comparison algorithms. It compares columns from the main flow with reference columns from the lookup flow and according to the matching strategy you define, outputs the match data, the possible match data and the rejected data. On arranging your matching strategy, the user-defined matching scores are critical to determine the match level of the data of interest.


Helps ensuring the data quality of any source data against a reference data source.

Basic settings

Schema and Edit schema

A schema is a row description, it defines the number of fields to be processed and passed on to the next component. The schema is either Built-in or stored remotely in the Repository.

Since version 5.6, both the Built-In mode and the Repository mode are available in any of the Talend solutions.



Built-in: You create and store the schema locally for this component only. Related topic: see Talend Studio User Guide.



Repository: You have already created and stored the schema in the Repository. You can reuse it in other projects and job designs. Related topic: see Talend Studio User Guide.


Replace output column with lookup column if matches or possible matches

Select this check box to replace the output column with the lookup column in case of match or possible match values.

Once this check box is selected, the Columns Mapping table appears.


Columns Mapping

Complete this table to define the output columns to be replaced and the corresponding substitute lookup columns. The column to be complete are:

- Output Column: select the column of interest from the drop-down list. On this list, two columns MATCHING_WEIGHT and MATCHING_DISTANCES, are defined by default; the other columns are available only when you have defined them in the schema editor of this component. For further information about these two default columns, see Scenario 1: Matching entries using the Q-grams and Levenshtein algorithms;

- Lookup Column: select the column of interest from the drop-down list. This list is available when a lookup link has been defined to provide the corresponding lookup columns to this component.


Click the import icon to select a match rule from the Studio repository.

When you click the import icon, a [Match Rule Selector] wizard is opened to help you import match rules from the Studio repository and use them in your Job.

You can only import rules created with the VSR algorithm. For further information, see Importing match rules from the studio repository

Key definition

Input Key Attribute

Select the column(s) from the main flow that needs to be checked against the reference (lookup) key column.


When you select a date column on which to apply an algorithm or a matching algorithm, you can decide what to compare in the date format.

For example, if you want to only compare the year in the date, in the component schema set the type of the date column to Date and then enter "yyyy" in the Date Pattern field. The component then converts the date format to a string according to the pattern defined in the schema before starting a string comparison.


Lookup Key Attribute

Select the lookup key columns that you will use as a reference against which to compare the columns from the input flow.


Matching Function

Select the relevant matching algorithm from the list:

Exact Match: matches each processed entry to all possible reference entries with exactly the same value.

Levenshtein: Based on the edit distance theory. It calculates the number of insertion, deletion or substitution required for an entry to match the reference entry.

Metaphone: Based on a phonetic algorithm for indexing entries by their pronunciation. It first loads the phonetics of all entries of the lookup reference and checks all entries of the main flow against the entries of the reference flow.

Double Metaphone: a new version of the Metaphone phonetic algorithm, that produces more accurate results than the original algorithm. It can return both a primary and a secondary code for a string. This accounts for some ambiguous cases as well as for multiple variants of surnames with common ancestry.

Exact - ignore case: matches each processed entry to all possible reference entries with exactly the same value while ignoring the value case.

Soundex: matches processed entries according to a standard English phonetic algorithm.

Soundex FR: matches processed entries according to a standard French phonetic algorithm.

Jaro: matches processed entries according to spelling deviations.

q-grams: matches processed entries by dividing strings into letter blocks of length q in order to create a number of q length grams. The matching result is given as the number of q-gram matches over possible q-grams.

custom...: enables you to load an external matching algorithm from a Java library. The Custom Matcher class column alongside is activated when you selected this option.

For further information about how to load an external Java library, see tLibraryLoad.


Custom Matcher

Type in the path pointing to the custom class (external matching algorithm) you need to use. This path is defined by yourself in the library file (.jar file).

For example, to use a MyDistance.class class stored in the directory org/talend/mydistance in a user-defined mydistance.jar library, the path to be entered is org.talend.mydistance.MyDistance.



Set a numerical weight for each attribute (column) of the key definition. The values can be anything >= 0.


Handle Null

Handle Null

To handle null values, select from the list the null operator you want to use on the column:

Null Match Null: a Null attribute only matches another Null attribute.

Null Match None: a Null attribute never matches another attribute.

Null Match All: a Null attribute matches any other value of an attribute.

For example, if we have two columns, name and firstname where the name is never null, but the first name can be null.

If we have two records:

"Doe", "John"

"Doe", ""

Depending on the operator you choose, these two records may or may not match:

Null Match Null: they do not match.

Null Match None: they do not match.

Null Match All: they match.

And for the records:

"Doe", ""

"Doe", ""

Null Match Null: they match.

Null Match None: they do not match.

Null Match All: they match.

Blocking Selection

Input Column

If required, select the column(s) from the input flow according to which you want to partition the processed data in blocks, this is usually referred to as "blocking".

Blocking reduces the number of pairs of records that needs to be examined. In blocking, input data is partitioned into exhaustive blocks designed to increase the proportion of matches observed while decreasing the number of pairs to compare. Comparisons are restricted to record pairs within each block.

Using blocking column(s) is very useful when you are processing very big data.

  Matching strategy

Select the matching output that best fulfils your needs. This option may be:

  • All matches: this option means to output all of the matching and the possibly matching records.

  • Best match: this option means to output only the record with the highest matching score.

  • First match: this option means to output the first matching record; if no one is matching, it outputs the first possibly matching record.

  • Last match: this option means to output the last matching record; if no one is matching, it outputs the last possibly matching record.

    When you arrange the matching strategy, the matching scores are critical. You need to define them in the Possible match interval fields of the Advanced settings view.

Advanced settings

Matching Algorithm

Select an algorithm from the list - only one is available for the time being.

Simple VSR Matcher: This algorithm is based on a Vector Space Retrieval method that specifies how two records may match.


Possible match interval

Enter a minimum and a maximum values:

minimum: set the minimum record distance allowed to match the reference (0 <= minimum). maximum: set the maximum distance allowed to match the reference (maximum <=1).

For example, if you set 0.5 as the minimum value and 0.9 as the maximum value, the scores equal or higher than 0.9 indicate match, the scores between 0.5 excluded and 0.9 excluded indicate possible match and the other scores indicate non match.


Store on disk

Select this check box if you want to store processed data blocks on the disk to maximize system performance.


tStatCatcher Statistics

Select this check box to collect log data at the component level.

Global Variables

NB_MATCH_LINE: the number of rows matching the comparison algorithm. This is an After variable and it returns an integer.

NB_POSSIBLE_MATCH_LINE: the number of rows possibly matching the comparison algorithm. This is an After variable and it returns an integer.

NB_NONE_MATCH_LINE: the number of rows not matching the comparison algorithm. This is an After variable and it returns an integer.

ERROR_MESSAGE: the error message generated by the component when an error occurs. This is an After variable and it returns a string. This variable functions only if the Die on error check box is cleared, if the component has this check box.

A Flow variable functions during the execution of a component while an After variable functions after the execution of the component.

To fill up a field or expression with a variable, press Ctrl + Space to access the variable list and choose the variable to use from it.

For further information about variables, see Talend Studio User Guide.


This component is not startable and it requires two input components and one or more output components.



Creating a custom matching algorithm

The tRecordMatching component enables you to use a user-defined matching algorithm for obtaining the results you need.

A custom matching algorithm is written manually and stored in a .jar file (Java archive). Talend provides an example .jar file on the basis of which you are supposed to develop your own file easily. To do this, proceed as follows:

  1. In Eclipse, check out the test.mydistance project from svn at:

  2. In this project, navigate to the Java class named MyDistance.Java:

  3. Open this file that has the below code:

    package org.talend.mydistance;
    import org.talend.dataquality.record.linkage.attribute.AbstractAttributeMatcher;
    import org.talend.dataquality.record.linkage.constant.AttributeMatcherType;
     * @author scorreia
     * Example of Matching distance.
    public class MyDistance extends AbstractAttributeMatcher {
         * (non-Javadoc)
         * @see org.talend.dataquality.record.linkage.attribute.IAttributeMatcher#getMatchType()
        public AttributeMatcherType getMatchType() {
            // a custom implementation should return this type AttributeMatcherType.custom
            return AttributeMatcherType.CUSTOM;
         * (non-Javadoc)
         * @see org.talend.dataquality.record.linkage.attribute.IAttributeMatcher#getMatching
         * java.lang.String)
        public double getWeight(String arg0, String arg1) {
            // Here goes the custom implementation of the matching distance between the two given strings.
            // the algorithm should return a value between 0 and 1.
            // in this example, we consider that 2 strings match if their first 4 characters are identical
            // the arguments are not null (the check for nullity is done by the caller)
            final int max = 4;
            int nbIdenticalChar = Math.min(max, Math.min(arg0.length(), arg1.length()));
            for (int c = 0; c < max; c++) {
                if (arg0.charAt(c) != arg1.charAt(c)) {
                    nbIdenticalChar = c;
            return (max - nbIdenticalChar) / ((double) max);
  4. In this file, type in the class name for the custom algorithm you are creating in order to replace the default name. The default name is MyDistance and you can find it in the line: public class MyDistance implements IAttributeMatcher.

  5. In the place where the default algorithm is in the file, type in the algorithm you need to create to replace the default one. The default algorithm reads as follows:

    final int max = 4;
            int nbIdenticalChar = Math.min(max, Math.min(arg0.length(), arg1.length()));
            for (int c = 0; c < max; c++) {
                if (arg0.charAt(c) != arg1.charAt(c)) {
                    nbIdenticalChar = c;
            return (max - nbIdenticalChar) / ((double) max);
  6. Save your modifications.

  7. Using Eclipse, export this new .jar file.

Then this user-defined algorithm is ready to be used by the tRecordMatching component.