A recurring import update can be scheduled so that automatic daily, weekly, or monthly updates to your Acoustic Campaign database occur.
Caution: Using an automated process requires careful planning and control to avoid damage to data. Column headings (field names) and data types must remain consistent over time. The order of updates must be planned to avoid overwriting data.
Recurring import updates allow you to schedule contact source and relational table imports from files that are uploaded to your Acoustic Campaign SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) account. This provides you with a hassle-free way to ensure that your Acoustic Campaign database is up-to-date and in sync with your external data sources. For example, your Acoustic Campaign contains a Last Purchase Date field that you want to automatically update each day with data from your data warehouse.
Contact sources include databases and seed, test, and suppression lists.
You set up a recurring import job to automatically update a database at regular intervals. When you set up the job, you map the fields to be updated. Then you regularly transfer a database update to the Acoustic Campaign SFTP directory, and the system automatically uses this file to update the database.
You can automate the SFTP send process within your organization. Acoustic Campaign then checks on a schedule for the presence of an update and then automatically updates the database.
The entire process can be safeguarded with security measures.
Import files to update the Acoustic Campaign databases can contain any update data that you want to apply, as long as the update fields are already mapped. For example, you can update opt-ins, opt-outs, recent purchases, recent emails, etc.
- Add new contacts
- Update field values in the database
- Add new contacts and update existing field values in the database
- Opt out contacts
The process can be initiated from Data > Import > Update, or from Database Summary for a specific database.
The process is managed from the Database Summary page for a specific database.
Managing recurring jobs
You can run, skip an occurrence, deactivate, and activate a recurring job.
You can run, skip an occurrence, deactivate, and activate a recurring job. The job name, description, job type, frequency, last run date/time, and next run date/time are displayed. A status column displays active, inactive, or completed.
The Recurring Jobs tab shows you a summary of all active recurring import jobs.
To see the recurring data jobs, go to Data > Manage > Data Jobs > Recurring Jobs.
From this point, you can run or activate a recurring job, skip an occurrence of a recurring job, and deactivate a recurring job.
Imported update files are transferred using SFTP.
The file format and type must be CSV, TSV, or PSV.
Directories and file names
The update file must be transferred to your organization's Acoustic Campaign SFTP directory.
File naming practices should consider the following:
- Files are automatically removed from the SFTP directory when retrieved for processing.
- If multiple files exist in the SFTP directory that match the name because of wildcards, all files found are processed. For example, if you send one file for opt-ins, another for profile updates, and another for opt-outs, all are processed.
Note: The order of processing could potentially overwrite newer data from multiple updates processed out of sequence.
- Files remain in the SFTP directory until they are processed on the scheduled date.
Note: Sending another update with the same file name, prior to processing, could overwrite a pending file.
When Acoustic Campaign checks for new update files in the SFTP directory, it can use wild wild cards within the name to search for. This provides the ability to name files by type and date to distinguish them for different dates and purposes.
For example, if you have opt-in updates, opt-out updates, and profile updates as separate files, and you put them in the directory more often than the processing frequency, you can prevent them from being overwritten by naming them:
Acoustic Campaign can then be set to search for ourorg*.csv and all files are found and processed.
You can use the * as a wild card. So, should your uploaded file have a date at the end that changes daily, replace the changing elements with an *.
If you expect another system to place a file on your SFTP server daily with a name like datafile1234.csv, and then tomorrow another file is pushed out with the same name but the different value appended, datafile2345.csv, then the wild card will be useful.
When you set up the recurring import, designate the file name as datafile*.csv, and Acoustic Campaign look for any file that starts with datafile and ends with .csv.
- Recurring import permission is under the control of organization administration. Permission can be turned to Off and the settings do not display.
- When a file in the SFTP directory is retrieved to update a database, the file is deleted from the directory.
- If more than one file is found matching the path/file name (due to wild cards), all files are processed.
Recurring imports require a schedule: daily, weekly, or monthly.
- Daily: Every Day or Every Week Day.
Every day is the default but no time is defaulted. Required: specify a time.
- Weekly: Weekly at a specific day and time. Select a day.
Required: specify a time.
- Monthly: Monthly on day 1...30 of every month, or the first, second, third, fourth, or last day of every month.
Required: specify a time.
- Start date/time (first run date).
- End date/time (last run date), or no end date.
Making changes in a database while a recurring import is active
Changing the database name does not cause your recurring list import to fail because Acoustic Campaign uses a numeric ID to identify the database. However, changing the fields of a database, such as renaming, removing, adding, or changing field type, can causes problems. For example, new field names being overwritten by old ones, data being imported improperly, and so on.
Processing checks for missing mapping files and mismatch of the mapping file and database file.
If the file is missing for an import job, the data job is marked as Failed and an error notification sent. The job runs again at the next scheduled interval.
If the user requested notification when submitting the data job, the specified address is used. If an email address was not provided, the notification email from the user's Acoustic Campaign account is used.
It is not possible to change the email notification for an existing recurring import. You would have to cancel the current recurring job and replace it with an identical one. Something to consider is using an alias / distribution list mailbox for the email notification when setting up the import. This way, if the need arises to change recipients, it can be fulfilled without canceling the import.
Changing the schedule of a recurring import
After you set up a recurring import you can change the recurring schedule on the Recurring Database Imports tab. The Recurring Database Import area allows you to change the recurring import job name and schedule, including the date range.
Access the Recurring Database Import tab by clicking the name of the recurring data job or by selecting the Settings icon within the Fields tab of your database.
How often can recurring list imports run?
Acoustic Campaign allows you to set list imports to recur every day, every week day, weekly, or monthly.
The user interface does not provide the possibility of hourly recurring list imports.