Profile Owned Objects provide increased data storage flexibility by allowing customers to easily configure and manage customizable objects on a profile in addition to the simple profile attributes already available. Profile Object types are set-up in the same way that catalog object types are configured including the ability to have attributes and related catalog objects. Data stored within a profile object is then accessible via a set of out of the box rules, allowing customers to leverage the data stored against them for insights and cross-channel experience activation (Profile Object data can only be added/updated/removed via ETL. Sitemap or API updates are not supported at this time). Profile objects are available to all customers.
Accessing Profile Objects
Profile Object Type configuration is accessible via the same screen that you configure catalog objects. Simply navigate to Settings > Catalog and Profile Objects in the left-hand navigation and below the catalog objects section you will see a header for Profile Objects. This article will cover Profile Object configuration.
Creating Profile Object Types
To create a new Profile Object Type, simply click the blue plus sign next to the Profile Objects header. This will open up a new profile object type definition page. From here, you will follow these steps:
General Object Information
- Required: Enter the name of your profile object type
- Name must be alphanumeric, start with a capital letter, and be between 3 and 30 characters
- Once a profile object is saved, the name is no longer modifiable
- The name value is what will be leveraged in the ETL for data storage/updates
- Object types (Catalog or Profile) cannot share a name
- Optional: Enter a Label for your profile object
- A label can be used to define how the name of a profile object renders in the application UI. For example, if the object name is AutoLease, you might want to make the label Auto Lease so that it renders more cleanly in the UI. The label is purely cosmetic and does not impact or influence data capture or storage
- Optional: Enter an Object Description
- There is a 200-character limit for item type descriptions. Anything over 200 characters will be replaced with an ellipse (...)
Define Custom Attributes
Custom Attributes on profile objects are optional to configure. Unlike attributes on catalog objects, profile object attributes can be referenced via segmentation and campaign rules. To add an attribute to a profile object, simply follow these steps:
- Click NEW ATTRIBUTE
- Add an alphanumeric Attribute Name (the name is what you will use in ETL for attribute assignment & updates)
- Add the Label as the text you want to appear in Interaction Studio (the label is simply what will display in the UI)
- Select the attribute Type (Supported types for data ingestion = string, boolean, integer, decimal, date)
- Click to apply the attribute or attribute modifications to the profile object (In order to actually save and apply the attribute, you will need to click the blue "Save" button in the top right corner of the page after configuring or modifying the attribute)
- Click to cancel
Configure Catalog Object Relationships
Though not required, a business user can configure related catalog object relationships on a profile object if the profile object describes an item that is mapped in the catalog. Unlike with catalog objects, there are no restrictions, outside of promotions, to what catalog objects can be applied as a related catalog object to a profile object (promotion is the only built-in catalog object type that cannot be applied as a related catalog object on a profile object type). Just like with Profile Object attributes, related catalog objects on a profile object are available in segment/campaign rules.
To configure related catalog objects on a profile object, simply follow these steps:
- Below the Attributes section there is a table to add in Related Catalog Objects
- Click "Add Related Catalog Object" and a new row will appear in the table
- Select an object to add as a related catalog object
- All catalog objects except for promotions will be available to assign to a profile object as a related catalog object
- You are not able to assign another profile object as a related object
- Define the relationship cardinality
- Save and Enable your Profile Object!
Some example use cases of when you might want to link a catalog object to a profile object are as follows:
- Lease Profile Object: For a lease, you would likely use profile object attributes to describe the lease terms that are unique to each individual (start, end, mileage, etc.), but then you could use related catalog objects to describe the lease (Make, Model, Year)
- Product Registration Profile Object: For a product registration, you might use profile attributes to describe something like registration date, but could then use a related catalog object to assign the product id of the item registered to link it to the catalog listing
Editing Existing Profile Object Types
When editing an existing profile object, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind. Details are as follows:
Editing the Object Type Name & Label Field
Once a profile object is saved, you can no longer edit the name field. The name field is the value that is leveraged in the ETL for data ingestion and storage. The label field can be edited at any time. The label field simply changes what value renders in the UI for that object. The label has no impact on what value is used for data ingestion or storage and is purely cosmetic.
Understanding an Object Types Status
A green check-mark next to the object name indicates that the object is currently enabled meaning that it is visible on the customer profile and available to be leveraged for data ingestion and storage. An object's status (enabled or disabled) is set via the slider in the top right of the object edit screen.
Editing an Object that is Enabled
If you are editing an object with a green check, you should be aware that any changes you make and save will be pulled through across the platform UI and might also impact data capture/storage. Changing the label field will not impact data storage, but changing/removing attribute or related catalog object values will impact what can be stored on an object. If you change one of these fields and are loading data via ETL, you should make sure that any changes you make on the catalog set-up screen are also reflected in these areas to ensure you are not trying to send in data that can't be stored since it no longer matches the catalog object definition.
Deleting a Profile Object Type
When deleting a profile object type on the catalog and profile objects setup screen, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind. Details are as follows:
- When a profile object type is deleted from the Catalog and Profile Objects screen, the object is no longer referencable via campaign/segment rules or visible on the unified customer profile
- User data associated to a profile object type will be fully deleted from Interaction Studio when the next user profile object ETL job runs
- NOTE: If a profile object type is deleted on the catalog and profile objects setup screen and then recreated with the exact same name before a profile object ETL runs, the user profile object data will resurface on the customer profiles
- Profile Object Type definitions can only be deleted via the Catalog and Profile Objects setup UI. Deleting individual or multiple profile objects on a user for a given profile object type is supported via the remove column of the user profile object ETL
Viewing Profile Objects
Once profile object types are configured and enabled, you will be able to view them on the unified customer profile screen. To see the enabled profile objects, simply follow these steps:
- Navigate to a user profile
- Below the timeline and next to the Overview tab there will be a tab labeled Profile Objects
- Click on the Profile Objects tab to view a table of all configured profile objects and there associated metadata (attributes and related catalog objects)
- Each tab of the table corresponds to a single profile object type (If you have configured 3 profile objects, the table on the profile objects tab will have 3 tabs
- If a profile object has a related catalog object associated, that value will appear as a hyperlink in the table to allow a business user to easily navigate to that catalog object in the platform if desired
Populating Profile Object Data for a User
The only way to update, add, or remove profile object data from a user is via the User Profile Object ETL. Documentation on the User Profile Object ETL, including a spec file, is available here.