First, the What:
Custom Objects serve as a data extension to the standard database entities that are found in Oracle Eloqua: Contacts and Accounts. Custom Objects (also referred to as Custom Data Objects or CDOs) can store bulk data (e.g. purchase history or opportunities) and that data can be linked to a Contact or Account record to be actioned upon.
Then, the Why:
Custom Objects can be used simply for data storage or they can provide even greater value by linking a singular record or many records in the CDO to a Contact or Account record. With linkage between the two objects, data in the CDO can be utilized for advanced segmentation and campaign personalization. Additionally, you can run Custom Object Record Services allowing for advanced automation based on data in the CDO or whether the record is new or modified. CDO Services are similar to form processing steps in terms of their options and how to configure them. Below are some examples:
- Email Group actions
- Global Subscription actions
- Update existing record or data object
- Email Sends
- Run Integration Rules
- Add to a Step in Program Builder
Last, the How:
Let’s start ‘the How’ with some terminology:
- Custom Data Object (CDO) or Custom Object: Object (or database) that is made up of custom data records
- Custom Data Record (CDR): Individual record within a CDO that holds data; a CDR may or may not be linked to a Contact or Account
- Custom Data Record Field: Customized fields used to store data
- Tip: Think of the CDO as a worksheet, the CDR as each row in the worksheet, and the CDR Fields as the column headers.
- Companies: Within the Custom Data Object interface in Oracle Eloqua, “Accounts” will be referred to as “Companies”
To set up a Custom Object, first navigate to the Custom Object area: from the main tool bar, select Audience > Custom Objects.
Click on “New Custom Object” in the main body of the screen or from the “Custom Object” dropdown in the top left of the screen, select “New Custom Object”.
You will see a screen that looks like this and prompts you to enter the basic details for your CDO.
- Display Name: Unique Name of the object that clearly represents what data will be stored
- Description: Input in a description (optional)
- Folder: Select an appropriate folder to put your CDO in
- Entity Type: Choose the entity type (or object) the CDO will link to (Contacts or Companies)
- Entity Field: Unique identifier for the chosen entity If you are linking your CDO to the Contact object, select the field on the Contact record you want to match on. In most cases, this would be the email address as it is a unique ID for the Contact. If you are linking your CDO to the Companies object, select the field on the Company record you want to match. Many users select Company Name but keep in mind there may be many Company records with the same name.
Click on the Next button when you’ve completed this step.
This next step is to add fields to your CDO. These are fields that will be placed on your CDO where data will be stored. To add fields, click on the “Custom Object Record Fields” button in the top right, then add the type of field that you need.
There are several types of fields that can be added to a CDO:
- Contact fields: Fields on the Contact object
- Form fields: Fields from a specified form
- New fields: Essentially custom fields or fields that are not on the Contact object or a form
Here are some useful details to keep in mind when creating/adding fields to your Custom Object:
- Fifty (50) fields is the recommended maximum for custom objects
- Text fields can have a maximum of 250 characters
- Large text fields can have a maximum of 4,000 characters
- Number fields support integers only
- There is no multi-select field; use a large text for this data type
Click on the Next button when you have added all of your fields. Note, you can always add additional fields after the CDO is created.
This next step is where you can add Header fields if needed. Header fields are used mainly in relation to events and can hold event data such as Date, Time, Location, etc. Click Next.
In the last step of the setup, you will be prompted to configure following settings for your CDO.
- Display Name Field: This field is used if you want a particular field to display from your CDR data when you click on the “View Custom Data Object Record button next to “Total Number of Custom Object Record”. This data will be displayed in the first column of this view and can be very helpful for easily finding a custom object record.
- Unique Code Field: Select a field here only if you do not want to use the Eloqua provided unique code. The decision to select none (and have Eloqua generate the unique ID) vs selecting a field on your Custom Object to be the unique identifier depends on your use-case for the Custom Object. In the example above, we have selected none.
- Email Address Field: Select the field in your CDO that contains the Email address (if applicable).
After you have your details page complete, click on the Save button. Your Custom Object is ready for data and service configuration!
If you have any questions about Oracle Eloqua Custom Objects, use the comments option below or contact us.