Customer Attributes upload through "Profile and Audiences" (.csv+.fin or .zip, .gz) Vs "Audience Manager" using FTP (.sync or .overwrite files)



Dear Experts,

I have experience of uploading the Customer attributes through "Profile and Audiences" using drag-drop and FTP features. The FTP guidelines says the allowed file types are .csv, .fin, .gz, .zip. Once it is uploaded and subscribed with Target and Analytics, the uploaded data signals starts appearing in Target and Analytics across the Marketing Cloud including Audience Manager.

On the other hand, we have similar file upload in "Audience Manager" using FTP process which support .sync and .overwrite file types. We need to create the Data Source in Audience Manager for consuming these signals.

Questions -

  1. What is the difference between these two different types of Customer Attribute upload process?
  2. What are the guidelines about which Customer Attribute upload approach should be chosen - please provide the applicable Business Use cases (When to use Profile and Audience, when to use Audience Manager)
  3. For Audience Manager, I can upload the files using FTP process only, Do we have any User Interface just like Profile and Audiences where we can upload the Customer Attributes.

Below are the common questions for both approaches -

  1. Let's say, I uploaded the Customer Attribute. Is there any way/User Interface where I can validate the newly uploaded attributes and there values in Audience Manager or Profile & Audiences. How we should make sure that, data has been uploaded correctly. 
  2. During FTP file upload process, what is the rollback mechanism. For example, say I am uploading one set of Customer Attributes using .sync file and somehow system/server gets crash. Will it rollback all newly uploaded partial data or it will corrupt my existing Customer Attributes uploaded last time and I need to manually upload the last .sync file to restore previous state. 

Kindly share your experience wherever applicable in above questoins, these are very common things which comes across on AAM project. It'll benefit entire community. Thanks in advance!

Accepted Solutions (1)

Accepted Solutions (1)


Community Manager



I'll try and answer your questions one at a time:

1) The main difference is essentially the UI and the way files are uploaded. The Customer Attributes interface is essentially a skin over the AAM instance on the backend. As you stated, the Customer Attributes interface is basically drag & drop. AAM requires you to upload your data directly to the FTP server. The format of the data being uploaded needs to be the same as it ends up in the same system.

2) There isn't really a recommended approach on when to use each method. The AAM interface is obviously only available to customers with the AAM solution as part of their contract. The Customer Attributes interface is available to all Marketing Cloud customers. The AAM interface is a bit more advanced with more options for how the data is processed where the Customer Attributes is simple.

3) No, AAM doesn't have the same interface.  The advantage to using the AAM interface is that it provides more information and greater control, but if you prefer the Customer Attributes UI, you should continue to use it.

Common questions

1) You can view the first ten rows when you view/edit schema in Customer Attributes. In AAM you have more options for what is visible.

2) We don't really have a rollback mechanism, but depending on how the file is being written that may not be an issue.  From an AAM point of view, if the file is valid, we will process it.  Usually, however, if there is a problem with the FTP upload, it will register as a partial file and our system will reject it