Merge policies UI guide

Adobe Experience Platform enables you to bring data fragments together from multiple sources and combine them in order to see a complete view of each of your individual customers. When bringing this data together, merge policies are the rules that Platform uses to determine how data will be prioritized and what data will be combined to create the unified view.

Using RESTful APIs or the user interface, you can create new merge policies, manage existing policies, and set a default merge policy for your organization. This guide provides step-by-step instructions for working with merge policies using the Adobe Experience Platform user interface (UI).

To learn more about merge policies and they role they play within Experience Platform, please begin by reading the merge policies overview.

Getting started

This guide requires a working understanding of several important Experience Platform features. Before following this guide, please review the documentation for the following services:

View merge policies

Within the Experience Platform UI, you can begin working with merge policies by selecting Profiles in the left navigation and then selecting the Merge Policies tab. This tab includes a list of all existing merge policies for your organization, as well as details for each merge policy including the policy name, whether or not the merge policy is the default merge policy, and the schema class to which the merge policy relates.

Merge policies landing page

To select which details are visible, or to add additional columns to the display, select Configure columns and click on a column name to add or remove it from view.

Create a merge policy

To create a new merge policy, select Create merge policy on the merge policies tab to enter the new merge policy workflow.

Merge policies landing page with the create button highlighted.

The New merge policy workflow, requires you to provide important information for your new merge policy through a series of guided steps. These steps are outlined in the sections that follow.

The new merge policy workflow.

Configure

The first step in the workflow allows you to configure your merge policy by providing basic information. This information includes:

  • Name: The name of your merge policy should be descriptive yet concise.
  • Schema class: The XDM schema class associated with the merge policy. This specifies the schema class for which this merge policy is created. Organizations can create multiple merge policies per schema class. Currently only the XDM Individual Profile class is available in the UI. You can preview the union schema for the schema class by selecting View Union Schema. For more information, see the section on viewing the union schema that follows.
  • ID stitching: This field defines how to determine the related identities of a customer. There are two possible values for identity stitching, and it is important to understand how the type of identity stitching that you select will impact your data. To learn more, please refer to the merge policies overview.
    • None: Perform no identity stitching.
    • Private Graph: Perform identity stitching based on your private identity graph.
  • Default merge policy: A toggle button that allows you to select whether or not this merge policy will be the default for your organization. If the selector is toggled on, a warning appears asking you to confirm that you wish to change your organization’s default merge policy. See the merge policies overview to learn more about default merge policies.

Once the required fields have been completed, you can select Next to continue with the workflow.

A complete Configure screen with the Next button highlighted.

View Union Schema

When creating or editing a merge policy, you can view the union schema for the chosen schema class by selecting View Union Schema.

This opens the View Union Schema dialog, showing all contributing schemas, identities, and relationships associated with the union schema. You can use the dialog to explore the union schema in the same way that you would by accessing the Union Schema tab in the Profiles section of the Platform UI.

For detailed information on union schemas, including how to interact with them in the Union Schema tab or the View Union Schema dialog shown in the merge policies workflow, please visit the union schema UI guide.

Select Profile datasets

On the Select Profile datasets screen, you must select the Merge method that you wish to use for your merge policy. Also displayed on the screen is the total number of Profile datasets in your organization that relate to the schema class that was selected on the previous screen.

Depending on the merge method that you choose, all of the Profile datasets will be merged by the order in which they were last updated (timestamp ordered) or you will need to select which Profile datasets to include in the merge policy and the order in which to merge them (dataset precedence).

For more information on merge methods, please refer to the merge policies overview.

Timestamp ordered

Selecting Timestamp ordered as the merge method means that attributes from the most recently updated datasets will take precedence. This applies across all Profile datasets.

NOTE

The number in brackets next to Profile datasets (for example, (37) in the image shown) shows the total number of profile datasets that will be included.

Dataset precedence

Selecting Dataset precedence as the merge method requires you to select Profile datasets and manually prioritize them. Each dataset listed also includes the status of the last batch ingested or displays a notice that no batches has been ingested into that dataset.

You can select up to 50 datasets from the dataset list to include in the merge policy.

NOTE

The number in brackets next to Profile datasets (for example, (37) in the image shown) shows the total number of profile datasets available for selection.

As datasets are selected, they are added to the Select datasets section, allowing you to drag and drop the datasets and order them according to your desired precedence. As the datasets are adjusted in the list, the ordinal (1, 2, 3, etc) next to the dataset will update, displaying priority (1 being given the highest priority, then 2, and onward).

Selecting a dataset also updates the Union schema section, showing the fields in the union schema to which each dataset contributes data. For more information on union schemas, including how to interact with the visualizations in the UI, please reference the union schema UI guide

Select ExperienceEvent datasets

The next step in the workflow requires you to select ExperienceEvent datasets. This screen is influenced by the merge method that you selected on the Select Profile datasets screen.

Timestamp ordered

If you selected Timestamp ordered as the merge method for Profile datasets, the attributes from the most recently updated ExperienceEvent datasets will take precedence here as well.

NOTE

The number in brackets next to ExperienceEvent datasets (for example, (20) in the image shown) shows the total number of ExperienceEvent datasets created by your organization that relate to the schema class that you selected on the merge policy configuration screen.

Dataset precedence

If you selected Dataset precedence as the merge method for Profile datasets, you will need to select ExperienceEvent datasets to include. You can select up to 50 ExperienceEvent datasets from the dataset list.

NOTE

The number in brackets next to ExperienceEvent datasets (for example, (20) in the image shown) shows the total number of ExperienceEvent datasets created by your organization that relate to the schema class that you selected on the merge policy configuration screen.

As datasets are selected, they appear in the Select datasets section.

ExperienceEvent datasets cannot be manually ordered, instead the attributes in the ExperienceEvent datasets are appended to the Profile datasets if they are part of the same profile fragment.

Similar to selecting Profile datasets, selecting an ExperienceEvent dataset also updates the Union schema section, showing the fields in the union schema to which each dataset contributes data. For more information on union schemas, including how to interact with the visualizations in the UI, please reference the union schema UI guide

Review

The final step in the workflow is to review your merge policy. The Review screen displays information about your merge policy, including the ID stitching method selected, merge method selected, and the datasets included. (To view all of the Profile or ExperienceEvent datasets included, select the number of datasets to expand the dropdown list.)

Also included on the review screen is the Preview data table showing sample profile records using your merge policy. This enables you to preview what a customer profile looks like before saving your merge policy.

Please ensure that you review your merge policy configuration and preview data carefully before selecting Finish to complete the creation workflow.

Timestamp ordered

If you selected Timestamp ordered as the merge method for your merge policy, the list of Profile datasets includes all of the datasets that have been created by your organization related to the schema class, in order of timestamp. The list of ExperienceEvent datasets includes all datasets that your organization has created for the chosen schema class and will be appended to the Profile datasets.

The Preview data table shows sample profile records based on a timestamp ordering of the datasets. This enables you to preview what a customer profile looks like before saving your merge policy.

Dataset precedence

If you selected Dataset precedence as the merge method for your merge policy, the lists of Profile and ExperienceEvent datasets include only the Profile and ExperienceEvent datasets that you selected during the creation workflow, respectively. The order of the Profile datasets should match the precedence that you specified during creation. If it doesn’t, use the Back button to return to the previous workflow steps and adjust the priority.

The Preview data table shows sample profile records using the selected datasets. This enables you to preview what a customer profile looks like before saving your merge policy.

Updated list of merge policies

After completing the workflow to create a new merge policy, you are returned to the Merge Policies tab. The list of merge policies for your organization should now include the merge policy that you just created.

Edit a merge policy

From the Merge Policies tab, you can modify an existing merge policy created for the XDM Individual Profile class by selecting the Policy name for the merge policy you wish to edit.

Merge policies landing page

When the Edit merge policy screen appears, you can make changes to the name and ID stitching method, as well as change whether or not this policy is the default merge policy for your organization.

Select Next to continue through the merge policy workflow to update the merge method and datasets included in the merge policy.

Once you have made the necessary changes, review your merge policy and select Finish to save your changes and return to the Merge policies tab.

WARNING

Changing a merge policy can affect segmentation and profile results, as it will alter the way in which data conflicts are resolved. Please be sure to review changes to your merge policies carefully before saving them.

Data governance policy violations

When creating or updating a merge policy, a check is performed to determine if the merge policy violates any of the data usage policies defined by your organization. Data usage policies are part of Adobe Experience Platform Data Governance and are rules that describe the kinds of marketing actions that you are allowed to, or restricted from, performing on specific Platform data. For example, if a merge policy was used to create a segment that activated to a third-party destination, and your organization had a data usage policy preventing the export of specific data to third parties, you would receive a Data governance policy violation detected notification when attempting to save your merge policy.

This notification includes a list of data usage policies that have been violated and allows you to view the details of the violation by selecting a policy from the list. Upon selecting a violated policy, the Data lineage tab provides the reason for the violation and the affected activations, each providing more detail into how the data usage policy has been violated.

To learn more about how data governance is performed within Adobe Experience Platform, please begin by reading the Data Governance overview.

Next steps

Now that you have created and configured merge policies for your organization, you can use them to adjust the view of customer profiles within Platform and to create audience segments from your Profile data. See the segmentation overview for more information on how to create and work with segments using the Experience Platform UI and APIs.

On this page