How are AEP Identity Namespaces related to AAM Data Sources

This article discusses the correlation between AEP Identity Namespaces and AAM Data Sources. Briefly, all AAM cross-device data sources created in AAM have a corollary AEP identity namespace and the deletion of the data source will result in the deletion of identity namespace.

Description description


  • Adobe Experience Platform (AEP)
  • Adobe Audience Manager (AAM)


Is there a relationship between AAM Data Sources and AEP Identity Namespaces?

Resolution resolution

Yes. They are related in the following ways.:

  • All AAM cross-device data sources created in AAM since April 2019 have a corollary AEP identity namespace created with the same name in the same Experience Cloud Org, even if the Experience Cloud Org was not licensed for AEP.
  • All AAM cross-device data sources created prior to April 2019 had their corollary AEP identity namespace created in April of 2019.
  • Any AAM-generated identity namespaces have a pointer to but are not the same entity as their AAM cross-device data source counterparts. They are separate identities that are referenced in the same row of a lookup table on the Experience Edge.
  • Only AAM cross-device data sources have an identity namespace counterpart. Cookie-based AAM data sources do not.

Given this information, here are some important caveats to be aware of:

  • The deletion of an AAM cross-device data source will result in the deletion of the corollary identity namespace.
  • Any updates to the AAM cross-device data source name or integration code will NOT be reflected in the AEP identity namespace UI.
  • Any AAM cross-device data source integration code created after April of 2019 with special characters (such as a hyphen or underscore) will result in a new identity namespace symbol consisting of 3 upper-case letters
  • The identity namespace symbol should match the AAM cross-device data source integration code (even if it has special characters) IF the AAM data source was created prior to April 2019 AND the integration code has not been updated since then.

How does one practically apply this information?

If an existing AAM implementation needs to be maintained during a migration to the AEP Web or Mobile SDKs, then the way to pass Customer or CRM IDs to AAM (what is historically done via the Set Customer ID function/method of the ECID Identity Service) is by setting the SDK Identity Map with the identity namespace symbol found in the AEP or Data Collection UI that corresponds with the AAM cross-device data source in question.  Experience edge will see the identity symbol, look up the corollary AAM integration code, then forward the data collection hit with the correct AAM integration code, thereby allowing the AAM cross-device data source to continue collecting customer IDs for the AAM use cases utilizing those IDs.

Important Note: AEP will treat any identities passed via the identity map in the AEP Web SDK (or otherwise) as stitchable identities, even if the identity namespaces in question are not tied to a profile-enabled XDM field. This can be problematic if the IDs that need to be passed to AAM are not individual/profile-level IDs. This can lead to multiple AEP profiles being merged/collapsed into one if the ID in question were a household ID, for example, instead of an individual ID.

Helpful Hint: If it is not clear which AAM cross-device datasource may be related to a given AEP Identity Namespace, then calling the AAM API for one of the potential AAM data sources using this API call will return a JSON payload that contains the customNamespaceCode field. The value of that field should match whichever AEP Identity Namespace points to that AAM datasource.