Deprecate an XDM field in the UI

Experience Data Model (XDM) offers you the flexibility to manage your data model as your business needs change by deprecating schema fields after data has been ingested. Unwanted fields can be deprecated to remove them from the UI view and also hide them from downstream UIs. Conveniently, a checkbox in the Schema Editor allows you to display deprecated fields and, if necessary, you can also undeprecate them.

As deprecated fields are hidden from the UI by default, this streamlines your schema in the Schema Editor and prevents unwanted fields from being added to downstream dependencies such as the Segment Builder, journey designer, and so on. Field deprecation is also backward compatible. Other systems that use deprecated fields, such as audiences and queries will continue to evaluate them as intended. If a deprecated field is used in an existing audience it is treated normally, meaning that the field shows up as expected in the Segment Builder canvas or is evaluated based on any data available in the deprecated fields. This is a non-breaking change that does not negatively affect any existing data flows.

Before data is ingested into a schema, you can remove unnecessary field groups. See the documentation on how to remove a field group from a schema for more information.

Once data has been ingested into your schema, you can no longer remove fields from the schema without making breaking changes. In this case, you can deprecate an unwanted field within a schema or custom resource by using the Schema Editor or the Schema Registry API.

This document covers how to deprecate fields for different XDM resources using the Schema Editor in the Experience Platform user interface. For steps on deprecating an XDM field using the API, see the tutorial on deprecating an XDM field using the Schema Registry API.

Deprecate a field deprecate

To deprecate a custom field, navigate to the Schema Editor for the schema you want to edit. Select the field that you want to deprecate from the Structure section of the canvas, followed by Deprecate from the Field Properties.

The Schema editor with a field selected and Deprecate highlighted.

A dialog appears to confirm your choices and notify you that the field will be removed from the UI view of the union schema and hidden from downstream UIs. To complete the action, select Confirm.

The Deprecate field dialog with Confirm highlighted.

The field is now removed from the UI view.

Once deprecated, downstream UIs such as Segmentation dashboards, Customer Journey Analytics, and Adobe Journey Optimizer no longer display deprecated fields as part of their workflow. However, downstream UIs have the option to show deprecated fields if needed and continue to treat the deprecated field as normal. See their respective documentation for more information. Queries and audiences that use the deprecated field will continue to run as expected.

Show deprecated fields show-deprecated

To view previously deprecated fields, navigate to the relevant schema in the Schema Editor. Select the Show deprecated fields checkbox in the Composition section of the canvas.

The deprecated field now appears in the UI view. Select Save to confirm your settings.

The Schema Editor with a field selected, Show deprecated fields and Save highlighted.

Undeprecate fields undeprecate-fields

To undo a deprecated field, first display the deprecated field as described above, then select the deprecated field from the editor’s Structure section. Next, select Undeprecate from the Field properties sidebar followed by Save.

The Schema Editor with the deprecated field, Undeprecate, and Save highlighted.

The Undeprecate field dialog appears. To confirm your changes, select Confirm.

The Undeprecate field dialog with Confirm highlighted.

The field now displays as standard in the UI view and also in downstream UIs. Again, you now have the option to deprecate the field.

Next steps

This document covered how to deprecate XDM fields using the Schema Editor UI. For more information on configuring fields for custom resources, see the guide on defining XDM fields in the API. For more information on managing descriptors, see the descriptors endpoint guide.