Update schemas

This video reviews some of the basic things to be aware of when updating existing schemas in Adobe Experience Platform. For more information, please visit the schemas documentation.

In this video, I’ll review some of the basic things to be aware of when updating your XDM schemas in Adobe Experience Platform. Keep in mind, this is an overview video designed for data archetypes before they have actually built out any schemas. It’s not going to go deep into the weeds on any specific technique. So, you’ve built your data model, ingested data into Platform. Your marketers are creating segments and activating them to your marketing channels. Things are humming along nicely, and then all of a sudden, you’ve got to make changes to your data model. The most important thing to be aware of is that once you’ve ingested data, there are some changes you’ll be able to make and some you won’t. You can always add new fields and make mandatory fields optional. But what you can’t do is make breaking changes like remove fields or start making additional fields mandatory. You can’t rename or redefine fields, remove or restrict supported values. You can’t move fields to a different location in the tree and you can’t disable a schema for profile once it’s been enabled. And this last one applies regardless of whether or not you’ve ingested data. The field restrictions apply to all of the relevant building block elements of schemas, such as data types, field groups, and classes. Platform will prevent you from making these changes and give you an error message indicating why they were prevented. These restrictions help you maintain backwards compatibility of your Platform implementation. Schemas are foundational to Platform, and breaking changes could adversely impact all of your downstream users. So, it’s a good thing we don’t allow them.
Because of these restrictions, we always recommend you build your schemas in the development sandbox, ingest data to make sure they meet your needs. And once you’ve confirmed them, copy them to your production sandbox. Since it’s easy to add fields, but not remove fields, you might want to take an iterative approach to building your schemas, and only ingest data that you know will be needed.
Experience Platform only keeps the latest versions of your schemas. If you have version control requirements, you’ll need to use an external system to track your schema versions.
In some scenarios, making supported changes might have other implications. For example, if you require new fields in your schema, you can certainly add them. But if you want historical data for those fields, you might need to delete your existing data and then re-ingest it with the new data points. So, those are some things to be aware of when updating your schemas, good luck. -