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We generate leads and event attendance data from our website, which is connected through REST API.

We'd like to update the event attendance data through an Data import activity from an external FTP. For the update I'd need a unique ID to reference the record within MC. I just wondered what are common practices for generating ID's in custom DE's - currently we generate it on the Website and save it through REST CALL. Are there any other ways?

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Best practice is to pass external ID's through to Marketing Cloud. As far as I know it isnt really built to handle these kind of operations, with the exception of ContactID and SubscriberID.

I can however propose two hacks.

AmpScript + SSJS

It would involve using the GUID function and combining it with an SSJS function to query the column where the GUID is saved. Put an exception in it to retry the GUID function if the number exists in the customDE table.

Query Activity

You could also prefill a DE with numbers that auto-increment using a query activity. Start from 0000000000001 and keep adding one. This will also help you achieve a unique ID, albeit it primitive (only numeric)

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