Background: We have a simple automation studio workflow defined that would trigger when file with a certain name pattern is dropped and that then initiates the import activity (which also relies on a similar file name pattern so that it knows which files it can process).

Problem: What we have noticed is that automation studio trigger does not pass the file name information that triggered the workflow to the Import Activity and that creates a problem for us.

For eg: file 1 dropped, automation studio kicks off hands it over to import activity and import done successfully (as it finds just one file to process), no problem so far.

file 2 dropped, automation studio kicks off again, hands it over to the import activity, but this time import activity sees two potential files it can process, file 1 and file 2 so it randomly picks one and starts processing it (which is a problem), although I feel that it should know that it just finished processing the file 1 a little while back, so it should not reprocess that.

Now as I understand this maybe by design, so wondering if other folks here have run into similar issues and how they got around it?

I am pretty new to marketing cloud so could use any feedback I can get.

  • Have you tried setting it to deleting file 1 from the FTP after import?
    – 0xsegfault
    Jul 31, 2017 at 21:46
  • Have u tried file queuing?
    – 0xsegfault
    Jul 31, 2017 at 21:53

2 Answers 2


So the way I solve file conflict scenarios if I have no control over the file naming patterns is:

Create 2 File Locations pointing to 2 seperate folders in your FTP:

File Locations:


Setup 2 seperate File Triggered Automations, each automation pointing to 1 of the file locations.

This prevents conflicts with same file naming patterns.

If you have control over the file naming pattern, then @Data_Kid's Answer with time wild cards appended to the file name will solve your problem and then you can just use a Substitution String %%FILENAME_FROM_TRIGGER%% to pick up the latest file name dropped on FTP as each file drop will contain a different timestamp.

Hope this helps.

  • Thanks @Christopher %%FILENAME_FROM_TRIGGER%% did the trick
    – A-V
    Aug 3, 2017 at 5:58
  • Awesome @user47773, if you could accept my answer it would be much appreciated :) Aug 3, 2017 at 5:59

The HH:MM:S (Hours Minutes and Seconds) wild cards to your file naming pattern. This way it would be easier for the system to differentiate between the two files as they would have different names by virtue of been dropped at different times.

  • Thanks Data_Kid for your suggestions. Yes we had DD MM YYYY and HH MM SS wildcards in our filenames, but automation studio was not picking up the files in the order in which they were dropped onto the SFTP folder (problem was more prominent when a bunch of files were dropped within a few seconds), finally what we ended up doing is what @Christopher Haddad suggested, which is use filename pattern in the Import Activity as %%FILENAME_FROM_TRIGGER%%, this ensured that the workflow would rely on filename that triggered the workflow (instead of scanning SFTP folder for potential files to import).
    – A-V
    Aug 3, 2017 at 5:57

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