I have created a Query to consolidate data from 2 Synchronized Data Extensions into one Sendable DE, but upon running it I get an "Automation failed due to system error".

At first I thought my query was written incorrectly but neither Validate nor Hive SQL Syntax Checker returned an error, so I created a super-simple Query to test, and to my surprise I got the same error.

The super-simple Query I created was just:

FROM Contact_Salesforce

Seeing as how undescriptive the error message was, I created a ticket with SF to which they replied:

...I looked on the backend and noticed an error that says "must exist and be active". Is the Synchronized Data Extension in the same Business Unit? If not you will need to make sure ent. is before the Synchronized Data Extension.

I would move your case over to their team but it appears you have our Standard Support Entitlement. As you have Standard support, we will close the case at this time.

We only have 1 (Parent) BU with no Child BUs. So using "ent." before the name of the DE is not useful. Nevertheless I tried it and got the message

"The 'Ent.' prefix can only be used to query data in a parent account from a child account"

So I´m not sure what´s going on, or why I get this error message AFTER running the Query, when everything, from the Query itself to the DE, is configured correctly.

  • 1
    Couple things to check: 1) Does your data returned exceed the length of any fields in your target data extension? 2) Are there null values for email address in the Synchronized Data Source? If so, are the corresponding fields on your target DE marked as nullable?
    – Tyler
    Sep 1, 2017 at 15:22
  • Hi there @Tyler. 1) I made sure fields in the target DE where larger than the ones in the Synchronized DE. 2) The Synced DE has close to 75 fields, from which I only want to have 5-6 in my target DE, including only one Email field. The mail problem is that the Synced DE (Salesforce Object) has 2 or 3 Email Fields which cause problems at the time of send, and a lot of fields which are only generating lots of unusable data in Marketing Cloud, so we want to simplify things a bit. Sep 4, 2017 at 14:53
  • Can you verify that you have the connector properly set up with those synchronized data extensions existing? Apr 6, 2019 at 0:00

2 Answers 2


Do the next:


If it doesn't give you any errors, you def have access to the Sync DE.


so off the top of my head:

  1. You may have wrongly named the DE in your query, and it should be something like Contact_Salesforce__c instead
  2. You could try the recently made available Query Validator that helps debugging queries - it's not supported by SF but it's from their "labs", so it should continue to be improved over time (it's on the AppExchange)
  3. You could forego the problem all together and use an app with a WYSIWYG interface like DESelect (let's you select synchronized DEs - or any DEs for that matter - with drag-and-drop)

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