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(This is a rookie question, sorry if my question is based on wrong or inaccurate premises).

I'm trying a build an understanding about how Journey Builder - and Custom Activities in particular - work (based on link and link), and came up with the following conceptual vision:

conceptual schema of SF JourneyBuilder custom activity design

Now, let's imagine that the execution endpoint triggers something asynchronous (e.g., sending an e-mail message to an end-user). The result of this action would be expressed as a status, or multiple statuses (e.g. message sent, message received, message read, link clicked...). These results would be asynchronous (that is, obviously the execution endpoint won't be able to return these statuses synchronously).

Questions:

1) How to communicate these asynchronous results back to Journey Builder? Should I use the Custom Events and/or Custom Triggers feature, and how? (these two features are mentionned in some places, but without any comprehensive documentation I can find.)

2) Once communicated back to Journey Builder, how to use my custom statuses in Journey Builder flow conditions AND statistics?

  • Can you please give an example for Question 2. I didn't get what exactly you'd like to do with custom statuses and how you store them? – Eduard Jul 10 '18 at 12:05
  • As I'm not really familiar with how things work with SF Custom Activities, I'm making some assumptions (which might be wrong). So I assume that it's somehow possible to send back my custom statuses to: 1) use them for Journey Builder flow conditions (e.g. IF User Clicked On the Link In the Mail, continue on that branch of the flow) 2) Display conversion rates (goal attainments) based on my custom statuses? – Maxim Gueivandov Jul 10 '18 at 12:19
  • Okay, let's start with "IF User Clicked On the Link In the Mail, continue on that branch of the flow". If you are sending emails from Marketing Cloud, then you don't need any additional work to do as SFMC track all email events. You just need to specify a Wait event before you check your condition. If, on the other hand, you need to make decision base on some custom data (e.g. Subscriber attribute), then you need to send these data to SFMC and then use it in your conditions. – Eduard Jul 10 '18 at 12:33
  • Honestly, your question is too broad and it's hard to give one answer. I suggest that you create another question about "how to use my custom statuses in Journey Builder flow conditions AND statistics" and provide an example of your journey and its setup. It would be much easier to give you advice. Also specify what do you imply by "custom statuses" and how they are represented in SFMC (Subscriber Attributes, Fields in a DE etc.) – Eduard Jul 10 '18 at 12:36
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    Then you need to create a custom Subscriber Attribute which would store your statuses (Message Received, Message Read etc.) and update this field using SFMC API. And in the Journey itself use this Status fields in a Condition Standard Activity. Make sure, though, to use a Wait Activity before the Condition to allow for your Status be updated. – Eduard Jul 10 '18 at 14:04
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+50

To these days creating custom activities is still cumbersome. Alas, lack of really good examples and explanation from Salesforce.

Answer or Question 1.

--How to communicate these asynchronous results back to Journey Builder?

You can try calling Marketing Cloud APIs to update you Source Data Extension (or any other DE that you can use for reporting) once you get async results. Check out these first Journey Builder API Specification and REST API v1 Reference

--Should I use the Custom Events and/or Custom Triggers feature, and how?

These are just your custom definition of an entry event in Journey Builder. They won't help you get asynchronous results.

Answer or Question 2. Based on you current description I can say that if you manage updating the source Data Extension or Interaction Data, then you will be able to use your custom statuses in a JB flow.

P.S. This real working example journey-builder-zapier helped me understand how custom activities work and its customization possibilities.

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