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I'm planning to create a customer profile center with CloudPages and Smart Capture.

I understand this document is the best resource for doing so: https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.mc-apis.meta/mc-apis/creating_a_custom_profile_center_using_ampscript_and_the_soap_api.htm

Also, it is my understanding that AMPscript and SOAP API will update information in Marketing Cloud.

What if SFMC is not my database of record? Shouldn't the API update information in that system as well? How would this be accomplished? Duck Creek, for example.

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AMPscript and SOAP API will update the information in Marketing Cloud as per that document.

To update additional information in your external database of record you can just make a HTTP call to the API of your database of record from Marketing Cloud via AMPscript

%%=HTTPPost("http://example.com","text/html",@exampleContent,@CallStatus)=%% 

or SSJS.

var url = 'http://example.com/forms/myForm.html';
var contentType = 'text/xml';
var payload = '<test>test123</test>';
var headerNames = ["MyTestHeader1", "MyTestHeader2"];
var headerValues = ["MyTestValue1", "MyTestValue2"];
var result = HTTP.Post(url, contentType, payload, headerNames, headerValues);

Write(result.StatusCode + '<br>');
Write(result.Response);

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