For the past six months, when creating new attribute groups in Data Designer my team and I had the ability to access the Synchronized Data Extensions folder and simply drag and drop a synchronized data extension and link it to a sendable data extension. This was a super helpful feature (or bug?).

Apparently, Marketing Cloud doesn't permit users to perform this action, but my entire team was able to do so and built a ton of our journeys around attribute groups that contain sync'd data extensions (not copies of sync'd data extensions).

A few weeks ago, we were suddenly unable to access this folder in Data Designer when creating new attribute groups. Using these attribute groups did not cause any issues with our journeys or communications. In fact, they ran perfectly. Despite losing access to this perform this action our attribute groups that use this setup still exist.

It was incredibly convenient at the time, but now that we cannot access Synchronized Data Extensions when creating a new Attribute Group we are a bit paralyzed since we have committed to various projects assuming that this feature would always exist.

After researching a solution, I found that we should have never had access to Synchronized Data Extensions when creating a new Attribute Group.

I'm wondering why we had access in the first place, how we can reinstate our access and if any workaround exists that doesn't involve copying and automating every synchronized data extensions.

1 Answer 1


The ability to link Synchronized Data Extensions in Data Designer had actually been eliminated in a release (some time in late 2017). This is because using Synchronized Data Extensions posed an issue in Journey Builder in the path selection -- there can be multiple paths to one single attribute in the contact model.

There was a known issue which addressed this problem of having the same data extension linked in multiple attribute groups. You'll need to use a query to move the data from the Synchronized Data Extensions to a new data extension.

Lastly, follow these Contact Builder best practices going forward and you should still be able to build your journeys with Synchronized Data Extension data.

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