I have a Data Extension with Customer Data that is being updated by external services constantly (via the SFMC API).
This Customer DE contains all necessary Subscriber fields including SubscriberKey (as Primary Key), and I would like all new records to be included into a Journey which sends them a welcome email as soon as possible.

It is not possible for us to make changes to the API; so amending the API to include the Journey Entry API is out of the question.

Is there a way for Journey Builder to "listen" to a DE for new records, and evaluate them for entry immediately. Using Automation Studio to simulate this by triggering the Journey Entry event every few minutes is not our preference.

2 Answers 2


Removed previous information.

In case the use of JB API Entry DE isn't possible, then this use case isn't possible in real-time with standard DE.

Maybe it would be an idea to build a new external service that constantly monitors the target DE and would populate API Entry DE for the Journey entry. It's a heavy workaround and probably isn't worth it for this particular use case though.

  • Thanks Rain - I've heard of the High Watermark issue. Can you elaborate further in your answer regarding the setup of the Data Entry source, and confirm if the evaluation will happen in near-real time, or if it still requires a schedule/automation to trigger the evaluation. Oct 8, 2019 at 13:39
  • It's real-time, no extra functionality is needed to be configured.
    – Rain
    Oct 8, 2019 at 13:55
  • 1
    @Rain - are you sure? Cameron is specific about not being able to use the API entry event, only option he has is upserting data to a DE. And as per documentation, Data Extension entry event is relying on a schedule - hence not being real time. Oct 8, 2019 at 19:12
  • Ah, misread the part that it isn't possible. Thanks for pointing it out.
    – Rain
    Oct 8, 2019 at 19:33

Is it possible for you to add new fields? I would suggest to add the date when the records were added in the Data Extension and use that info as the trigger in the journey (e.g. if Date is equal to 'Today').

  • Thanks Fromero, however this is no ability to edit the DE as it's being used by an External API service. Oct 8, 2019 at 13:37

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