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In Journey Builder, we need to evaluate entries to a Data Extension every 15 minutes.

We programmed a sequence in Automation Studio which includes:

  1. SQL Query - Adds new data to the Data Extension which is the JB Entry source
  2. fire event
  3. 15 min. wait
  4. SQL Query
  5. fire event
  6. 15 min. wait
  7. SQL Query
  8. fire event
  9. 15 min. wait
  10. SQL Query
  11. fire event

But the fire events do not inject the new contacts to the Journey.

Any idea of why, or how this can be achieved?

Thanks!

  • It's not entirely clear to me - is the first event injecting a record? – Jonas Lamberty Oct 19 at 21:26
  • each SQL Query queries "live data" added in the background. The SQL Query adds data to the DE used by Journey Builder. @JonasLamberty – LimeWeb Oct 19 at 21:35
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Journey Builder, when configured in the entry event accordingly, listens to the run of an automation, not individual activities.

Your automation schema contains multiple automation activities from which you expect a result. This expectation is incorrect. You should get ONE injection into the journey once the automation is finished, which is your step 11.

So what are your options?

Either: question the latency requirement. Run hourly, inject hourly with one automation.

Or: Run four automations in a 15 minute offset. They do not "wait" for each other but run independently. Caution. automation runs are technically billable, although not currently enforced. This seems to be a safeguard against abuse at this time, which is not guaranteed to stay like this. To give you an idea, one hourly automation consumes around 8.7k runs per year. Corporate Edition offers 45k. So you have around 5 hourly automations in that contractual setup. This pattern would use four for one single process.

Or: Run two alternating automations that call each other via SSJS and execute the sql + fire sequence, and you can even save yourself the wait, theoretically. automation runs are still technically billable, and this could be a LOT of automations, even more than in the previous pattern. Use this VERY sparingly. How to trigger an automation from another automation

Or: Question the pattern of using sql / automations entirely and instead leverage the API & API Events.

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  • Thanks @Jonas, I wasn't aware that automations are billable! The downside of running 4 automations vs. one - is that we actually need to set up 4 journeys, since Journey Builder is subscribed to only 1 automation. If we go the SSJS path, we'll have 1 automation running hourly, with 15-min. period to call another automation via SSJS. This is the 5 hourly automation limit. Adam's script mentions a CustomerKey-Of-Automation - is that the ExternalKey? IF not, where do I find it? Also, does the automation we call from SSJS has to be "Active"? or can it be paused? – LimeWeb Oct 20 at 15:55
  • Also, if we can't use the fire event like I described, how can one use the fire event? Is this a legacy functionality being depricated? – LimeWeb Oct 20 at 16:00
  • The entire multiplication options are not preferable, to be honest. Options 1 and 4 is what I would consider. The billable thing you can check in the marketing cloud edition overview. for automation it's not an enforced, nor a hard limit, but this kind of tells you that you are doing something weird when you multiply automations. customerkey in that script is externalkey, yes. The automation you call has to have a schedule, but must NOT run. if you can press "run once" on the UI, that is a good sign, because thats what the API call does. – Jonas Lamberty Oct 20 at 16:00
  • fire event: forget it. this is now done differently. go to your journey schedule, set it to "automation", and your automation has to target the journey DE to show up here. Select it. Finish and activate the Journey. This automatically places the replacement for the "fire event" in the automation at the last step. Make sure you don't have the automation open in another tab or so, this will make it behave weird. No idea why all this is not properly documented, but that's how it works. Activation of journey creates the automation event. – Jonas Lamberty Oct 20 at 16:03
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