1. Auto-Suppression Configurations (ASCs) are actually Data Extensions behind the scenes.

This can be established by retrieving all DEs in a BU, or by retrieving a specific auto suppression using the data extension methods through the UI. We can consider this a reproducible fact.

  1. Data Extensions by definition are compatible with SQL.


SELECT [Email Address] 
FROM myAutoSuppressionConfiguration

works without problems even though the ASC is not visible, which supports both 1) and 2).

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Here, the missing option simply doesn't matter, just run the query anyway.


SQL queries can not be freely configured with regards to their target data extension. The choice of target DEs is limited to what we can see on the UI, and we cannot just write code that ignores that. Or can we.

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Theory: This looks a lot like a limitation only imposed by the UI. When Auto Suppression LISTS became CONFIGURATIONS at some point, this part of the UI was just forgotten. A bug, basically.

Test: Can an SQL Query be made to target an auto suppression configuration when ignoring the UI, and creating a query activity by using the API instead?

2 Answers 2


The answer is yes.

The SOAP API call at the bottom will create an SQL Query Activity that feeds data into an Auto Suppression Configuration in the same BU (here, parent), something which cannot be done on the UI.

It is important to specify both Customer Key and name of the Auto Suppression Configuration, otherwise the query is created just fine, but no target DE is visible, which will make the final query at least look a little confusing:

dont forget to define the name

The SQL Query can then be found in Automation Studio. If both key and name are in the API call, the Query Activity looks and acts completely normal, in this case my autosuppression is aptly called "blockeMichFuerAlles":

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It resides in the same BU and was created normally through the UI.

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It is not possible to target Autosuppressions in other BUs.

<SOAP-ENV:Envelope xmlns:SOAP-ENV="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
        <CreateRequest xmlns="http://exacttarget.com/wsdl/partnerAPI">
            <Objects xsi:type="QueryDefinition">
                <PartnerKey xsi:nil="true"></PartnerKey>
                <ObjectID xsi:nil="true"></ObjectID>
                <QueryText>SELECT EmailAddress AS [Email Address], GetDate() AS [Date Added] FROM _Subscribers WHERE EmailAddress = '[email protected]'</QueryText>
                    <PartnerKey xsi:nil="true"></PartnerKey>
                    <ObjectID xsi:nil="true"></ObjectID>
                    <CustomerKey>CUSTOMERKEY OF ASC</CustomerKey>
                    <Name>NAME OF ASC</Name>

After creating a query through the API, the queryText can subsequently be edited via UI as you'd expect. You simply shouldn't change the target DE on the UI, as you will never find the ASC on the UI again and would have to recreate/update the query through API.

Essentially, don't try to change this:

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When reproducing this, you need to obviously change the querytext in the SOAP call to an actual email address that you can find in all subscribers, or select something completely different. The code sample assumes both the ASC and the SQL query to be created in parent.


Adding to the above;

As autosuppression configurations are DEs,

  • they can be MOVED like all other DEs via the API.

This is relevant, as essentially, they are by default placed in a hidden, special folder. Once they are in that folder, they automatically show up on the Setup / Autosuppression Screen where also their Properties can be configured.

Once moved out of that folder, they now longer show up there (i.e. you can NO longer see how their properties configured), BUT can be interacted with like any other DE (Contact Builder: Search by primary key, Add Record, Delete Record), plus they can be found via all UIs, Contact Builder, Automation Studio as Target DE etc.

  • if you know their ObjectId, you can construct a contact builder deeplink to the Auto Suppression Configuration which lets you access it via Contact Builder UI, again allowing to search via PK, Add Record, Delete Record.

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