We're trying to understand how we can update a Data Extension from an event. I note that the contactEvents REST method lets you do this but requires a contactKey and contactID.

I note the Data Designer glossary explains:

A root relationship represents a one-to-one relationship between a contact record and a data extension that acts as a source for contact information. A root relationship can only take place between the contact record and a single data extension. That contact record relates via the contact key or contact ID to the data extension.

This implies that a relationship needs to exist between a 'Contact Record' and Data Extension. That's fine, but how do you create this relationship and how can we get the contactKey and contactID values using the API so we can use this in events?

  • We are also using the events method to fire an event but this also requires us to define values for contactKey and contactID. Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 5:59

1 Answer 1


You will need to link your Data Extension to the Contact model using the Contact Builder application in the Marketing Cloud. Contact Builder allows you to specify an Attribute Group which you can tie to a ContactKey.

If you look toward the bottom of the Contacts documentation there is a section titled "How to Link Data Extensions" - This will explain in detail how to link these records.

Depending on whether or not you are using SubscriberKey, you may either link the ContactKey to SubscriberKey or to any other Attribute that you decide to use (such as email address)

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