I have an issue where I can no longer start an Automation using the Fuel SOAP API. This used to work but has stopped working and I'm wondering if it's working for anyone else.

I've created a new Automation with a Fire Event Activity and I can run the Automation successfully using the 'Run Once' button, but when I try to fire the event by bashing a cURL request:

curl -XPOST -H "Content-type: text/xml; charset=utf-8" -H "SOAPAction: Perform" -d @request.xml https://webservice.s7.exacttarget.com/Service.asmx

And request.xml file contains the following request envelope (note that CustomerKey is the value of my Automation External Key):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<soapenv:Envelope xmlns:soapenv="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
     <fueloauth xmlns="http://exacttarget.com">insertAccessTokenHere</fueloauth>
      <PerformRequestMsg xmlns="http://exacttarget.com/wsdl/partnerAPI">
            <Definition xsi:type="Automation">
               <PartnerKey xsi:nil="true"/>
               <ObjectID xsi:nil="true"/>

Then I receive the response:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
            <wsu:Timestamp wsu:Id="Timestamp-2a0d2e14-5027-4f9e-bdca-48540f9df0c1">
                    <StatusMessage>Automation cannot be Performed. Automation has been marked as deleted.</StatusMessage>
            <OverallStatusMessage />

I'm not sure why this is occurring. I've tried with existing Automations and creating new Automations and get the same result each time. My SOAP endpoint is correct and I've even tried using legacy authentication, but I still get the same error. Can anyone reproduce this issue?

1 Answer 1


I generally see ObjectID used when performing/starting an Automation and not "CustomerKey". Can you confirm you've successfully used customer key in the past wtihout any issues?

To get the Object ID, the Automation object needs to be retrieved. The ProgramID property is specificed in the retrieve, but the ObjectID property is actually returned. Example of retrieving this info below:

<RetrieveRequestMsg xmlns="http://exacttarget.com/wsdl/partnerAPI"> 
<Filter xsi:type="SimpleFilterPart"> 

SOAP Envelope for using the ObjectID would look similar to:

<PerformRequestMsg xmlns="http://exacttarget.com/wsdl/partnerAPI"> 
<Definition xsi:type="Automation"> 
  • Hi Jeremy, I get the same response if I use ObjectId or CustomerKey. I have tried retrieving the ObjectId using the method you describe (I thought this was simply the External Key of the Automation) but get the error <OverallStatus>Error</OverallStatus> in my response with no detail. Is this request to get the Object ID working for you? Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 21:06
  • I just ran the exact above "Retrieve" request in my own account via SOAPUI and retrieved the results successfully where it gave me "ObjectID". I then used the ObjectID and put it into the above exact "PerformReqeustMsg" call. This also gave me a success <StatusMessage>Performed Activity</StatusMessage> and started my automation without issue.
    – Jeremy
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 21:33
  • Hi Jeremy, thanks for confirming. I must have been doing something silly as it's working fine now. Thanks for the pointers. FYI, I've documented the procedure for starting an Automation for the benefit of others. Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 10:42
  • @EliotHarper - any ideas what fixed this issue for you? I'm running in to the same problem trying to start an automation using the ObjectID. Getting the same error: "Automation cannot be Performed. Automation has been marked as deleted."
    – Daniel
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 1:14
  • Hi @Dan, did you try following the steps that I documented? Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 12:27

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