SFTP Connection

How do I use the BlueConic SFTP Connection with PGP encryption to synchronize CSV data with BlueConic customer segments?

The BlueConic SFTP connection synchronizes data from different marketing platforms and databases into BlueConic using delimited flat files (e.g. CSV files) on Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) servers. The files are retrieved from and stored at your SFTP server. By allowing BlueConic to share information with other marketing platforms, you can create or enhance user profiles by importing data to BlueConic groups, running scheduled batch imports and exports, and importing or exporting Timeline event data.

About BlueConic: The BlueConic Customer Data Platform harnesses the data required to power the recognition of an individual at each interaction, and then synchronizes their intent across your marketing ecosystem.

Contents

Exchanging BlueConic data with your SFTP server

You can use a BlueConic SFTP connection to create relevant interactions and enable right-time messaging and orchestration. By synchronizing your customer data, you can enrich BlueConic profiles with information like purchase history or predictive analytics segmentation (e.g. propensity modeling or lifecycle signals). By setting up import and export connection goals, you can:

  • Import data about groups such as households, companies, accounts, etc.
  • Import and export customer profile data to synchronize data with your marketing systems.
  • Import and export customer events such as order data.
  • Add data processors to transform or filter the data in your CSV files (e.g. normalize email addresses, do address resolution, etc.).
  • Use PGP encryption for file transfers when exchanging profile data via CSV files.
  • Export marketing lifecycle data for orchestration and targeting.

Watch the video: Introducing the SFTP Connection in BlueConic

Adding an SFTP connection

Start by creating a connection and with your SFTP server.

  1. Click Connections in the Navigation bar.
  2. Click Add Connection.How do I create a BlueConic SFTP Connection to synchronize CSV data with BlueConic customer segments and profiles using PGP encryption?
  3. A pop-up window appears. Check the Show all box. Enter “SFTP” in the Search bar.

    Click SFTP Connection.
    How to exchange customer data via CSV in BlueConic to an SFTP server

  4. The SFTP Connection page opens.

    You can expand or collapse metadata fields (mark this connection as a favorite, add labels, provide a custom description, or change edit rights) by clicking the gray chevron at the top of the page.

  5. Enter a descriptive name for your SFTP connection.
  6. Optional: Select the Email notifications box if you would like BlueConic to notify one or more email addresses if there's a problem running the connection or when it runs successfully. Enter one or more email addresses and click OK. You can select whether to receive emails each time it runs or only if the connection fails to run successfully.

    Does BlueConic send email notifications for connections and AI notebooks?How to configure email notifications for connections runninng in BlueConic

Configuring an SFTP connection

After you create a connection in BlueConic, you need to authenticate the connection to the SFTP server and set up at least one import or export goal. In the connection goals, you specify the data you are exchanging and how it maps to BlueConic profiles. You can also prioritize the order of your goals by dragging and dropping them to your desired sequence by using the drag handle that appears at the left-hand side of a goal when hovering over it.

How to create a connection in BlueConic

The connection will then import and export data based on the order of goals within each category. Categories will always run in the order listed - import groups, import profiles, export profiles.

How to authenticate an SFTP connection in BlueConic

Authenticating the SFTP connection

  1. Click Set up and run in the left panel.
  2. In the Set up and run page, enter your SFTP server host’s name.
  3. Enter the Port number used by the SFTP server. Usually, this value is 22.
  4. Enter your username for the SFTP server.
  5. Select an authentication method from the drop-down list: password authentication or private key.
  6. If using password authentication, enter your password.
  7. If you select private key authentication, the private key field appears. Here you can drag and drop or upload your private key. See the PGP encryption section to complete this setup.
  8. Click Show advanced settings to specify the SFTP user directory.
    Enter the user home directory on the SFTP server. This is a path relative to the root of the SFTP server, to which the user is restricted. Depending on your SFTP setup, you may need to fill this with the correct path before BlueConic can correctly read or write files to your SFTP server.
  9. Save your settings.

Using PGP encryption for SFTP file transfers

For added security while transferring customer data via SFTP, you can now use PGP encryption for file imports and exports. To exchange data with PGP, you need to provide a private key to be able to import the data and a public key to export data to the SFTP server. The keys are securely stored.

  1. In the setup and authentication section, in the Encryption field, enable the Use PGP encryption option. A settings menu opens below for Decryption and/or encryption.
  2. Enter the Private key (for decrypting files), Public key (for encrypting files), and optionally a Passphrase.
    How to use PGP encryption with the BlueConic CDP to securely transfer customer data via sFTP

Tip: When you enable PGP encryption, files will be encrypted securely, so fields for the mappings will not be found and bulk mapping will not be available. You cannot prefill mappings in the import and export goals. If you prefer to use the bulk mapping feature or field selection feature, you can set up the import and export goals first using a file with identical fields that is not encrypted, before you enable PGP encryption, so mappings are found and filled more easily.

Setting up a Group Import goal

To import data into BlueConic groups, such as households, accounts, companies, etc., click Add goal > Import groups and follow the steps outlined in the goal. The groups import option is available in the connection once you've set up a BlueConic group.

Note about resource usage: Existing BlueConic customers can use Group feature free of charge as long as your total data storage remains smaller than the amount that is allotted to your subscription. Please contact your Customer Success Manager at support@blueconic.com if you intend to use this feature, to ensure your subscription can accommodate your intended usage. We'll discuss your requirements and upgrade your subscription as necessary.

  1. Select a group type to import data to a BlueConic group.
    Use the drop-down menu to select from the group types defined for your BlueConic tenant.
    How to import data into BlueConic profile groups
  2. Select SFTP source files to be imported.
    How to set up SFTP CSV file imports in BlueConic

    Enter the directory that holds the files or click to navigate the file structure.
    Optional: Specify the files to be imported. You can use regular expressions or wildcards to choose the files.

  3. Define file and field handling.
    Here you can customize how your CSV files and fields should be handled during the import. See the options for configuring CSV file and field imports for details.
  4. Link identifiers between SFTP files and BlueConic groups.
    Data that has no matching identifier will be excluded from the import.
    How do I import data into a BlueConic group, household, or account using the BlueConic SFTP Connection?
  5. Map the SFTP fields to the corresponding BlueConic group properties.
    Here, you can configure which values should be mapped to which BlueConic group properties:
    • Add mapping: Select a data field from the drop-down list, and select the BlueConic group property it populates by entering a search term.
    • Bulk mapping: If there are many fields to be mapped, BlueConic detects these fields and offers the option to "Add all detected fields." This also allows you to set a merge rule for these fields simultaneously.
    • Add a prefix: You can optionally add a prefix to the BlueConic properties. If you set the prefix and then add an empty mapping, the right side automatically adds the prefix as well.
      How to set up bulk mappings from CSV files to BlueConic profiles
  6. Run the connection.
    Be sure to check the box next to Import group data into BlueConic in the left panel, and save your settings first. A green arrow appears, going from the SFTP icon to the BlueConic icon. See running the SFTP connection for details. 

Setting a Profile Import goal

Click Add goal > Import profiles to create an import goal or click Import profile data into BlueConic in the left panel to set import goals for adding profile and event data.

  1. Select a BlueConic domain group for the import.
    BlueConic supports domain groups to ensure profiles are exchanged between the right domains. Select a domain group for the import to ensure that the correct profiles are updated or added.
  2. Select the SFTP source file(s) to import data from.
    Here you select the file(s) that contain your source data for the import. Use the green plus icon to expand file selection blocks.

    How do I securely import CSV data for customer profiles in to BlueConic?

    Tip: When you are choosing while file to designate as the root file, choose the one containing customer or profile data first. Then, you can link it to additional CSV files, like event or product files, using the Connect (chain) icon.

    Use the Connect icon to choose how data in CSV columns should be linked together. For example, you might match customer profiles in the profiles file with the products file using matching order IDs.
    How do I securely import customer order data, refunds, returns, and exchanges into BlueConic customer profiles via CSV imports with PGP encryption?
    Optional
    : You can also use regular expressions or wildcards to choose the files.

    Click OK. Continue adding files and linking their data columns as needed. Note that the Connect icon is red How do I securely connect order data with customer profiles in BlueConic CSV imports of transactional data? until linking is established correctly, and then turns clear.

    If you select one of the files, a lightbox opens with a preview of the file columns and contents.
    How do I securely import transactional data with privacy and consent management in BlueConic?
  3. Define file and field handling.
    Here you can customize how your CSV files and fields should be handled during the import. See the options for configuring CSV file and field imports for details.
    Optional: Use the Process CSV data field to add a data processor to filter or transform the data during the import. For example, you can use a processor to normalize email addresses, filter data fields, or transform data during the import, before it is matched and mapped to BlueConic properties. To add data processors to your BlueConic environment, contact your Customer Success Manager. Learn more about using data processors to filter or transform data imports.
    How do I clean up data imports for BlueConic profile data to normalize email address, filter data fields, or transform data during a CSV import?
  4. Link identifiers between the SFTP files and BlueConic. 

    Here you link identifiers from the SFTP import to BlueConic profiles. Data without matching identifiers will be excluded from the import.

    How do I securely link customer profile data with imported CSV transaction data while maintaining customer privacy and consent in BlueConic?
    Click Add mapping to create additional links.

    Check the Allow the creation of new profiles in BlueConic box to create a new BlueConic profile if the data field doesn't match an existing BlueConic profile when the import runs. If the box isn't checked, only existing profiles are updated, and data that doesn't match BlueConic profiles will be ignored.

  5. Map the SFTP data fields you want to import into BlueConic.

    Here, you can configure which values should be mapped to which BlueConic profile properties. Click Add mapping, select a data field from the drop-down list, and select the BlueConic profile property it populates by entering a search term.
    Bulk mapping: If there are many fields to be mapped, BlueConic detects these fields and offers the option to "Add all detected fields." This also allows you to set a merge rule for these fields simultaneously.
    Add a prefix: You can optionally add a prefix to the BlueConic properties. If you set the prefix and then add an empty mapping, the right side automatically adds the prefix as well.
    How do I map customer profile properties for CSV data imports with the SFTP connection to BlueConic?

    A warning message appears if the BlueConic profile property already exists and the import would save data into an existing profile property.
    How do I make sure that CSV data imports are mapped correctly and correct errors that say Data will be mapped to an existing profile property?
    You can select how to import the data from the drop-down menu on the right of each property:

    • Set: Always overwrite the profile property value in BlueConic.
    • Set if empty: Import the value in BlueConic only if the profile property does not contain a value yet.
    • Set or clear: Clear the value in the profile property if the CSV contains no value for the field.
    • Add: Add the imported value to the list of values for the profile property. The list will only contain unique values, doubles are not imported.
    • Sum: Numerically add the imported value to the value of the profile property in BlueConic. If the profile property was empty, it will be treated as 0. If the imported value is not a number, it is not imported.
  6. Optional: Import Timeline events into BlueConic.
    You can choose to import customer order data to BlueConic using either the default BlueConic Order event type, or using a custom Timeline event type you have already created with a plugin XML file. (Contact your BlueConic Customer Success Manager at support@blueconic.com for details.) You can map order details in the left column with order event properties, event date/time, and the event ID. Learn more about BlueConic Timeline events.

    Use the checkbox to say whether order event details should be added to a Product store, which collects data to feed product recommendations. Select this box if you plan to create product recommendations based on which products have been bought most often or most recently.
    Learn more about BlueConic product recommendations.

    How do I securely import transactional data to a BlueConic customer profile's Timeline using order events and CSV file imports?
    Use the Add mapping button if you want to extend the mapping for each order to include additional, nested Order event details, such as additional products. If there are many event properties to be mapped, BlueConic detects these and offers the option to "Add all event properties to import." Or use the Add Timeline event type button to add additional Timeline event types to the data import. Learn more about using Timeline events in BlueConic.
    Click Save on the top right corner of the screen to save your import goal.
    Optional: In the left panel, click Add goal and then Import goal to create another Import goal.

  7. Run the SFTP connection to synchronize your data with BlueConic.
    Be sure to check the box next to Import data into BlueConic in the left panel and save your settings. A green arrow appears, going from the SFTP icon to the BlueConic icon. For detailed instructions on running the connection, skip ahead to Running the SFTP Connection.
    How do I run an SFTP Connection with PGP encryption in BlueConic?

Note: If a file has already been imported and the file or connection configuration hasn’t changed, BlueConic won’t import the file again. BlueConic reimports a file if the file or the connection configuration has changed. To speed up the process, BlueConic will only import data that has changed since the previous import. Be sure to rename or remove older files from the SFTP folder so they are not re-imported.

Setting a Profile or Event Export goal

Export customer profile data as well as Timeline event data from BlueConic profiles to a CSV, TSV, or similar file through SFTP. Click Add goal > Export profiles to create the export goal. Note that by default, this connection will only export profiles that have been changed since the last export.

  1. Select a BlueConic segment to export profile data from. Only profiles in this segment with a value for at least one of the selected profile properties (from Step 4) are exported.

    In the top right-hand corner, the number of profiles available for the export appears.

    How do I use the SFTP Connection to securely export marketing customer segments and profile data from BlueConic to a CSV file?

    This number shows how many profiles meet the conditions for the selected segment (for example, they have an email address and gave required consent for an objective) and therefore are available for the export. This number of profiles exported may be lower than the number displayed here.

  2. Enter a directory for the exported files. View the files already in the directory in the Files detected table.

    Optional: Click Scan now to rescan the directory to retrieve updated files and data fields.

  3. Determine how to set up the files and their fields.

    Here you can customize how your CSV files and fields should be handled during the import. See the options for configuring CSV file and field imports for details.

  4. Map the BlueConic data you want to export into the file.
    How do I match customer profiles and events with marketing data in an SFTP Connection export to CSV data?
    Select a BlueConic profile property by entering a search term and enter the data field value it should populate. Order mappings by grabbing the drag bar on the left side; this will be reflected in the order of the fields in the exported file.
    Click the BlueConic icon to open a drop down menu where you can switch between the type of information you want to export. Pick one of these options:
    • Profile property: The value of a specific profile property.
    • BlueConic profile identifier: The unique identifier for a profile.
    • Associated segments: All segments, or a selection of one or more specific segments that the profile is associated with.
    • Associated lifecycles: All lifecycles this profile is associated with. Learn more about BlueConic Lifecycles.
    • All viewed interactions (all time): The interactions that the profile has seen.
    • Permission level: The permission level set in the profile.
    • Text value: Enter any static text.

      How do I map customer marketing data between BlueConic and an SFTP server?

  5. (Optional) Export Timeline events to SFTP.
    How to export BlueConic timeline events to an SFTP server
    If you have BlueConic Timeline events, you can choose whether to export events for profiles in the current export, for all event types or a single event type, for all time or a during a specific time period.
    When you run the connection, BlueConic creates a CSV file for each event type (for example, order.csv for the event type orders). If there are nested events (for example, products), BlueConic creates additional CSV files in the same directory for each nested event. Column headers in the CSV file are derived from the Event type definition. 
  6. Run the connection.

    If you want to create another Export goal, click Add goal and then Export goal in the left panel. Before running the connection, you need to Save your settings and turn the connection On at the top of the Connection window.
    When you check the box next to Export data into BlueConic, a green arrow appears, going from the BlueConic icon to the SFTP icon.

    How do I use the SFTP Connection to securely export data from BlueConic customer segments and profiles via CSV files using PGP encryption?

Running an SFTP connection

Tip: Make sure you have added your import or export goals and saved your settings before running the connection.

  1. Turn the SFTP connection on.
    How do I run an SFTP Connection in BlueConic to sync data with CSV files securely using PGP encryption?
  2. Go to the Set up and run page. Scroll down to the Run history section. This table shows all past and scheduled runs for the connection. In the details column, it also lists the last five created or updated profiles and links to the profile identifier so you are able to see exactly how and whether profiles were created or updated correctly.
    How to schedule and run a BlueConic connection
  3. To start the import and export manually, click the Run now button.
  4. To schedule the import and export for a future date, click the Settings icon How to schedule a BlueConic SFTP connection to import or export customer profile data and customer segments?. Select how to schedule the import by choosing an option from the drop-down list:
    • Every X minutes
    • Number of times per day
    • Days of the week
    • Days of the month
    • Weekday of the month

    Set a time for the import. Click OK.

Data exchange shows you the total number of unique profiles that have been imported or exported via the connection. Note that these are unique profiles. If the same profile is exported multiple times, it is counted as 1. In the example shown here, 103K profiles are being exported from BlueConic through the SFTP connection.

How can I tell how many BlueConic profiles are imported or exported via the SFTP Connection?

Privacy management

Connections can be added to Objectives, allowing for privacy management of the information that is being picked up. A connection will only process the profiles of visitors who have consented to at least one of the objectives that the connection is linked to.