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Author's profile photo Jonathan Schlotz

Contacts in SAP Hybris Marketing – Understanding the Concept of Golden Records

Contacts – The Business Perspective

As contacts are the core master data of SAP Hybris Marketing, it’s important to understand how different sources contribute to their creation and enrichment. The following explanation and examples should give you an understanding of that from a business point of view.

Where Contact Data Comes From

Basically, contact data for SAP Hybris Marketing can be loaded from various sources, such as an ERP system, a web shop, social media and many more. Each source may contribute to the building of the Golden Record, which represents the most valuable contact master data stored in one single record per contact.

Therefore, the sources themselves are considered as Main Facets, which might provide general contact data, such as address data or data for customer-specific fields. A Main Facet might also have data, for example, a loyalty card number, an email address, a phone, a mobile or a fax number. Because of their identifying nature, we consider these attributes as Additional Facets.


In the picture above, you see a contact with the Main Facets (blue bubbles) SAP ERP, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and a Hybris Web Shop, the sources. All of these five Main Facets have Additional Facets (yellow bubbles) like an email address. The SAP ERP Main Facet for instance also has a phone and a fax number facet and general data (grey bubble) like address or other data (gender, birthday etc.).

A Simple Example

Let’s assume a contact is already known as a customer in the connected SAP ERP system. This customer has ordered some products via the connected web shop and additionally, also has a Facebook account.

Now, as shown in the following picture, the data from all these sources (ERP, web shop, Facebook) is loaded into the SAP Hybris Marketing system with specific data. To more easily recognize the data that is considered as facets, the Main Facet IDs are colored blue and the Additional Facets IDs are colored yellow.


How is contact data handled in SAP Hybris Marketing?

Contact master data is mainly stored in three different, related tables as the following picture shows.


As you can see, one Golden Record per contact is created on the highest level. All of its attribute fields are filled with the data from the Main Facets one level below that refer to that Golden Record entry. Which Main Facet data is considered first, is based on the priority of the facet (ID Origin), which can be set in Customizing (among other settings there). If the first Main Facet considered doesn’t deliver the data for an attribute of the Golden Record, the next Main Facet is considered and so on.

On the lowest level, there are all of the facets extracted separately out of the Main Facet data records, as you can see in the picture. Facets which are loaded into the system from the same source form a Facet Group. Because of the identifying nature of the facets, already mentioned above, these are used for the contact matching and merging whenever new contacts are loaded into the system – either implicitly per interaction or explicitly per contact import. Matching and merging prevents duplicate contacts being created and moreover, contacts identified as duplicates are enriched with further data.

Anything else?

  • Thinking about families and companies, it is common that people share a landline phone number or an email address. For facets with such shared characteristics, you can configure the system in Customizing so that these are considered as “shareable” (since release 1602). This also has an impact on the matching logic.
  • You can also add customer-specific attributes to the Golden Record, and facets can even be created out of these specific attributes via the implementation of a certain BAdI method.
  • If contacts or facets were deleted in a source (system), they are no longer loaded into SAP Hybris Marketing. In this case, it is possible to propagate the deletion to the SAP Hybris Marketing system, the contacts or facets are marked as obsolete, and their Golden Records are rebuilt. You can also change this behavior via the implementation of a certain BAdI method.

I hope this post was helpful and provided a basic understanding of the Golden Record concept of SAP Hybris Marketing. For a more technical view on this topic, please read the post of Raphael Schmitz How Does SAP Hybris Marketing Build the Golden Record of an Interaction Contact?.

Continue to the follow-up blog >

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      Author's profile photo Jan Matthes
      Jan Matthes

      Great, must-read for everyone using or evaluating SAP Hybris Marketing

      Author's profile photo Eli Pai
      Eli Pai

      The article is great for me and thanks for  Jonathan .

      Author's profile photo Steve Wisz
      Steve Wisz

      Great blog Jonathan - thank you!  It be very helpful to walk through the key origin id settings and how they impact if the golden record is merged or not.   For example, how would changing a contact's email address or web shop id impact the merging or non-merging of the facets for the golden record.

      Author's profile photo Jonathan Schlotz
      Jonathan Schlotz
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Steve, you can find the follow-up blog concerning this topic under the following link:
      Hope this helps.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I found this really useful. Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Great illustration about the golden record. Really helpful.

      One question regarding the last picutre. There you have three facets, one from ERP, one from Webshop and last one from Facebook.

      In the webshop facet there you have just two additional new information which are added to the golden record. The email adress differs to the one from ERP. How does SAP Hybris Marketing match this facets to one golden record?

      I assume that this is done with an algorithm that checks similarites in email adresses?

      Author's profile photo Jonathan Schlotz
      Jonathan Schlotz
      Blog Post Author

      Very good question and you are right, the imported data of the web shop wouldn't match to the data from the ERP system without at least one similar facet (means ID Origin + ID). There is also no algorithm which checks similarites in email addresses during the import of contact data. So I've corrected the pictures and added a phone facet to the web shop data which matches to the one of the ERP data, just to eliminate this obscurity. Thanks for your feedback!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Great, thought that I overlooked something 🙂

      Author's profile photo Matthias Reiner
      Matthias Reiner

      Thanks Jonathan, just great! - this content should make it's way into  the EKT stuff.

      Author's profile photo Barsotti DWT
      Barsotti DWT

      Thanks a lot, for this Very useful article.
      I have one question regarding this point: "it is possible to propagate the deletion to the SAP Hybris Marketing system, the contacts or facets are marked as obsolete".

      We are loading contacts via standard OData service; how can we tell Hybris that a Contact is to be deleted? How can we tell that a Facet is to be deleted? Is there a standard service?

      Author's profile photo Jonathan Schlotz
      Jonathan Schlotz
      Blog Post Author

      “how can we tell Hybris that a Contact is to be deleted?”
      If you have deleted a contact in a source system, you would import this contact from that source system again but set the value for “Obsolete” to “true”.
      “How can we tell that a Facet is to be deleted?”
      If you have deleted a facet like an email address for example in a source system, the system sets this additional facet in the specific facet group to obsolete if you import data from that source system again, because the email address is not any longer part of the import data.

      You can also have a look at the Data Management Upload Interfaces document (formerly known as Inbound Interface Guide) on the SAP Help Portal page (for example for SAP Hybris Marketing 1608).

      Hope this helps!

      Author's profile photo Barsotti DWT
      Barsotti DWT

      Thanks Jonathan for the clear answer.
      I'm back as I just run a test on my installation, which is prior to 1608. Unfortunately by using the field "Obsolete" I get an error: 'Error while parsing an XML stream'
      I also checked the documentation here: as well. It says for the "Obsolete" field 'Do not use'.
      Is this old documentation?
      Shall I just upgrade to 1608 and then I can use "Obsolete" to delete a Contact?
      Thanks again!

      Author's profile photo Jonathan Schlotz
      Jonathan Schlotz
      Blog Post Author

      This documentation is indeed old. However, you should be able to use the "Obsolete" attribute also in prior releases (for example also in 1602 and 1605). If you are on an even older release, I would recommend you to upgrade to the current release 1608 respectively 1611, which will be released soon.

      Author's profile photo Josef Ehbauer
      Josef Ehbauer

      Thanks Jonathan for this great BLOG! I would like to add that ERP Integration is part of the standard offering for Marketing Cloud since 1611 release already supported by proper Mapping content in HANA Connectivity Services (HCI)

      Author's profile photo Aditya Krishan Nanda
      Aditya Krishan Nanda

      Hi Jonathan,

      Great Blog. Just wanted to clarify, in case of B2B i.e. Corporate accounts the process of golden record and merging is same? there is no difference in this.

      Thanks and Regards


      Author's profile photo Adrian Garcia
      Adrian Garcia

      Hi Jonathan,

      Great blog! I just have a question: What if I make some changes on the origin ids priority in the customizing and after that I load some contacts into the system. A few days later I need to change the origin ids priorities again, will the golden record will be updated using the new origin id priority sequence? If not, is there a way to start this process manually?


      Thanks and regards


      Author's profile photo Vineet Kaul
      Vineet Kaul

      Hi Adrian Garcia


      Config is considered only at the time of create/upload. so no matter what you maintain or create before or after does not really matter, it will only come into play when records are being uploaded into the system.

      To answer your question, if you update the same contact under different origin priority i would expect the system to update the golden record if required.