When setting up Eloqua Cloud Apps, there are several configuration options that they all have in common.


One of these is the mapping of the Custom Data Object (CDO) Unique Code.  When you choose to store data in a CDO, the field mapping screen will ask you to map your unique code.


There is always a lot of confusion around this, because it is usually shown on the mapping screen as Display Name.  We call this field Display Name in the apps, because this is the name that we recommend you use for your Display Name Field on the CDO itself.  This is just a recommendation however, as you can set the Unique Code field to anything you wish.  Unless the app specifically tells you to, you will not want to set your CDO unique code to be Email Address.


In order to better understand why you are asked to provide a unique code, let's look at what happens when an app runs.  For this example, let's pretend that we have an app that reaches out to an event system, pulls out all attendees of an event, and pushes them into Eloqua as contact records with linked CDOs.  Here's how that would look:


  1. User sets up the app, providing the following:
    • Credentials for their Eloqua install
    • Credentials for the event system
    • Event to obtain attendee data from
    • Contact Group/List in which to store the returned contacts
    • CDO in which to store the returned data
    • Field mappings, to tell the App which fields to put the data in (this will include the CDO unique code)
  2. The App runs, and does the following:
    • Reaches out to the event system and grabs all the people who attended the event
    • Creates a new or updates an existing Eloqua contact record
    • Creates a new or updates an existing CDO and attaches it the contact record.
    • Adds the contact to the group specified


Now, in order to perform the "Creates a new or updates an existing CDO and attaches it the contact record." part in step 2, we need to have a reference point to determine what is new and what already exists.  For this, we use the unique code.  For most apps, when we create a CDO, we push a combination of Email Address + Event ID into the unique code field that you specify in the setup.  By doing this, we ensure that each contact will be able to have one CDO for each event they attend.  If we were to set up another instance of this app for a different event, we could use the same CDO, because even if the same person attended both events, the unique code will be different.


So, when you're setting up your CDO for use with a cloud app, be sure to keep this in mind.  Unless the app specifically tells you otherwise, create a dedicated field (other than Email Address) and set this to be the Unique Code.