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Custom Activity vs. Custom Object

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Anonymous
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Custom Activity vs. Custom Object

Hi there

I am working with a business that book hotels online. I would like to bring this data into Marketo via either Custom Objects or Custom Activities as Marketo will integrate with a custom built CRM.

I have done quite a lot of research and cannot be sure if CA or CO are better to use. Initially it would suggest Custom Activities should be used as one customer could book 7 hotels in one week and we're interested in the event rather than storing the data on the record for long term. But if you then want to reference the booking information e.g. booking room, checkin time, checkout time in email comms, it doesn't seem you can do this with Custom Activities. So would you therefore recommend Custom Objects for this case?

Also out of interest, if Marketo were to release functionality that allowed velocity scripting to work with CA, would you recommend CA for this case?

Thanks very much

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Re: Custom Activity vs. Custom Object

Hi Daniel,

CA have a few limitations that CO do not have, amongst which:

  • Limited length of text fields
  • Cannot be updated nor deleted, only inserted (which can be an advantage if you want to keep a strict log of event that cannot be tempered with)
  • Cannot be used in Velocity
  • Cannot be linked to a secondary object

CO have also their own drawbacks

  • Do not show in the activity logs, except for a limited "add to XXX" line

Best regards

Greg

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Custom Activity vs. Custom Object

Please move the thread to Products​. This Place is for questions about the Champions incentive program.

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Re: Custom Activity vs. Custom Object

Hi Daniel,

CA have a few limitations that CO do not have, amongst which:

  • Limited length of text fields
  • Cannot be updated nor deleted, only inserted (which can be an advantage if you want to keep a strict log of event that cannot be tempered with)
  • Cannot be used in Velocity
  • Cannot be linked to a secondary object

CO have also their own drawbacks

  • Do not show in the activity logs, except for a limited "add to XXX" line

Best regards

Greg

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Anonymous
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Re: Custom Activity vs. Custom Object

Thanks very much Greg. So could an option be to use both for the one action if you need to reference the data in an email but also want to show it as a custom action?

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Re: Custom Activity vs. Custom Object

Hi again Daniel,

just edited slightly my answer.

All in all, except if you want them to be used for compliance issues and the details / untempered activity log is mandatory, I would go for CO.

If you have the developper bandwidth and the API bandwidth, using both would also be a good choice. Just keep in mind that you will consume more API calls doing so.

-Greg

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Custom Activity vs. Custom Object

You shouldn't use the same object implementation as a CA and as a CO because this isn't good data design. You might have a Custom Activity that is specifically "Added a CO" and mirror some of the fields from the CO, but there needs to be a distinction between the two.

Like Greg mentions, CA has a specific semantic meaning: it is meant for time series data, which by definition cannot be deleted (as in the real world, you cannot undo the fact that an action occurred).   In your case, a room reservation may be considered an undoable action, while the act of making a booking is something that will always have happened.

You should also be aware of API limits.  It's already touchy with COs; if you double your usage, that's going to bring the limits that much closer.

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Anonymous
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Re: Custom Activity vs. Custom Object

Great, thanks very much for the input

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Re: Custom Activity vs. Custom Object

HI again Daniel,

Please not that, by default, marketo will always log an activity each time you attach a CO to a lead, but the information will be limited. It will read "add to [custom object]". and the details will just give you field values. Example:
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-Greg