Quickly duplicate multiple data extensions in the same business unit — Salesforce Marketing Cloud

A scenario presented itself recently whereby I had to create a multiple copies from 8 “source” data extensions. The 8 original data extensions already existed, but I needed to create a further 16 in total (2 copies of each).

This could be achieved a couple of ways:

A) ‘Create from existing’ data extension method

B) Data Extension ‘copy’ method

Both of these approaches are standard within the user interface. But, they both take a while to complete — even for a single data extension — as you have to complete the multistep wizard (specify a file name, save location, etc.)

Here’s a shortcut

1. Install Deployment Manager from the AppExchange.

2. Create a Snapshot. Select the data extensions you want to duplicate.

3. Change the DE names of the original data extensions in SFMC.

4. Edit the JSON file created by the snapshot and change the customer key for each of the data extensions.

The reason for steps (3) and (4) above is because DE names in an account need to be unique. Furthermore, Deployment Manager is programmed to alert us if we’re trying to deploy a snapshot with a data extension that already exists.

We need to make the system realise the DE we want to deploy does not already exist. We accomplish this by changing the name of the DE already in the system (step 3), and changing the external customer key in the json file for the DEs soon to be deployed (step 4).

5. Deploy the Snapshot.

6. Move DE’s to desired end folder location. By default they will be uploaded to the root Data Extension folder.

In my case, I needed to create a second batch of duplicate DEs, so we need to repeat steps 3 to 6. We need to edit the names of the deployed DEs from batch 1, create new customer keys for batch 2, and deploy the same snapshot.

For creating just a couple DE’s, you’re best to use the standard methods for duplication since this route will be faster. However, when you need to create upwards of 10 new DE’s the explained method here can save you time.

I am a certified Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant at Bower House Digital in Melbourne, Australia.

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