As a digital marketer, it won’t take long until the term API comes up in conversation when integrating external applications and data with Oracle Eloqua. While early on, it may be best and easiest to pull in other team members or departments that have experience working with APIs, eventually you will want to get a better understanding of APIs yourself, so that you can enhance your skillsetskill set, reduce reliance on outside people/teams and unlock additional techniques and technologies to use in your marketing efforts.

Oracle Eloqua’s API is a powerful tool that allows you to accomplish many tasks that are not possible within the user interface. When getting started working with the Oracle Eloqua API, here are some helpful ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts” when working with APIs.

DON’T: Be Afraid or Overwhelmed

Learning something new takes time and can be scary, but just because it’s new or different doesn’t mean you can’t learn it with a little time and effort. APIs are not solely in the domain of more technical departments such as website or IT, and as a marketer you’ve likely already learned other ‘technical’ skills such as HTML, understanding email deliverability and programing of automated marketing workflows. You’ve got this!

DO: Embrace Your Inner Marketing Geek

APIs are intended for the transfer of data between two computers/servers and not generally for people to use, so it takes some work for mere mortals such as ourselves to understand it. You will need to get new software applications, such as Postman, to make API requests and capture responses. Additionally, the Oracle Eloqua API utilizes JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) as the primary data format for how data is exchanged. It’s like learning a new language, but fortunately, there’s a lot of free tools to convert data in JSON format to CSV and other more user-friendly and human-readable formats. 

DON’T: Assume APIs Can Do Everything

The Oracle Eloqua API is designed to support specific use cases in order to retrieve data from Oracle Eloqua to share with other systems or to import data from external platforms into Eloqua. Just because there is a feature within Oracle Eloqua, does not mean that there is a way to accomplish it via API. Some features are only available in the application and similarly, some features are only available via API.  There is a lot of information online including the Eloqua Developer Help Center for official documentation as well as an active user community with discussions in the ‘Code It’ section of Topliners. Check out the information available in these resources to get a sense of what is possible.

DO: Embrace IT Best Practices

Based on experience with technical projects, IT departments have established best practices in order to reduce risks to their business.  While IT and Marketing can have a challenging relationship at times, learn from their mistakes so that you don’t repeat them. When available, work in a sandbox environment to test and validate processes before working in the production environment. Backup data before making changes to existing data, assets, or processes in order to have a restore-point. Consider involving other team members in change management approval processes and user acceptance testing.  Establish time periods, such as evenings or weekends, where updates to the production instance can be done, so that if problems occur, it will provide for time to resolve the situation while minimizing the impact on the business.

DON’T: Get Frustrated

There are many nuances to working with APIs that you need to learn about from experience and you will not find included in the documentation. Remember to step back and take a deep breath when there are challenges. Keep at it and utilize your resources to figure it out. When all else fails, keep my final recommendation in mind…

DO: Contact Relationship One

From helping learn how to use the Oracle Eloqua API, to creating Bulk API integrations or developing custom apps, Relationship One has a lot of experience helping Eloqua customers leverage the API. Contact us to get started today!

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