Changes to Oracle Eloqua’s Handling of URL’s in Field Merges

By Kristin Connell

Last month, Oracle Eloqua announced a potentially significant change to how URL’s are handled within Eloqua field merges as part of an on-going effort to enhance security. Why ‘potentially?’ Because if you do not currently use URLs in Eloqua field merges, then this is a good-to-know kind of change. If you DO currently use URLs in Eloqua field merges, then this is a what-do-I-need-to-do-right-now kind of change.

Here’s the break-down:

  • Why the change? Oracle Eloqua has shared that the goal of this change is to “enhance customers’ protection against malicious use of Eloqua email and forms.” My translation? Good stuff in and bad stuff OUT. This being the case, you should fully review the link provided in the UI’s field merge setup that outlines the risk involved, carefully considering what type of data you expect to be merged.
  • What exactly is changing? Oracle Eloqua is introducing a new method to allow Eloqua users to select which field merges should allow URLs (this new method comes in the form of a checkbox on the field merge setup – see the screenshot below). It includes all types of field merges – Contact fields, Account fields, Event Session fields, Custom Data Objects.
  • When is this going down? Good question. This is a two-phased process, so phase 1 – the new checkbox option – became available in the UI in Release 489, scheduled June 27-July 16, 2017. As in, that option is already live. What Oracle Eloqua calls the “URL sanitation process” – phase 2 – is not scheduled to be applied until August 1, 2017. “URL sanitation process,” you ask? Yes, this refers to the process that Oracle Eloqua will apply when a field merge “is not intended or not expected to contain a URL.” Any unexpected URLs from within field merges will be removed. People, let me repeat that. Will. Be. Removed. It will be the default option.

So, what should you do RIGHT NOW? Follow these three steps –

  1. Are you currently using URLs in field merges?
  2. Yes? Catalog all field merges impacted to ensure all necessary changes are made.
  3. Finally, plan to either manually check the new “Allow URLs” checkbox option OR you can use Oracle Eloqua’s API to do it automagically.

True story: I have a global enterprise Oracle Eloqua customer with a ginormous renewals program targeting both customers and partners. We identified 6 Custom Data Objects with 50 field merges each that needed to be updated to allow URLs. My math has improved over the years as a marketer, so I can do this one in my head = 300 fields. Given the volume, we chose the automagical option above (Oracle Eloqua’s API) to complete all changes. My team was then able to provide a report to the customer to confirm the changes for much easier UAT.

Again, the good news is that you still have time because Oracle Eloqua is applying the URL sanitation process on August 1, 2017.

Please see Oracle Eloqua’s Product Notice on Topliners for more information and FAQs. If you have concerns or need any assistance handling this change, reach out to your Sojourn Solutions Account Manager or Project Consultant and we’ll be happy to help you through these steps to ensure there is little to no business impact as of August 1, 2017.

About the author:

Kristin considers herself an entrepreneur at heart. She loves trying new things and taking educated risks on new ventures, both professionally and in her personal life. Kristin brings that passion to work every day where she enjoys helping her customers and colleagues discover the power of innovation at the intersection of marketing, technology, and the customer experience. Last, but not least, Kristin and her husband have two madly amazing children and a Toto dog.

Kristin Connell

Director of Growth Marketing