Providing feedback to users is of tremendous importance in a modern marketing world. E-mails continue to be the best and quickest way to communicate when a user is not active on the platform (outbound marketing). Unica’s latest version, 12.1.1, has introduced a facility to export the data in Kafka. With this integration, HCL Unica Campaign can be integrated with Kafka, where the consumer can consume that data immediately. This type of marketing would be very effective. 

Apache Kafka: What is it?

Apache Kafka is an open-source distributed event streaming platform used by many companies for high-performance data pipelines, streaming analytics, data integration, and mission-critical applications. Kafka is a message queue software on steroids. Its flexibility makes it perfect for both simple and complex projects. It acquired, therefore, vast popularity in the IT of influential companies.

Here are a few definitions of its concepts:

  • topic is a queue on which messages can be pushed. Each topic has several partitions that allow parallel processing of messages.
  • producer is a client that pushes messages to a topic on a group of servers called brokers. In this case, Unica Campaign would be a producer system.
  • consumer is a client that processes messages from a topic and gets attributed partitions. Each message is processed by one consumer of each consumer group. In this case, any downstream system that is processing the data is a consumer.

Apache Kafka Integration

Pre-requisite

  • Unica Platform and Campaign version 12.1.1 is installed.
  • Apache Kafka ® is installed and accessible from the Campaign Analytical server.

Process

How to integrate HCL Unica Campaign with Kafka

  1. Login to HCL Unica Platform using the admin user and navigate “Affinium|Campaign|partitions|partition1|Kafka|Campaign.”
  2. Following configurations are important for this integration:
    • KafkaBrokerURL: Kafka server being used for Campaign to export the data. It should be provided like <Kafka_Server_Host_Name>:<PORT> 
    • CommunicationMechanism: Specify the connection mechanism to connect to the Kafka server.
    • TopicName: Default topic name, which will appear while trying to configure the Snapshot process box.
    • NumberOfPartitions: Number of partitions within Kafka
    • NumberOfReplicas: Number of replicas 
    • RetentionPeriodInSeconds: Time in second to retain the data in Kafka topic.

How to export data from Campaign to Kafka

1. In Unica Campaign, create a flowchart. Perform all your segmentation so that you will get the final set of audiences to whom you wanted to send to Kafka, which would be processed by the downstream system for further processing like sending an email or sending SMS.

2. In the end, add the SNAPSHOT process box and select Kafka for the ‘Export to’ option. This will display a dialog box where it will ask for ‘Topic name.’ By default, it will show the topic name which has been configured for the TopicName parameter as mentioned above.

Unica Campaign and Kafka

3. Here you will get an option to specify the topic name where the data would be sent. 

4. Once you click on the OK button, you need to select the fields sent to Kafka topic. The process box configuration would look like this;

5. Save the flowchart and run it.

6. After the successful run of the flowchart, you can access Kafka and navigate to the topic which was selected in the SNAPSHOT process box.

7. You will see that all the records are exported to that Kafka topic like below:

This way, HCL Unica Campaign would be able to send refined segmented data for immediate targeting. This will improve the effectiveness of the campaign as the data would be consumed by the downstream systems immediately once received. To understand more about the Kafka integration you can refer to the below list of resources.

Resources

Unica Campaign V12.1.1 Release Notes

Unica Campaign V12.1.1 User Guide

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