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Permissions and Subscriptions Synchronization

5 min read


This article is part of an article series about the coexistence of SAP Customer Data Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud. To learn more about this topic, visit the  Coexistence: SAP Customer Data Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud

Table of Contents

Permission handling

It is important to understand that SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Customer Data Cloud have slightly different ways of handling marketing permissions. Let us first clarify these differences and then get to a general recommendation on how to handle it in an integration scenario between the two solutions.

Permission Handling in SAP Marketing Cloud

Within SAP Marketing Cloud, you can configure marketing permissions handling as being either "explicit" or "implicit". These settings can be applied specific per country and communication channel to meet national legal regulations on marketing permissions.

Explicit permission handling Implicit permission handling
If you choose to handle permissions explicitly for a communication medium, you must obtain the express permission from a contact before you communicate with them using this medium.

If you choose to handle permissions implicitly for a communication medium, you can communicate with contacts in that country using this medium without their express permission.

The permission to contact a customer needs to follow specific rules regarding the permissions a customer has given. If a customer has explicitly either agreed or disagreed to be contacted, this information is stored as explicit permission in the system. That means, if a user has given the permission to be contacted by a specific communication medium, such as email, this customer can be contacted by email. If a customer has denied to be contacted by email, no emails must be sent to him.

In other words, as soon as SAP Marketing Cloud receives an explicit permissions (opt-in or opt-out), it always overrules implicit permissions.

If there is no explicit permission available for a customer's communication addresses, implicit permissions have to be evaluated by the system. Implicit permissions are subject to legal regulations and you have to set up your system accordingly.

You can also find a configuration example for permission handling in SAP Marketing Cloud on the following SAP help page.

Permission Handling in SAP Customer Data Cloud

Please note that SAP Customer Data Cloud does not have the concept of implicit marketing permission handling.  

In SAP Customer Data Cloud, marketing permissions (or consents) is handled in the following way:

  • Consents are designed to be explicit otherwise they do not appear in the Consent Vault
  • Customers have the option to define "negative consent" given this is in line with the national law - I.e. by clicking here, you do not agree to
  • The subscription status is a boolean flag (true/false) which indicates whether the user has decided to opt in or opt out to a subscription
  • The double opt-in status is a flag which indicates the status of the double opt-in. I has three states: not confirmed, pending double opt-in and confirmed

Below is how the subscription and double opt-in statuses need to be interpreted:

Subscription Status Double Opt-In Status Overall Status

Not Confirmed



Not Subscribed


Not Subscribed

Not Confirmed



Recommendation on Permission Handling in an Integrated Scenario

As shown above, the two solutions have different ways of handling consent, which might lead to confusion or data discrepancy if not handled correctly.

In case implicit permissions are used in SAP Marketing Cloud for specific countries, some contact fact-sheets in SAP Marketing Cloud might show an (implicit) permission as given, whereas in SAP Customer Data Cloud, the permission value is null (or empty).

In order to avoid these kind of conflicts, we generally recommend to set permission handling in SAP Marketing Cloud as explicit for all countries when you are dealing with SAP Customer Data Cloud.


Continuing reading more on the topic of Coexistence: SAP Customer Data Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud by accessing other articles within this series: