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I went to the AppConnect Web Developer Site and asked:
"I have contracted with a developer to create and populate a CC Contact List from two pieces of information: $list_name and $table_name. He tells me he can populate a Contact List from $table_name OK, but it is not possible to specify $list_name when creating the list using the CC API. What I want to know is:
1) If this is indeed impossible (even though it is done with ease inside your application), or 2) The programmer just doesn't know how to specify $list_name when creating the Contact List with the API.
"To answer your questions directly: The action in question is possible."
"The programmer has supposedly created the list as descripted in your SDK doc. HOWEVER, emails that are contained in any other existing list are being rejected as duplicates. He says this is just the way it works: only NEW contacts can be added to a list (even a NEW list). Really??"
"I'm sorry that you ran into this issue. I would like to inform you that I am not able to assist you with API issues through this support channel and I have limited abilities to assist you with this. You will have to find help with this through our advanced programming and developer channel."
This is a AppConnect Web Developer Site question. Is there anyone there capable of answering this question? It seems pretty basic -- and I really need an answer.
I would love to answer your question for you. When adding a contact to a list using the API, the email address must be unique to that account in order to create a new record. If when attempting to add a contact our API notices that the email address is currently on any list, even if it not currently on the list you are specifying, it will return a 409 conflict (duplicate) error. The reason for this is that when you are creating a contact using the POST method, the system is explicitly attempting to generate a new record. The idea of checking whether a record exists and then either generating a new record, or modifying the desired contact's list preferences cannot be done within one simple action for the fact that the API calls and methods are designed to each be a most basic action with minimal logic. This allows for more flexibility in your programming. By providing the raw actions, the programmer can then decide the logical flow of an integration. While this may seem confusing, there is a very simple workaround.
Depending on the information found in the response you can then decide to create a new contact, or modify the existing contact to belong to the desired list(s). If the contact does not exist, you can proceed with your current method of generating a new contact. If the contact does exist however, you need only gather the contacts information by querying the contact by its id (instructions here), modify the desired information which will most likely be the Contact Lists, and update the contact record using the PUT method (instructions here).
I hope that this clears things up for you and if you have any other questions just search this forum or continue this thread.