Discover v201008: Partial Failure for AdGroupCriterionService

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

With v201008 of the AdWords API we have introduced a new beta feature for AdGroupCriterionService: Partial Failure. Typically all requests to the AdWords API are atomic, so each of them either fails or succeeds in full. While this can be helpful to maintain consistency, we’ve heard from you that, in some cases, you would prefer that some operations fail while other changes are applied.

AdGroupCriterionService requests often contain many Criteria to add or update. Having an error in just one of them will force you to resend the whole set of objects again. We’ve introduced Partial Failure to enable you to get back a list of failed and successful operations and retry the failed ones only.

To utilize the new feature you’ll need to set this extra SOAP header:
partialFailure = true

Here’s an example from the Java client library:
// usual initialization code
AdWordsUser user = new AdWordsUser();
// Enable partial failure
// Get the AdGroupCriterionService
AdGroupCriterionServiceInterface adGroupCriterionService =
// Set up operations and operands here
List<AdGroupCriterionOperation> operations = new ArrayList<AdGroupCriterionOperation>();
// [...]

// Execute operations (add ad group criteria)
AdGroupCriterionReturnValue result =
      new AdGroupCriterionOperation[] {}));

Now processing succeeded results:
// Display results
if ((result != null) && (result.getValue() != null)) {
  // A result is returned for every operation requested
  for (AdGroupCriterion adGroupCriterionResult : result.getValue()) {
    // Successful operation result will contain a non-null Criterion
    if (adGroupCriterionResult.getCriterion() != null) {
      System.out.printf("Ad group criterion with ad group id '%d', and " +
          "criterion id '%d', and keyword '%s' was added.\n",
          ((Keyword) adGroupCriterionResult.getCriterion()).getText());
} else {
  System.out.println("No ad group criteria were added.");

Here is how to handle the failed operations:
// Is there any Partial Failure errors in the results?
if ((result != null) && (result.getPartialFailureErrors() != null)) {
  // Retrieving ApiError object for each of failures
  for (ApiError apiError : result.getPartialFailureErrors()) {
    // The order of the fields might be different to the order of operations in the
    // request, so we are getting the corresponding operation index from the fieldPath.
    Matcher matcher = operationIndexPattern.matcher(apiError.getFieldPath());
    if (matcher.matches()) {
      int operationIndex = Integer.parseInt(;
      AdGroupCriterion adGroupCriterion =
      System.out.printf("Ad group criterion with ad group id '%d' and " +
          "keyword '%s' triggered a failure for the following reason: '%s'.\n",
          ((Keyword) adGroupCriterion.getCriterion()).getText(),
    } else {
          "A failure for the following reason: '%s' has occurred.\n",

Partial Failure is fully supported in our client libraries. If you have any questions please post them on the AdWords API forum. This topic is also covered in a video presentation.

-- Danial Klimkin, AdWords API Team.