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SuccessFactors Employee Central extensibility allows 'customization'

Customization is practically a swear word in cloud software, but a slew of UI, programming and data features help modify Employee Central to do your bidding.

For cloud purists, customization is a swear word. However, extensibility capabilities in SAP SuccessFactors give...

users and partners customization-like opportunities within the SuccessFactors Employee Central system.

The Metadata Framework (MDF) enables custom objects, processes, business rules, screens and user interfaces to be built in SuccessFactors Employee Central, while the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) enables entire applications to be built and embedded within the SuccessFactors user interface. While this sounds great in theory, what is actually possible, and what are some of the key use cases for extensibility in Employee Central?

Establish self-service processes

A fairly common use case for extending SuccessFactors Employee Central is to add customer-specific self-service processes. This could be a grievance process, probation period management, credentials management, company property or tuition reimbursement. No matter what it is, the MDF provides the framework to create self-service processes and to make them accessible in employee self-service and manager self-service.

Employ Custom Foundation Objects

Adding custom objects to a human capital management system is nothing new. Should this be something you need to do, MDF provides that possibility. Custom Foundation Objects -- such as company property, projects or salary structure, or other custom objects, such as workflow lookup, custom attributes or legacy employee history -- can enable a variety of data to be stored or referenced by HR users and managers or to be propagated to an employee's record.

Extend the organization structure

The organization structure can be extended with additional objects, adding new levels to the structure. This flexibility means that the organization structure can be extended to match different requirements. This could be adding a region, plant or team to the organization structure and is done by adding Custom Foundation Objects as described above.

Extend standard delivered objects

Extending standard objects is one of the most common use cases for extending Employee Central. No matter how well-designed, standard delivered objects will never cover the needs of every customer. A good example is a position. Most customers have different requirements -- even if they're only minor -- for positions. One user of SuccessFactors Employee Central might want to store planned salary and project data for a position, while another might want to store the Workers Compensation Class Code of a position's associated job, the grade that a holder will have and health exam requirements of a position holder.

Using data propagation rules

Data propagation enables object data to be replicated onto another object or onto an employee's record. This typically happens when an object is selected when defining data on an object or employee record. For example, data can propagate from a position to an employee's job information record when a position is selected. This has some practical uses and is easy to configure and maintain using business rules, which are part of the MDF. Typical propagation scenarios include:

  • Replicating job classification data onto a position object.
  • Replicating job and position data onto the employee's job information record.
  • Replicating location and time zone data onto the employee's job information record.
  • Replicating Pay Component data onto the employee's compensation information record.

However, the flexibility of business rules means that there are many other scenarios for which propagation can be configured -- both for standard and custom objects.

Modifying user interface behavior

Business rules in MDF enable a variety of system behaviors, not the least of which being the ability to influence how the user interface behaves. Several types of behavior are possible, such as:

  • Performing on-the-fly field calculations when the screen loads.
  • Prepopulating fields when creating new records.
  • Setting field values based on a change to another field.
  • Hiding fields based on a change to another field or on a specific value of another field.
  • Making fields required based on a change to another field or on a specific value of another field.
  • Raising warning or error messages based on certain field changes.

There are many use cases for each of these types of behavior, which opens up a world of possibilities.

Creating interfaces for different user groups

One feature that screams customization is the ability to create different interfaces for different user groups. You can create a default user interface for HR administrators to view, but different user interfaces for employee self-service and manager self-service. This means that employees won't see administration-related fields on their screens or that managers will only see the fields that are relevant to them.

Building complex applications

With HCP, it is possible to build out complex applications that integrate with SuccessFactors Employee Central and that can run on mobile devices. These applications can even run inside Employee Central so that they look like they are a part of it. Custom applications can cover a range of different ideas, use cases and requirements, and all of them can leverage data from Employee Central and other sources, such as SAP ERP or a third-party application.

Available HCP applications include EnterpriseJungleCloud Resource Scheduling, the Celergo Global Payroll Dashboard and employee pay slip and the Employee Central Service Center. HCP applications are also available for purchase in the SAP App Center.

Next Steps

Understand SuccessFactors integration

Use Employee Central for compliance

Handle tasks in SuccessFactors administration

This was last published in September 2016

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