For the past few years, the integration capabilities of SAP SuccessFactors have expanded significantly. With the introduction of Intelligent Services, there is now support for real-time integrations and a platform to improve cross-module integrations and updates.
Intelligent Services does a lot more than support real time integrations. Its primary objective is to automate dependent tasks that can be triggered by an HR event. Since we are looking at data access tools in this blog series, I will focus on the four steps used by Intelligent Services to provide access to the data in the SAP SuccessFactors system:
- A user updates information in the system
- This change triggers an event notification
- A dependent system subscribing to the event receives the notification when the event is triggered
- The subscribing system then executes its own process once it receives the notification
Here is a visual representation of the four steps in this process.
Note that not all data changes will trigger an event. Each event notification must be made available for consumption by both internal and external processes, typically during the quarterly release cycle. Currently, most of the event notifications supported are in the Employee Central module and are triggered when there is a new hire, termination, job change and leave of absence. As you can see in the list below, Event Notifications are now supported in many of the other modules as well. The triggering events are in the left column and the subscribing system is in the right column.
Based on the way SAP SuccessFactors has set up the events, the system can trigger both internal and external notifications. The internal notifications are sent to internal subscribers —other modules or processes within the SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite. External notifications are sent to external systems― typically an integration platform, such as Boomi or HCI.
The internal subscribers are pre-delivered and SAP SuccessFactors pre-defines the activity that occurs when an internal subscriber receives an event notification. The diagram below shows the various internal systems that can be updated and notifications that can be triggered when a new hire is added to the Employee Central module.
In the case of the first two internal subscribers “Notification of Job change” and “Notification to create goals for new hire,” the subscribing system generates a notification to the manager to inform them of the change. A screenshot showing some sample notifications is displayed below.
If the specific internal system update that you would like to trigger is not currently available, you can still create it using an integration platform along with external notifications.
The above notification from the New Successor change shows an event that is only generating an external notification. In this case, the external notification can trigger a Boomi process that registers the new successor for a course in the LMS. Another example is whenever there is a Leave of Absence, you can use the Boomi or HCI integration platform to send an update to your benefit providers to indicate that there is a change in benefit eligibility.
The use of external notifications is not limited to external actions. You can use the same integration platform to make changes back into SAP SuccessFactors. For example, whenever there is a new hire, you can use the external notification to execute a process in Boomi that will add a specific development goal to the Career and Development Planning module. For more details on the specific setup when building an external integration, you can reference this blog post written by Bhargav Gogineni.
The setup for Intelligent Services varies by module and by whether an internal subscriber or external system will receive the notification and trigger a process. Many of the internal subscribers can be easily set up in Admin Tools. The screen shot below shows how you can use the On/Off toggle switch from within the Event Center in Admin Tools to enable or disable Intelligent Services for a particular subscriber. Some of the internal subscribers such as Requisition updates may require additional setup.
Enabling external subscribers is more complicated since it requires sending a notification to an external system. There is a separate External Event Notification panel that must be used in conjunction with the integration platform or external system receiving the notification. If you use the Boomi platform, there is a web listener component that needs to be enabled to receive the event notification from SAP SuccessFactors. The screenshot below shows where you can set up the external event notification in the system.
Regardless of it whether the event notification is internal or external, you will want to track events. This is where the Event Center dashboard is helpful. It keeps track of the subscribing system and keeps a running count for each event type. Below is a screenshot of the Event Center dashboard.
Intelligent Services has a lot of potential to address unique client requirements around integrating SAP SuccessFactors with other modules and external systems. It provides additional flexibility and tools to extend system capabilities. As mentioned earlier, if there is a need for real time integration, then consider Intelligent Services and determine if it can support your needs.
Learn more about data access tools in SAP SuccessFactors, read our previous post.