SAP continue to enhance the integration between SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) and SuccessFactors, making it easier to extend the Cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) software so to find out more, Keytree headed to SAP Power Week.
The event was held in Walldorf Germany at SAP’s HQ. It covered a number of ways of extending SuccessFactors, although I should point out that SuccessFactors has some built-in flexibility for extending without writing code. But I would like to focus on what you can do with SCP (formerly known as HANA Cloud Platform), which gives you a lot more flexibility and as an architect who spends most of my time writing documents and presentations, I was keen to fire up Eclipse and write some code.
It’s important to recognise that SCP and SuccessFactors have been integrated for a while, but some developments have happened in recent years to bring that integration closer, such as moving the SuccessFactors user experience to Fiori, which can then provide the same look and feel between SCP and SuccessFactors. I’m not planning on delivering a history lesson, instead, I want to focus on what I think are the key features – some are new, and some have been around for a while.
Tiles and Styling
Once you connect SCP and SuccessFactors – the SCP tiles can pick up theming from SuccessFactors, so your SCP Extensions look like part of SuccessFactors. You can now also perform a range of operations on SuccessFactors including adding new tiles and creating roles with the SCP command line tool Neo – more details on using the SCP command line tool with SuccessFactors are available here.
Single Sign-on, User Stores and SuccessFactors Roles in SCP
SuccessFactors becomes the user store for end users in SCP. Roles are obtained from SuccessFactors, and applications build in SCP can base their security on the roles that you have in SuccessFactors. You use the SCP Neo command line tool to set up roles – more information is available on the SAP help page.
Virtual Data Views
SAP HANA, whether in the cloud underneath SCP or on-premise, allows you to have a virtual database table based on an ODATA source, which can be hooked up to SuccessFactors. You can choose how you want to keep this data up to date – either by a scheduled job or some other mechanism.
Having the data available within SCP allows you to quickly and easily set up a data store within SCP that contains your SuccessFactors data locally to SCP. This approach makes it faster and easier to work with and avoids falling foul of API limits. Like all SaaS providers, you can only make so many API calls an hour.
Once you have the data from SuccessFactors in your SAP HANA database on SCP, you can run analytics tools within SAP HANA against your SuccessFactors data, which lets you locate patterns and make predictions.
A good example of this is to look at your data to identify what attributes correlate to which people are likely to leave – is it their last review score, or which department they work in, or a combination? It can then identify high-risk leavers for us. It’s important to note that this is not the same as the analytics in SuccessFactors – this is part of Business Objects in the Cloud. For more information, see the official site.
Integration with third party systems
Broadly speaking, you’ve now got four options for integrating SuccessFactors with third-parties, the last three of which use SAP Cloud Platforms – you can:
- Use the Integration Centre already built into SuccessFactors to take advantage of existing extractors
- Use SCP Integration, which comes with some pre-built integration scenarios
- You can use SCP and Cloud Connector to connect to your on-premise systems
- Natively call APIs from other providers in your applications on SCP, and you don’t necessarily have to use middleware.
What was really impressive was how SAP HANA is so much more than a database. It allows you to virtualise different data sources and combine them with data from SuccessFactors and your SCP environment – it lets you consume a range of data sources, including JDBC, ODBC and flat files, which can then be applied using ODATA. As with all SAP products, the licensing remains very complex for SCP, however with the product now maturing hopefully this will improve.