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There is a myth in SAP HCM Talent Management, which goes by the name of “Business Partners”. Aren’t they just for e-Recruiting, like TREX? No! Since I am seeing a number of people getting into issues with external systems such as TREX and STVN SuccessionPlanning, I thought I’d try and highlight the requirement of the SAP Business Partner in SAP HCM Talent Management.

What are they and what are they for?

In SAP HCM Talent Management the Business Partner, represented by object BP in the SAP ERP HCM system, is used for objects to “communicate” between instances of themselves in different external systems. Most commonly these are used for communication between SAP ERP HCM and e-Recruiting, TREX and STVN SuccessionPlanning. And before you ask if they are required, yes they are. Without Business Partners you face issues such as no data in STVN SuccessionPlanning or TREX search results coming back with rows of blank data.

So how do I set up Business Partners?

There are a number of steps required to setup Business Partners for SAP HCM Talent Management:

  • Enable integration switches
  • Setup number ranges
  • Setup groupings
  • Apply SAP note 845002 (HRALX: HRALXSYNC performance)
  • Synchronize Business Partner objects for Central Persons objects
  • Generate Business Partner objects for Central Persons objects

First of all the Business Partner integration switches needs to be enabled, if they are not already. This is performed in IMG > Personnel Management > Organizational Management > Integration > Integration with SAP Business Partner > Activate Integration by setting the following switches:

  • HRAC: X
  • PBPHR: ON

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Once the switches are set then a Business Partner number range must be setup in tcode BUCF, if it hasn’t already been setup. Run tcode BUCF and select the Change Intervals button. In the next screen add a new interval with the following values:

  • No.: 01
  • From number: 0000000001
  • To number: 0999999999
  • Current number: 0
  • Ext:

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Once the other two previous requirements are in place, groupings must be setup in IMG > CrossApplication Components > SAP Business Partner > Business Partner > Basic Settings > Number Ranges and Groupings > Define Groupings and Assign Number Ranges. A new entry to the customizing table should be added with the following values:

  • Grouping: 0001
  • Short Name: Int.No.Assgnmnt
  • Description: Internal Number Assignment
  • Number range: 01
  • External:
  • Int.Std.Grping: X
  • Ext.Std.Grping:
  • Hide:

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Before synchronizing Business Partners SAP note 845002 (HRALX: HRALXSYNC performance) should be applied. Once done, run report Z_HRALXSYNC_CHANGEDATE. This report corrects the “changes since” date in the SAP&DEFAULT variant of HRALXSYNC (more on that later) from 01/01/1900 for improved processing.

The next step is to synchronize and, if required, generate missing Business Partners. This is done using report HRALXSYNC and both synchronization and generation can be done at the same time using the following instructions:

  1. In the select screen select the checkbox for Branch from Organization Structure
  2. In the selection box for this option select the OrgUnit at the top of the organization structure
  3. Select Execute

 

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Once the report has run all the Business Partner objects are now synchronized. There may be one or more objects that are not in the correct status and need to be repaired. For the purpose of SAP HCM Talent Management we just need to repair the generate Business Partner objects for the Central Persons that don’t have one. To do this:

  1. Use the Object Selection window to find the Central Person objects that have no Business Partner object (All Objects > Central Persons > Without Partner)
  2. In the right window select all of these objects and select the Repair button

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And au voila, now you have Business Partners setup, synchronized and generated.

Note: There are may be issues with Central Person objects that represent employees who are now inactive in SAP. All errors must be corrected for the batch job to run (see below), not just those within the organization structure.

Can I setup HRALXSYNC to run regularly?

I’m glad you asked, since SAP supply a variant of the HRALXSYNC report for exactly this reason. To setup to run on a periodic basis SAP supplies the variant SAP&DEFAULT to use, so simply schedule the job using this variant in SM36. However, please note that this job will not run correctly if any errors occur when the standard report is run. The Change Since date will not update to the latest date if any errors occur when the report variant is run.

What possible issues might I face with generating Business Partners in HRALXSYNC?

Well, there are 3 or 4 common errors that I’ve seen that might cause an issue with generating Business Partners. There are many common errors that do not cause issue with generating Business Partners for SAP HCM Talent Management and as a result they are not covered here. In some organizations it is worth consulting the wider SAP HCM community to see what impact any of these changes might have. Some of the most common errors are:

  • Postal code must have length xx
  • Geocoder SAPO: Country not specified completely (Customizing)
  • Address type XXDEFAULT does not exist: Address usage XXDEFAULT  cannot be created
  • Key 01 is not defined as name format for country xx

The first error – “Postal code must have length xx” – can be corrected by finding the CP, checking the address in PA30 for the Person object and then setting the correct check rule for the postal code in IMG > SAP NetWeaver > General Settings > Set Countries > Set Country-Specific Checks. The second error – “Geocoder SAPO: Country not specified completely (Customizing)” – is corrected by running the report GEOCODING_SET_GEOFLAG, ticking the checkbox for Disable Geoservices and hitting Execute.

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For the error “Address type XXDEFAULT does not exist: Address usage XXDEFAULT  cannot be created” a new entry must be created in table TB009 with the following values:

  • Address Type: XXDEFAULT
  • Several uses:
  • Short name: Stand. Address
  • Name: Standard Address

For the error “Key 01 is not defined as name format for country xx” the relevant country grouping must be created in table T500L.

Thanks for the goodies, but what about the BAdIs?

There are a number of BAdIs used to retrieve data for HRALXSYNC. This is really for reference, since SAP HCM Talent Management (with exception of e-Recruiting) only requires the existence of the Business Partner objects. These BAdIs include:

  • BADI_ESH_IF_OBJECT_DATA
  • BADI_HRTMC_DR_FIELDS
  • HRTMC_ASSESSMENT_AVERAGE
  • HRALX_HRALXSYNC_BADI

Summary

So, here you’ve read a bit of background about why Business Partners are used and needed in SAP HCM Talent Management, how you can set them up and what issues to look out for. Hopefully this has cleared up some of the issues and myths surrounded Business Partners and SAP HCM Talent Management!

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11 Comments

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  1. Harinath Sadhu

    Good One. Gives good picture of BP in SAP.

    Also, just to add a point to users, BP is used in integration ECC with

    • SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)
    • SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
    • SAP E-Recruiting
    • SAP Collaboration Projects (cProjects)
    • SAP Strategic Enterprise Management (SAP SEM)
    • SAP Internet Communication Manager (ICM)
    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Thanks for your comment and your input. That’s a great list and I just learned some integration points that I didn’t know about 🙂

      (0) 
  2. Nancy Kosel

    Hi, Luke.  I have a couple of questions related to your post.  What’s the primary difference between “ON” and “CREATE” on the integration switches — specifically, PBPHR.  Our setting is on create but you indicate to set it to on.  I didn’t do the initial set up so I’m trying to understand the settings.

    Also, is there an easy way to view errors when HRALXSYNC is run in background mode with SAP&DEFAULT variant?  When I view the spool file, I can see the postal code length error but am unable to view what CP the failure was on.

    Thanks,

    Nancy

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  3. Rohit Gaharwar

    Dear Luke, May be I am taking look at this post of yours after a year, but its very very useful post for creation and issue related to BP. I remember I also faced few of these issue while I was implementing E-Rec.

    THANKS>>>>

    Rohit

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      1. Kedhar Nath

        Dear Luke,

        First I am happy to see doc on BP & recently I had a requirement from one of my EHS  consultant for creating BP which is used in their module as a external person,

        may I know that can we use the BP in EHS also

        Regards,

        Kedhar.

        (0) 

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