SuccessFactors recently came out with the Document Generation functionality which I think is much needed for HR operations.
I remember for one of the SAP On-premise customers we had ended up creating close to 15-20 ABAP based forms for documents the HR operations used to create for employees – from Experience Letters to Reference letters for loans etc.
That time I thought we could actually share the solution with SAP to make it as a part of the standard functionality J
Anyways, better late than never, SuccessFactors now has this functionality available – its simple, flexible and really neat!
There are a few improvements needed around the HTML editor, mass letter generations, business rules, past and future dated letters; but none the less a good tool for implementation and customer rollouts. I am sure it will be enhanced in the upcoming releases.
In this document, I plan to share a how-to guide for document generation enabling and functionality.
If you would like not to trust this document then here is the SAP reference document that I used to understand this functionality in detail – Document Generation (you may need SAP ID to access it)
So here’s a user’s perspective on the SAP document above.
Firstly, enable the document generation feature from the provisioning –
Once enabled, usual practice – through RBP enable it for the roles as necessary under Admin Permissions –
The next step is to set up the configuration UI for the Document Generation.
- The document above mentions 3 options to do so, but I will explain only option 1 as that’s the easiest J and quite frankly was lost and the other 2 options didn’t seem to work for me.
A predelivered configuration UI with ID DocumentGenerationOverviewConfigUIMeta is available. You can use this pre delivered content by associating it with the screen look up object. You have a provision to use already delivered Document Generation Screen Look Up via SuccessStore.
Here are the steps to do so and the screenshot for the same –
Admin Center >> Employee Files >> Import Export Data >> Select Import
Select ‘SuccessStore’ and select the ‘Document Generation Screen Look up zip file’ relevant to your environment and import it.
Once the setup is in place, you would receive an email stating the status of this import.
You will now see 3 options (based on your RBP selection) under Admin Center >> Employee Files
These are the 3 places which completely manage the Document Generation functionality.
Destination 1: Document Generation – Manage Document Template
This will help to create the template for document generation – Experience Letter, Address Proof etc.
Destination 2: Document Generation – Manage Document Template Mapping
While creating the template in the above destination, we can define our own user defined tokens/placeholders. The difference from the email template tokens is that these can be user defined through this mapping link.
We will see this in details in the example below.
Destination 3: Document Generation – Generate Document
Once the template has been defined, the tokens within the template have been mapped – using this link you can go and generate the documents for the respective employee you select.
So lets take an example now of how these can be created – I will be creating an Address Proof letter from our very own ACE Company J
The document gives an example of Experience Letter so didn’t want to copy that and since I recently asked my employer for an address proof letter, could relate to it much better
So first we create the template –
Goto Admin Center >> Emloyee Files >> Document Generation – Manage Document Template
And create a new template.
Define your own tokens you would like to have withn ‘’[[‘’ and ‘’]]’’ as shown in the screenshot below –
For images use the web based URL.
The tokens I have defined for this example are –
[[Address Line 1]]
Feel free to define as many as you like!
Once this is done and saved, comes the part I really enjoyed – gave me a feeling of a kid with a new toy to play with
Mapping the above created tokens using Document Generation – Manage Document Template Mapping.
Select the template you created in the previous step and you will find all the tokens you might have created in the template in the previous step.
If there is a direct mapping to one of the fields select it – eg. Prefix, First Name, Last name, etc
You also have the option to define derived or calculated fields based on the Business Rules with the option of Calculated Mapping.
However, before you create a business rule there are crtain steps you may need to do –
Steps to do before creating a business rule for the Calculated Mapping
Firstly, you will need to add the token/placeholder as a field in the MDF Object ‘Document Mapping Rule Result’ (not sure why this step has not been mentioned in the document link above). Without this step you will not get the option to add the placeholder/token to the business rule.
Admin Center >> Configure Object Definition >> Object Definition >> Document Mapping Rule Result
If you plan to create a Business Rule for a derived/calculated dynamic field, the first thing that needs to be done is add DocumentGeneration as the RuleType in the Admin Center >> Configure Object Definition >> Picklist >> RuleType as shown in the screenshot below.
Note: 2 places where I spent a lot of efforts and racking my brains.
- The effective date of the picklist is 10/14/2013 so while creating a rule the rule start date on or after the effective date in the RuleSet picklist (I know obvious and was banging my head as I wasted around an hour to figure out why I could not see the Rule Type while creating the business rule.
- While creating a rule I could not find the Document Generation option in the business rule. So I went ahead with any random rule type while creating the business rule and saved it. After saving I tried to edit the rule again and could see that option again. Crazy! But not sure why this happened.
Now you can create a rule under Configure Business Rule with Base Object as Document Mapping Rule Result and Rule Type as Document Generation
I am using 2 simple examples here – [[yearsOfService]] and [[todaysDate]] –
You can add these business rules to your placeholders using the ‘Calculated Mapping’ option under Document Generation – Manage Document Template Mapping.
Now you are all set to generate your documents for employees through –
- Admin Center >> Employee Files >> Document Generation – Generate Document
And this is the result
While generating documents here are the issues you may run into –
1. Error –
This error could be misleading. It mentions you do not have permissions but what it actually means is that the rule or the mapping of the field is incorrect.
I just changed the rule to have both the dates as todaysDate and the document got generated.
2. Partial Mapping Error –
This error implies there may be a missing or incorrect target mapping defined for the field specified.
I didn’t get this error so sorry no screenshots here L
3. Incomplete mapping warning –
If the mapping is not completely done, the template will not be available as an option to generate the document.
4. Placeholder could not be processed warning –
This means that values for certain placeholders/tokens might not be available for the employee for whom you are trying to generate the document for.
Not really sure about this but an issue I see with the Business Rules for Document Generation is that while creating a business rule, the option available for selection is ‘Current User’.
Need to test but I am assuming the values the business rule may fetch would be for the current user as the logged in user or the user selected in the Document Generation screen.
Need to check this in detail and will update.
Happy document generation until then J