Integration Center – A viable and flexible alternative for LMS Connectors !
‘Integration Center’ is one of the powerful innovations/extensions added to SuccessFactors in recent times.
What is Integration Center (IC)?
When Integration Center (IC) was first introduced in Q2 2016, its primary objective was to enable HR Admins to build, run, schedule and monitor simple File-based Outbound integration. It is easy to build integration quickly and easily through a guided workflow. Predefined templates are available to give a kick start.
It has come a long way since and effective Q1 2017, you can use Integration Center to build Inbound Integration as well !
I have seen many of my existing clients use Integration Center to primarily build simple outbound integration for Benefits vendors and interfaces with other internal legacy applications that require basic employee data on a regular basis and IC serves this purpose effectively.
One of my key SuccessFactors focus area is – Learning. I have been involved with many SuccessFactors Learning implementations and one of the challenges I have seen recently (after Employee Central) is related to the amount of Data Fields customers wanting to move from BizX to LMS.
SuccessFactors Connector files are not that easy (read User Friendly) to work with not only for HR/HRIS Admins but for Application consultants as well. I am sure you will agree with me on that if you have used SF User Connector in the past !
I was pretty excited when I configured and used Integration Center and explored its capabilities. Considering SuccessFactors Learning has its own database and requires a file feed from BizX like other third-party applications, I have been planning to use Integration Center to build an Outbound Integration from BizX to SuccessFactors LMS and let go of the not so user friendly Connector. I had the time and chance finally.
Here are some steps and guidelines to build an integration using Integration Center.
Concept of Integration Center
- Type in ‘Integration Center’ in the Tools search area. You will see Integration Center Landing Page. Select ‘My Integration’.
2. On the My Integrations page, choose
3. Selecting the right Entity is important for integration built with Integration Center. The starting Entity becomes the parent entity at the top and creates relationship between other entities. Since we are sending User Data, we will select entity ‘ User’.
4. The entity User contains information about system user including Personal and Organizational information.
Select the Fields you want to send to LMS. The system immediately shows data values for selected fields as shown in the figure below. You can also click on the ‘Add’ field icon to add additional fields at this stage.
One big advantage of using Integration Center is the capability to get any data fields from any portlets and send it to LMS. In the regular LMS Connector, only fields from UDF (User Data File) can be mapped to LMS fields.
5. You can right click on any Field/Column to change the Label on the go, move the field to left/right, delete the field etc.
6. One great benefit of using the Integration Center instead of the UDF (Employee Data File from Export) is that : You can send any data fields (standard or Custom) to LMS without having to add it to the User Data File or UDF model in Platform.
Note : For Employee Central Customers, to send additional fields (other than those in UDF), you have to map each field from the respective Portlet via ‘Configure Business Configuration’ transaction to a custom field in Platform side.
7. Once you have validated that all fields are added, the next step is to add a Filter if needed. This is helpful if LMS is live for a certain country/division/department only and needs to receive only a subset of the Employee data e.g. only for a certain Division or Department or Country.
8. Once Filter is added, the next step is to provide the Destination Settings (of the SFTP folder where this file will be saved. You can give a File name and your SFTP details in this step.
9. The next step is ‘Scheduling’. You can define the scheduling parameters i.e. how frequently the file will be run. Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save’ icon before clicking ‘Next’.
10. The final step is to review and run the file/schedule the job. Add the job schedule details and emails of LMS Admins or HR Admins that needs to be notified.
11. Before you submit the job, you can review the details in the last step as shown below.
12.I am not covering the necessary configuration steps required in LMS in this blog. However to process this file in LMS, you still have to complete the Connector mapping and schedule a Job in LMS get this file from required SFTP destination and process .
Using the same process with Integration Center (IC), you can send Employee data to any external vendor. Multiple Folders can be created in SFTP /Outgoing path and the external vendor can pick these files and process at their end.
IC is great tool to empower HR Super users without having to depend on technical programming/coding skills set.