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Introduction:

Initially introduced into the system as the ‘SF-182 Form’, this form was built out to mimic the US Government SF-182 paper-based form. This form was once available at an additional cost (on top of the regular licensing fees) but was added into the system as standard functionality in Q3 2015 (LR-9660). Although this form was made widely available to all customers, no attempt was made by SF to increase the customization capabilities. This resulted in customizations taking much longer than necessary and a form that looks very outdated.

To aid in the configuration process of this form, I have compiled all of the information needed into a single blog (along with some useful tips).

Overview:

In order to visualize how the external learning request process works, a process map is most helpful.

As seen in the graphic above, there are two main components that make up the external learning request process. The first being when the user creates the learning request and submits it for approval, and the second being when the user completes the course and goes back into the system to verify the information and send it off for another approval.

These approval processes are set independently and can be set both system wide (In Global Variables) and more granular (In Assignment Profiles). Note that the processes set at the assignment profile level override the global values. Typically both of these processes include the pm in some way but it will depend on your business needs. Ideally a budget coordinator would be included as there are financial impacts from these external learning engagements.

System Admin > Configuration > Global Variables

Users> Assignment Profiles > Related More > External Request

Note: This post will not go into detail on what can / cannot be done with approval process or how to create them, however, I can provide insights in the comments below.

Getting back to the point I made about this taking a long time, it is due to different labels being used from the admin screen / user screen / reports. It took many hours to find out exactly which label id’s go to which particular part of the form so I wanted to save everyone else some time and post it here. If you would like an excel version of the info please provide your email below.

(My) Best Practice:

Assuming that the default form fields do not meet your needs (because if they did why would you be reading this 🙂 ) and extensive customization is needed (which is likely) I have come up with the following steps:

  1. Gather current external request form details (If available)
  2. Compare to the default SF external form fields
  3. Document any gaps
  4. Discuss if change management can fill any gaps in the form (Changing your needs to match the form instead of changing the form to match your needs).
  5. If there are still gaps, use the below information to fill them.

Tips for filling gaps recognized in #5 above:

  • Compile a list of all of the fields that you will not be using (hidden)
  • Taking the data type and form position into consideration, determine which fields can be re-labeled to meet your needs.
  • Recognize that there are only a handful of fields that have picklists and use them wisely.
  • Understand that the user will see the picklist value id’s in the dropdown, and then cannot be localized (best to use numbers instead of words)
  • Understand that the picklist values themselves can be localized to different languages.
  • Understand that when fields are hidden, the form down not fill the white space with anything (or make the form smaller).
  • Take into consideration if multiple currencies will be used within this form (and that the $ sign cannot be hidden or changed).

Admin Screen:

Located in System Admin > Configuration > External Request the configuration options for this are minimal to say the least. Here you have options for configuring instruction text for each section as well as the visibility of most fields and whether or not they are mandatory. The third option, ‘Pre-fill’ shows for fields that have the ability to be pre-populated when a user creates a request based on the specified user data field. This is useful if your user data supports it, however, from what I have seen there are usually major gaps. The alternative is to not use the pre-fill and the user manually enter the data when creating the request.

Corresponding Labels:

Note: Make sure to update the labels for all locales that are in use.

Admin Label Label ID Pre-fill option Data Type
A SECTION A: TRAINEE INFORMATION label.SF182.SectionA
A Agency Code, agency sub element and submitting office number label.AgencyCodeSubmittingOfficeNumber Y Autofilled – Not Editable
A Social Security Number label.SocialSecurityNumber Y Text Box
A Date of Birth label.DateOfBirth Y Text Box / Calendar
A Home Address label.HomeAddress Header
A Street Address label.StreetAddress Text Box
A City label.City Text Box
A State / Province label.StateProvince Text Box
A Postal Code label.PostalCode Text Box
A Country label.Country Text Box
A Home Phone label.HomePhone Text Box
A Position Level label.PositionLevel 4 Radio Buttons
A Organization Mailing Address label.OrganizationMailingAddress Header
A Add1 label.Add1 Text Box
A Add2 label.Add2 Text Box
A City label.City Text Box
A State / Province label.StateProvince Text Box
A Postal Code label.PostalCode Text Box
A Office Phone label.OfficePhone Y Text Box
A Work Email Address label.WorkEmail Text Box
A Position Title label.PositionTitle Text Box
A Does applicant need special accommodation? label.ApplicantHandicappedDisabled 2 Radio Buttons / Text Box
A Pay Plan label.PayPlan Y Text Box
A Series label.Series Y Text Box
A Grade label.Grade Y Text Box
A Step label.Step Y Text Box
A Type of Appointment label.TypeOfAppointment Y Text Box
A Education Level label.EducationLevel Y Text Box
B SECTION B: TRAINING COURSE DATA label.SF182.SectionB Header
B Name and Mailing Address of Training Vendor label.NameMailingAddressTrainingVendor Header
B Name label.NameMailingAddressTrainingVendor Text Box / Search
B If Other, please specify label.IfOtherPleaseSpecify Radio Button / Text Box
B Street Address label.StreetAddress Text Box
B City label.City Text Box
B State / Province label.StateProvince Text Box
B Postal Code label.PostalCode Text Box
B Country label.Country Text Box
B Vendor Telephone Number label.VendorTelNumber Text Box
B Vendor Email Address label.VendorEmail Text Box
B Location of Training Site label.LocationOfTrainingSite Header
B If Same, mark box label.IfSameMarkBox Radio Button
B Street Address label.StreetAddress Text Box
B City label.City Text Box
B State / Province label.StateProvince Text Box
B Postal Code label.PostalCode Text Box
B Country label.Country Text Box
B Course Title and Training Objectives (benefits to be derived by the Organization) label.CourseTitleTrainingObjectives Header
B Course Title label.ActivityTitle Text Box
B Course Objectives label.CourseObjectives Text Box
B Course Number Code label.CourseNumberCode Text Box
B Training Period label.TrainingPeriod Header
B Start label.Start Text Box / Calendar
B Complete label.Complete Text Box / Calendar
B Number Of Course Hours label.NumberOfCourseHours Header
B During Duty label.DuringDuty Text Box
B Non Duty label.NonDuty Text Box
B Training Codes label.TrainingCodes Header
B Purpose label.Purpose Picklist
B Type label.Type Text Box
B Sub Type label.TrainingSubTypeCode Picklist
B Delivery Type label.TrainingDeliveryType Picklist
B Designation Type label.TrainingDesignationType Picklist
B Source label.Source Picklist
B Training Credit label.TrainingCreditHours Text Box
B Credit Type label.CreditType Picklist
B Training Accreditation Indicator label.TrainingAccreditationIndicator 2 Radio Buttons
B Continued Service Agreement Required Indicator label.ContinuedServiceAgreementRequiredIndicator 2 Radio Buttons
B Continued Service Agreement Required Expiration Date label.ContinueServiceAgreementExpirationDate Text Box / Calendar
B Agency Use Only label.AgencyUse Text Box
C SECTION C: COSTS AND BILLING INFORMATION label.SF182.SectionC Header
C Direct Cost and appropriation/fund chargeable label.DirectCostAppropriationFund Header
C Tuition – Amount label.Tuition Text Box
C Tuition – Amount label.Amount Text Box
C Tuition – Appropriation Fund label.Tuition Text Box
C Tuition – Appropriation Fund label.AppropriationFund Text Box
C Books or Materials – Amount label.BooksMaterials Text Box
C Books or Materials – Amount label.Amount Text Box
C Books or Materials – Appropriation Fund label.BooksMaterialsAppropriationFund Text Box
C Indirect Cost and appropriation/fund chargeable label.IndirectCostAppropriationFund Header
C Travel – Amount label.Travel Text Box
C Travel – Amount label.Amount Text Box
C Travel – Appropriation Fund label.Travel Text Box
C Travel – Appropriation Fund label.AppropriationFund Text Box
C Per Diem – Amount label.PerDiem Text Box
C Per Diem – Amount label.Amount Text Box
C Per Diem – Appropriation Fund label.PerDiemAppropriationFund Text Box
C Total Training Non-Government Contribution Cost label.TotalTrainingNonGovtContributionCost Text Box
C Document / Purchase Order / Requisition Number label.Document Text Box
C Document / Purchase Order / Requisition Number label.PurchaseOrder Text Box
C Document / Purchase Order / Requisition Number label.RequisitionNo Text Box
C 8-Digit Station Symbol label.8DigitStationSymbol Text Box
C Billing Instructions label.BillingInstructions Large Text Box

User Screen:

In addition to the approval process configuration, you also need to make sure that the user has access to the External Request button listed in the ‘Tools’ tile. The only workflow related to this is labeled ‘Access External Learning Requests’ and you need to make sure this is added to the user role that the user is assigned.

Once this is done the user will have the option shown below:

Creating a new request:

Default Request Form

Assuming you followed this guide and changed the admin labels to match your requirements first, you now need to mimic the changes onto the actual form that the user sees. All of the label id’s needed are listed below.

Corresponding Labels:

Note: Make sure to update the labels for all locales that are in use.

Label Label ID
Agency Code, agency sub element and submitting office number label.AgencyCodeSubmittingOfficeNumber
Last Name ———-
First Name ———-
Middle Initial ———-
First Five Letters of Last Name ———-
Social Security Number label.SocialSecurityNumber
Date of Birth label.DateOfBirth
Street Adress label.StreetAddress
City label.City
State / Province label.StateProvince
Postal Code label.PostalCode
Country label.Country
Home Phone label.HomePhone
Position Level label.PositionLevel
Add1 label.Add1
Add2 label.Add2
City label.City
State / Province label.StateProvince
Postal Code label.PostalCode
Office Phone label.OfficePhone
Work Email Address label.WorkEmail
Position Title label.PositionTitle
Does applicant need special accommodation? label.ApplicantHandicappedDisabled
Type of Appointment label.TypeOfAppointment
Education Level label.EducationLevel
Pay Plan label.PayPlan
Series label.Series
Grade label.Grade
Step label.Step
Name label.NameMailingAddressTrainingVendor
If Other, please specify label.IfOtherPleaseSpecify
Street Address label.StreetAddress
City label.City
State / Province label.StateProvince
Postal Code label.PostalCode
Country label.Country
Vendor Telephone Number label.VendorTelNumber
Vendor Email Address label.VendorEmail
If Same, mark box label.IfSameMarkBox
Street Address label.StreetAddress
City label.City
State / Province label.StateProvince
Postal Code label.PostalCode
Country label.Country
Course Title label.CourseTitle
Course Number Code label.CourseNumberCode
Training Start Date label.TrainingStartDate
Training End Date label.TrainingCompleteDate
Training Duty Hours label.TrainingDutyHours
Training Non-Duty Hours label.TrainingNonDutyHours
Training Purpose label.TrainingPurposeType
Training Type Code label.TrainingTypeCode
Training Sub Type Code label.TrainingSubTypeCode
Training Delivery Type Code label.TrainingDeliveryTypeCode
Training Designation Type Code label.TrainingDesignationTypeCode
Training Credit label.TrainingCreditHours
Training Credit Type Code label.TrainingCreditTypeCode
Training Accreditation Indicator label.TrainingAccreditationIndicator
Continued Service Agreement Required Indicator label.ContinuedServiceAgreementRequiredIndicator
Continued Service Agreement Required Expiration Date label.ContinueServiceAgreementExpirationDate
Training Source Type Code label.TrainingCodeSource
Training Objectives label.TrainingObjectives
Agency Use Only label.AgencyUse
Direct Cost and appropriation/fund chargeable label.DirectCostAppropriationFund
Tuition – Amount label.Tuition
Tuition – Amount label.Amount
Tuition – Appropriation Fund label.Tuition
Tuition – Appropriation Fund label.AppropriationFund
Books or Materials – Amount label.BooksMaterials
Books or Materials – Amount label.Amount
Books or Materials – Appropriation Fund label.BooksMaterialsAppropriationFund
Indirect Cost and appropriation/fund chargeable label.IndirectCostAppropriationFund
Travel – Amount label.Travel
Travel – Amount label.Amount
Travel – Appropriation Fund label.Travel
Travel – Appropriation Fund label.AppropriationFund
Per Diem – Amount label.PerDiem
Per Diem – Amount label.Amount
Per Diem – Appropriation Fund label.PerDiemAppropriationFund
Total Training Non-Government Contribution Cost label.TotalTrainingNonGovtContributionCost
Document / Purchase Order / Requisition Number label.Document / label.PurchaseOrder / label.RequisitionNo
8-Digit Station Symbol label.8DigitStationSymbol
Billing Instructions label.BillingInstructions

 

Reporting:

The ‘External Request Data’ report is an out-of-the-box report, which is available in multiple formats (CSV, HTML, PDF). If any label changes are made to the user or admin screens, you will most likely need to update the labels that are being pulled into the report header section. In order to aide this process, I have created a list of these report header values along with their respective label id.

Corresponding Labels:

Note: Make sure to update the labels for all locales that are in use.

Label Label ID
User Name  ———-
User ID  ———-
Social Security Number label.SocialSecurityNumber
Date of Birth label.DateOfBirth
Vendor Name label.VendorName
Course Title label.ActivityTitle
Course Objectives label.CourseObjectives
Start Date label.StartDate
Complete Date label.CompleteDate
Training Purpose label.TrainingPurpose
Training Source label.TrainingSource
Training Type label.TrainingType
Training Sub-type label.TrainingSubType
Training Delivery label.TrainingDelivery
Training Designation label.TrainingDesignation
Training Credit Type label.TrainingCreditType
Training Accreditation Required Indicator label.TrainingAccreditationRequiredIndicator
Continued Service Agreement Required Indicator label.ContinuedServiceAgreementRequiredIndicator
Continued Service Agreement Required Indicator Expiration Date label.ContinuedServiceAgreementIndicatorExpirationDate
Position Level label.PositionLevel
Office Phone label.OfficePhone
Personal Email Address label.PersonalEmailAddress
Position Title label.PositionTitle
Handicapped or Disabled label.handicappedOrDisabled
Disability Description label.DisabilityDescription
Pay Plan label.PayPlan
Series label.Series
Grade label.Grade
Step label.Step
Type of Appointment label.TypeOfAppointment
Education Level label.EducationLevel
Vendor Mailing Address – Street label.VendorMailingAddressStreet
Vendor Mailing Address – City label.VendorMailingAddressCity
Vendor Mailing Address- State/Province Vendor Mailing Address- State/Province
Vendor Mailing Address – Postal Code label.VendorMailingAddressPostalCode
Vendor Mailing Address – Country Vendor Mailing Address – Country
Vendor Email Address label.VendorPersonalEmailAddress
Vendor Training Site Address – Street label.VendorTrainingSiteAddressStreet
Vendor Training Site Address – City label.VendorTrainingSiteAddressCity
Vendor Training Site Address- State/Province label.VendorTrainingSiteAddressStateProvince
Vendor Training Site Address – Postal Code label.VendorTrainingSiteAddressPostalCode
Vendor Training Site Address – Country label.VendorTrainingSiteAddressCountry
Direct Cost Tuition Amount label.DirectCostTuitionAmount
Direct Cost Books/Materials Amount label.DirectCostBooksMaterialAmount
Direct Cost Total label.DirectCostTotal
Indirect Cost Travel Amount label.IndirectCostTravelAmount
Indirect Cost Per Diem Amount label.IndirectCostPerDiemAmount
Indirect Cost Total label.IndirectCostTotal
Direct Cost Tuition Fund label.DirectCostTuitionFund
Direct Cost Books/Materials Fund label.DirectCostBooksMaterialFund
Indirect Cost Travel Fund label.IndirectCostTravelFund
Indirect Cost Per Diem Fund label.IndirectCostPerDiemFund
Total Training Non-Government Contribution Cost label.TotalTrainingNonGovtContributionCost

Useful FAQ: https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2327231/E

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2 Comments

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  1. Bas Adriaans

    Hi Travis,

    Thanks for this great config document. This is really helpful and yes it took me also several hours to retrieve all the label id’s.

    You statet that you cannot change the $ sign.
    It is possible to change the $ sign. This can be done via label label.SF182CurrencySymbol

    My best practises: don’t forget that several notifications will be triggered during the different external request stages:

    • Notify approver of action required regarding an external training request
    • Notify approver of action required regarding a verification of external training request
    • External Verification Reminder
    • Notify learner of progress in approval status
    • Notify Learner of expired request
    • Notify Learner of withdrawn request

    Furhermore: it is not possbile to delete external request forms, keep this in mind when testing/working in the Production environment.

    Regards, Bas Adriaans

    (0) 
    1. Travis Pulk Post author

      Hello Bas – It was a while back when I did these configurations for a client and at the time the dollar sign was static on the verification page (although the label would update on the actual form). Testing now it appears that they have resolved this.

      Thanks for adding to the post!

      (0) 

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