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Author's profile photo Jean-Marie CONSEIL

SAP S/4HANA On Premise – Using Sales Employee with Business Partner (update)

In this blog post, I will give you some updates on management of sales employee in S/4HANA on premise valid for releases 1809 & 1909. You may also consider article below as an update of following blog written by my colleague Abir Banerjee:

In following paragraphs, I will mention several times either HR (Human Resources) or HCM (Human Capital Management). When used in context of ERP or S/4HANA, this will refer to personnel master data / personnel number managed via transactions PA30 or others.

Once done with this little piece of definition, I would like to start this blog with a question:

Is sales employee management without HR still not possible in S/4HANA?

In blog from my colleague Abir, he mentioned the customizing activity “Use Sales employee without HR” in ERP was no longer available in S/4HANA. Therefore, the only way to proceed was to synchronize HR employee master data.

Maybe you’ve already heard of a scenario where creation of business partner “employee” is possible without HCM/HR Master Data management.

Indeed, Fiori app “Maintain Employees” is available from 1709 FPS1 onwards. Usage of this app is only possible if HCM Integration is not active (HR integration switch in SAP S/4HANA is de-activated via the system table T77S0 with the configuration switches HRALX/HRAC and HRALX/PBPON).

Otherwise, you will get the following message while trying to upload employees.

Once HCM integration has been deactivated, you can manage employee BPs without preliminary management of personal master data. Question is: can we use BP created this way in combination with “sales employee” partner function in sales document? Answer is… “no”! This is valid not only for sales employee in sales but for each application using a partner function with partner type “personnel number”.

Screen copy below comes from following IMG path: Sales and Distribution / Basic Functions / Partner Determination / Set Up Partner Determination – Set Up Partner Determination for Sales Document Header (1909 FPS0 system):

For more details on “sales employee” aspects, please refer to OSS note “2763781 – SAP S/4HANA on-premise edition: Use Sales Employee without HR integration in SD”… but you will see by yourself answer to question raised above is still the same. Information is also available in OSS note “2646823 – How to maintain employees data in an S/4HANA OnPremise”.

One more thing important to know is having personnel ID in HCM is not enough to be able to use it as sales employee in SD. Let’s take the example on a “not synchronised” personnel number:

When you try to assign this ID on a “personnel number” type of partner function, it can’t be used. It is not found in the matchcode and there is no way to display / manage address data:

But, somehow, ID will be “accepted” when typed in directly. This is not the case if the personnel ID entered does not exist:

Then, it is mandatory to perform the synchronization towards BP to be able to use HCM ID as partner in your sales document.

Another question that may be asked is the following: what ID is meaningful for such partner function? Personnel ID? BP ID? Both?

To check this, let’s take a case where personnel ID has been synchronized to a different BP number:

On example above, Personnel ID 00000687 has been synchronized to BP 9980005290. If we try to put BP ID on “sales employee” partner function…

…the value is not accepted. But if we try with personnel ID (by direct input or using matchcode)…

…personnel ID is accepted in the document.

Once this is said, what are the deployment options to enable HCM integration with BP management?

Chapters below follow the sequence mentioned in installation guide (1909 FPS0 version has been used for this blog). Dedicated section to HCM is located under “Installation follow-up activities” (chapter 7) and “Follow-Up Activities for Human Resources (Compatibility Packs)” (chapter 7.19). Documentation there gives lots of additional details. Please feel free to refer to these if you need more information.

Reminder on the deployment options related to HCM:

To tackle problematics from a different perspective, let’s recall the different deployment options:

  1. Use HCM recommended solution for setting up HCM in S/4HANA: SuccessFactors;
  2. Run SAP ERP HCM.

For first option, following integration scenarios are possible:

  • S/4HANA is on-premise & HCM is in the cloud;
  • S/4HANA is in the cloud & HCM is in the cloud;

For second option, following integration scenarios are possible:

  • SAP ERP HCM runs on a separate instance;
  • SAP ERP HCM runs on the same instance (compatibility pack): this option allows you to run HR processes before moving them to SuccessFactors when ready.

For the rest of this article, we will consider following scenarios:

  • SuccessFactors connected to S/4HANA On Premise (first scenario of first option);
  • HCM running on the same instance of S/4HANA On Premise (second scenario of second option), even if first one will be covered shortly.


Option 1: Use SuccessFactors connected to S/4HANA On Premise:

Depending on the number infotypes you want to replicate to S/4HANA, following documents will be helpful to influence the integration level you want to achieve:

  1. SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA integration with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central:

Documents located under “configuration” section will provide useful information (e.g. if you want to use payroll integration or not – to be set in “Manage data” app in SuccessFactors for “Replication Target System object”):

  1. Dedicated chapter on Online help

Path to access link above is the following: from S/4HANA’s help page (e.g. for 1909 release:, go to “Additional Information” section and click “View all” button and then choose link related to Employee Central Integration to SAP business suite: (e.g. for 1908 release: SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Integration to SAP Business Suite). On this page, go to section “Integration with SAP S/4HANA On Premise” and then choose “Replicating Employee Master Data and Organizational Assignments from Employee Central to SAP S/4HANA On Premise” link.

Please note that you need to schedule synchronization job in S/4HANA if synchronization to Business Partner object is not performed immediately or if synchronization failed and needs to be started again. Program associated with this job is /SHCM/RH_SYNC_BUPA_FROM_EMPL (also used in ERP HCM synchronization).

Option 2: Run SAP ERP HCM

Option 2.1 ERP HCM runs on a separate Instance

Principle of such integration relies on ALE integration. List of the steps is summarized below:

  • Create users;
  • Activate source system for HR Data;
  • Define logical system(s) and assign it (them) to the client(s);
  • Create RFC connections;
  • Create distribution model;
  • Activate change pointers;
  • Maintain ports;
  • Create partners profiles;
  • Run initial distribution & check Idocs;
  • Define job for delta distribution.

Once this is done, employee synchronization should be performed after replication and then scheduled on a regular basis to get the Business Partners in the system.

Details for all steps above can be retrieved from S/4HANA On Premise installation guide

Option 2.2 ERP HCM runs on same Instance

Main necessary configuration steps are described in following IMG activity: Personnel Management / SAP S/4HANA for Human Resources / Synchronization of Business Partner for SAP HCM Employee Role

First part of the documentation focuses on number ranges and BP to vendor synchronization.

Second part of the documentation focuses on roles and Identification types.

Well, please note that synchronization towards freelancer and service performers is currently not enabled in S/4HANA On Premise: whatever the attributes filled in HCM master data, corresponding BP will always get role “BUP003: Employee” in standard.

* Edit on 2020, March 9th:

Well, this is still the situation in standard, however a solution is offered through activation of BADI /SHCM/B_IS_CONTINGENT_WORKER, as documented in following OSS note:

Badi BADI_FITV_VENDOR_SYNC is also available to address specific adaptations in the synchronization process:

* End of Edit 2020, March 9th.

Third part of the documentation is dealing with synchronization job using /SHCM/RH_SYNC_BUPA_FROM_EMPL program.

Program /SHCM/RH_SYNC_BUPA_EMPL_SINGLE is also available to synchronize a limited set of employees.

Last part of the document deals with reconciliation account assignment in supplier master data (one per company code).


Whatever the deployment options, approach to manage sales employees remained unchanged. HCM integration (meaning: with BP synchronization performed) a is still the recommended – and only possible – way to achieve usage of sales employees in order-to-cash area. Only employee “mini master” (basic infotypes) is necessary for the sales processes.

Some links / additional information

Most of links below have been mentioned in the text before but could be handy to have them gathered at the same place:

Brought to you by the S/4HANA RIG

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      Author's profile photo BALASUBRAMANIAN AP

      Good and informative blog...

      Author's profile photo Lysiane RAVILY
      Lysiane RAVILY

      Very clear and useful

      Author's profile photo Julia TRIVIDIC
      Julia TRIVIDIC

      Straight to the point and very relevant - thanks Jean-Marie.