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Author's profile photo Vishwas Nanjundaswamy

Workflows for Background Portlet

Hello Experts,

Let’s say your customer has a requirement to have workflow for Background Portlet and to use this portlet in Talent Search feature. This requirement you may come across when we implement Employee Central with Talent Modules. Hence decided to write this short blog.


Customer is implementing Employee Central & Succession Management Module. They want Employees to input Portlets like Certifications, Honors/Awards Portlet and get approval from HR Manager. After Approval, HR Manager will use this Portlets in Talent Search for searching Successor or assigning them to Talent Pools

Current Limitation:

  1. Currently, Background elements/Portlets such as Certifications, Honors/Awards Portlet do not support workflow.
  2. Custom MDF Portlets can support workflow but do not support Talent Search feature.


We combined both Background & MDF Portlet features in order to overcome limitation. We configured Custom MDF Portlet to get approvals and then after approval sync the data to Background Portlet in order to use Talent Search feature.

How to Configure:

  1. Create Background Portlet.
  2. Create Custom MDF Portlet with Workflow
  3. Sync Data from Custom MDF Portlet to Background Portlet

1. Create Background Portlet.

You can create Background Portlet with the customer requirement. Let’s say “Honors/Awards” Portlet

 2. Create Custom MDF Portlet with Workflow

Create Child Object with same fields as Background Portlet.

Create Parent Object

Create Association

Create Rule & Add under Save rule to trigger workflow

 3. Sync Data from Custom MDF Portlet to Background Portlet

You can sync data via Report Center, Integration Center or any Middle-ware. In the below example, we have used Report Center where Advanced Reporting is enabled in the Instance

i) Create Report via Advanced Reporting

Create report of MDF Portlet Data with Header row & Data format same as Import file of Background Portlet

Report Center -> Report Canvas -> List Report


Click “Edit Formatting” and “Export Report”

ii) Generate CSV file and Send to SFTP via Report Distributor

Click “View Schedules” and then click “Switch to the Legacy Report Designer Tool”

Click “New Bundle” & Create a Bundle

Select Bundle, click “Add CSV Table” & Select report from “Advanced Reporting” tab

Configure Destination & FTP Folder Setup as per your SFTP Details and Schedule it as per Customer Requirement

iii) Import Background Portlet Data via Provisioning Job

Login to Provisioning -> Manage Schedule Job -> Create New & Select “Live Profile Import” Job Type

There should be considerable time gap between Export & Import Jobs.


MDF Portlet: This is approved Data

Background Portlet: This data is replicated from MDF portlet and can be used for Talent Search

Talent Search:


  1. Workflow can be defined for each Portlet
  2. It supports Business Rules for any validation
  3. It can be used in Talent Search

Hope this helps you. Looking forward for your Feedback & Questions.


Best Regards,

Vishwas N

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      Author's profile photo Naga Swathi T J
      Naga Swathi T J

      good one Viswas... nicely explained and documented.

      Author's profile photo Hirakrekh Barman
      Hirakrekh Barman

      Nicely put ! concise..

      Author's profile photo Manoj Kumar
      Manoj Kumar

      Good one Vishwas. Very well explained

      Author's profile photo Abhinav Dutta
      Abhinav Dutta

      Excellent work Vishwas...

      Author's profile photo Devesh Paike
      Devesh Paike

      Really useful Vishwas...!!

      Author's profile photo Sudheer Mathukumalli
      Sudheer Mathukumalli

      Informative and reusable !! Thanks Vishwas

      Author's profile photo Arpan Routh
      Arpan Routh

      Nicely explained Vishwas. Informative!!

      Author's profile photo Manjunath BK
      Manjunath BK

      Very nice and informative Vishwas... thank you

      Author's profile photo Tarun Aggarwal
      Tarun Aggarwal

      That's really a good piece of info...thanks for sharing.

      Author's profile photo VijeyAananth SR
      VijeyAananth SR

      Much Appreciated ?

      Author's profile photo Srinivasa Rao Pasupureddy
      Srinivasa Rao Pasupureddy

      Good one Vishwas. Nice blog !!!

      Author's profile photo Shambhavi Thakur
      Shambhavi Thakur

      Well explained. Thanks for sharing.

      Author's profile photo Suganya Muralidharan
      Suganya Muralidharan

      Informative and fully explained.. Thanks for sharing!

      Author's profile photo Subrat Kumar Ghosh
      Subrat Kumar Ghosh

      Nicely explained. Thanks for sharing.

      Author's profile photo Aditya Sai Karuturi
      Aditya Sai Karuturi

      Excellent job putting this together Vishwas!!The requirement for an approval mechanism for the background elements has been common across many engagements thanks for addressing this.

      Author's profile photo Iqbal Ahmed
      Iqbal Ahmed

      Thanks for sharing. Great info!

      Do you have this working? What happens when data is deleted  from the MDF portlet?

      Author's profile photo Vishwas Nanjundaswamy
      Vishwas Nanjundaswamy
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Iqbal,

      Yes we have implemented this and it is working fine.

      If data is deleted in MDF, it will get deleted in Background Portlet.

      Basically everyday we are importing Background portlet with As of Today records by overwriting the existing records.



      Author's profile photo Syed Mukhsith
      Syed Mukhsith

      Very Informative Vishwas!  I am building this for one of the customer now 🙂

      Author's profile photo John Daniel
      John Daniel

      Very Nice Buddy. Keep it up!!!

      Author's profile photo Balaji Ponnam
      Balaji Ponnam

      Nice Blog!!

      Author's profile photo Erik Ebert
      Erik Ebert

      This is a nice workaround for a common problem. Better still to fix the underlying root cause, and there is an enhancement request defined for this already, for consideration. Please vote for the idea

      Author's profile photo alexandra marcu
      alexandra marcu

      Hello Vishwas,

      Very interesting workaround. However, I was wondering where the awards are initially created? I presume in Manage data a new record is created linked to the employee by external code and then it appears in the MDF portlet and synced by job in the Awards portlet.
      Author's profile photo Vishwas Nanjundaswamy
      Vishwas Nanjundaswamy
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Alexandra,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      Awards can be created directly via MDF Portlet in People Profile ( I have missed to explain how to create UI & add in Configure People Profile). Once Data is approved, it will get sync to Awards Portlet (Background Element) which can be used in Talent Module.



      Author's profile photo Takuya Ebisawa
      Takuya Ebisawa

      Hello Vishwas,

      This is the useful information! However, in my understanding, the data of MDF Object cannot be exported by Canvans report. Could you tell me your assumption?


      Author's profile photo Vishwas Nanjundaswamy
      Vishwas Nanjundaswamy
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Takuya,

      Thanks for your Feedback.

      You can export the MDF Data via Report Distributor. Please check Step 3 in the blog.



      Author's profile photo Antonio Ferreira Vicente
      Antonio Ferreira Vicente

      Top this Blog!

      Author's profile photo Rogerio Borges
      Rogerio Borges

      Hello Vishwas

      Good job!

      Thank you so much to share this workaround.


      Author's profile photo Takuya Ebisawa
      Takuya Ebisawa

      Hello Vishwas,

      This is the useful information. I'm trying this setting, but output files have following lines at the top of  the file.

      1. "Exported to CSV on <Timestamp>"
      2. Example: "Exported to Excel on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 (Eastern Standard Time -05:00)"

      I cannot import the output file because of this. Do you have any workarounds?



      Author's profile photo Vishwas Nanjundaswamy
      Vishwas Nanjundaswamy
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Takuya Ebisawa ,

      I also faced this challenge while scheduling the report.

      Please follow the above steps 3 (i) & (ii) carefully. You need to go to “Edit Formatting” and “Export Report”. Then while adding report in Bundle, Select report from “Advanced Reporting” tab not from Query Workspace.

      This will remove time stamp from the file.



      Author's profile photo Takuya Ebisawa
      Takuya Ebisawa

      Hi Vishwas,

      Thank you for your advice. This was solved!


      Author's profile photo Ahmed Tohamy
      Ahmed Tohamy

      Thank you Vishwas, it's a great idea, But I wonder where the link between MDF and Background portlet , where you determine the target background portlet .


      Ahmed Tohamy

      Author's profile photo Vishwas Nanjundaswamy
      Vishwas Nanjundaswamy

      Hi Ahmed,

      Thanks for the feedback.

      You can link it via Background Element ID.

      In the able example refer steps 3 (i), you can find 2nd Column in the report is defaulted to "awards" which is Background Element ID for Honors/Awards Portlet.



      Author's profile photo Teena Joseph
      Teena Joseph

      Very useful information, Vishwas. Neatly explained.

      Author's profile photo Husnain Asif
      Husnain Asif

      Hi Vishwas,

      Thank you for sharing insightful blog. I have one query, why is it necessary to create a parent and child custom MDF portlet and then create the association? Isn't it possible to create a single custom MDF object and assign workflow?

      Author's profile photo Harsh Kulasrestha
      Harsh Kulasrestha

      Hi, I tried this but when I generate the report the CSV output comes with a header at the top which says 'exported on date' and then a blank row. Mine is a live data detailed report and not advanced report

      Author's profile photo Pradeep Ragunathan
      Pradeep Ragunathan

      H Vishwas/All,


      How multiple records in the custom MDF appear as same as in the Background Elements. How to configure this in the Config UI so we can have the MDF portlet to look as same as the Background elements? Anyone help please. Thanks in advance.

      Author's profile photo Jennifer Say
      Jennifer Say

      This is very helpful indeed. I will be able to use this for an enhancement I am working on. The only issue is I dont have access to Provisioning. Is there an alternative way? thanks