Event-driven Extensions for SAP SuccessFactors on SAP Cloud Platform – Connecting the Dots
To build cloud-native extensions for the Intelligent Enterprise on SAP Cloud Platform, all cloud solutions need to provide a consistent end-to-end experience, made possible by lightweight, event-driven applications that extend the digital core (in this case SuccessFactors solution). This is where SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory and SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Messaging come to the fore.
SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory provides a simplified extensibility concept while SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Messaging provides the messaging and event-driven capabilities to decouple communication and share event data reliably across your hybrid system landscapes. Events are published from sources like SAP SuccessFactors to a topic in Enterprise Messaging from where extension applications can subscribe to receive the events and react to it. For example, the event from SAP SuccessFactors when an Employee joins or leaves the company can be sent to a topic in Enterprise Messaging and a cloud native application running on SAP Cloud Platform can react and process it.
The first step when developing an extension application is to establish a secure connection between the SuccessFactors system and your SAP Cloud Platform account. By using SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory, you can register the SuccessFactors system in a SAP Cloud Platform account. The registration process is based on an integration token that is used for the pairing of the SAP SuccessFactors company and the corresponding SAP Cloud Platform global account. Once the registration is successful, the extension applications running on SAP Cloud Platform can connect to the SuccessFactors system securely and with ease.
The next step would be to expose the required SuccessFactors events to SAP Cloud Platform. SuccessFactors allows you to create “Custom Integrations” that can push the events (with data payload) to a topic in SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Messaging. What this brings about is that when events are raised in the SuccessFactors system they can be sent to a cloud native extension application running in the SAP Cloud Platform.
Finally, extension applications can be quickly developed using SAP Cloud Application Programming Model (CAP), a framework to build enterprise grade Business Applications on SAP Cloud Platform within the SAP ecosystem. The SuccessFactors APIs that are to be used in an application can be downloaded from SAP API Business Hub (as EDMX files) and the client side implementation to consume the APIs can be automatically generated by CAP. CAP also simplifies the access to APIs exposed by SuccessFactors via SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory and the consumption of the events from SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Messaging as CAP has built-in support for both the services.
Thus, we can extend the existing SAP Cloud solutions without disrupting any core business processes in the SuccessFactors solution. To help better understand the steps involved in developing an extension application, please refer the sample application here. The application – RunSmooth – is a reference application which showcases how to build an event driven extensions for SAP SuccessFactors using the capabilities provided by SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory. RunSmooth uses :
- Extension Factory to quickly set up the trust between the SuccessFactors system and SAP Cloud Platform Global Account,
- Enterprise Messaging service to enable the consumption of the events generated by SuccessFactors and
- CAP for rapid application development with limited coding that binds all the pieces together seamlessly.