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Author's profile photo Georg Heberle

New Employee Business Partner Data Model in SAP S/4HANA 2020 On-Premise

In this blog post, I would like to show you what is behind the new Employee Business Partner Data Model and why it’s worth using it.

Introduction

As of SAP S/4HANA 2020 OP, customers have the option to synchronize employees to business partners with the New Employee Business Partner Data Model. This new model was also provided with Support Packages for the lower releases SAP S/4HANA 1809 OP SP06 and 1909 OP SP04. See SAP Note 2954033.

In a capable SAP S/4HANA OP system, the new model is not activated by default. This occurs only when the business function /SHCM/EE_BP_1 is switched on. Please note that the activation of the business function cannot be undone as it is irreversible.

For the new model, a Business Partner instance with role employment (BUP010) is introduced for each employment. It has a one-to-one connection between Contract – which reflects the Employment / Personnel Number (PERNR) – and the Business Partner with role employment. Technically, the Business Partner instance in the role BUP010 has an entry of TYPE = HCM033 in BUT0ID table that refers to the contract. There is also a connection between Business Partner in role employee and Business Partner in role employment via an association in table BUT050 with the relationship category HCM001. This applies only to the new model. The new Business Partner instance with role employment is designed to keep employment-related roles, such as vendor. The creation of the vendor role is optional in the new model and can be triggered via report /SHCM/R_EMPL_HANDLE_BPROLES. It is also possible to link the user with the Employee Business Partner in the new model by maintaining infotype 105. If the specified SU01 user already exists in the system then the connection via USR21 is created by the sync report. If a specified user doesn’t exist, a registration takes place and the connection can be established when the SU01 user is created. This combination of the Business Partner in role employee and the SU01 via USR21 represents the Business User which is used in many SAP S/4HANA applications.

The following illustration reflects a single employment in the New Employee Business Partner Data Model.

Before we move on to the next topic, you should familiarize yourself with report /SHCM/R_EE_BP_RELATION_OVW, which is part of the delivery. This report exemplifies holistically the overall relationship of a single or a concurrent employment. I promise you’ll like it. In the following example (I hired Franka Musterfrau in a test system), you can see the single employment (PERNR 54705) with all its relationships. Two business partners (9980004220 and 1001868) have been created. One with role employee (BUP003) and another one in role employment (BUP010). The user (MUSTERFR) was also linked to the Employee Business Partner as I maintained infotype 105. Please have also a look in transaction SU01 to see the user to business partner assignment.

Good to know: If a user is maintained in infotype 105, but this user does not exist in the system, a business user can not be created. In report /SHCM/R_EE_BP_RELATION_OVW the information 105 is displayed in the bracket instead of USR21. In my example, the user exists in the system and the report displays the information USR21.

This report helps you to keep track, especially when the complexity increases due to concurrent employment. It is also possible to jump from the report to the corresponding transactions, for example, when clicking on the business partner number.

In the case of a contractual event (e.g.  concurrent employment / global employment / country transfer), a new contract (PERNR) is created. After the synchronization (report /SHCM/RH_SYNC_BUPA_EMPL_SINGLE) has run, a new Business Partner instance in role employment created.

The major advantage of the New Employee Data Model is the option to influence the contract to be synchronized with Business Partner in role employee (see green dotted connection). The main contract can be controlled using infotype 712 – Main Personnel Assignment. Thus, the main contract, and therefore also the user information can change during the entire employee life cycle without losing the connection to the Business Partner with role employee. The communication data held on a user can be updated in case of a change. This is a major advantage compared to other models.

Please keep this in mind: If an employee has more than one employment (concurrent / global employment / country transfer) only the Business Partner in role employee is allowed to have a user assigned. It is not possible to have additional user assignments. Due to auditability reasons, the link of a Business Partner in the role employee can not be separated from the user.

Let’s take a look into the view of report /SHCM/R_EE_BP_RELATION_OVW from the previous example to understand theory more practical. As you can easily see, a new employment (PERNR 54707) has been created additionally to the existing one. Also, a new business partner (1001869) has been created in role employment.

The (optional) role Vendor is not yet available. As mentioned at the beginning, execute report /SHCM/R_EMPL_HANDLE_BPROLES to generate the vendor(s). In my example, I have the vendor created only for PERNR 54705.

Legacy Employee Business Partner Models

Why are the advantages of the New Employee Business Partner Data Model very important? Let’s have a look to the legacy models and find out.

In order to respond to the problem of concurrent employment, customers have been enabled to implement a solution closing the existing gaps. This resulted in two variants that can be set in customizing table T77S0, HRALX – VMODE.

VMODE1

In VMODE1 the multiple employment issue is solved by creating a separate Business Partner instance for role vendor for every additional employment. The Business Partner in role employee and additional Business Partner instance are loosely coupled. As a result, only the originally used contract for the Business Partner in role employee was used without influencing option. Once the vendor role is assigned to Business Partner instance, the Employee role cannot be updated with a different contract. This leads to a non proper reflection of the main employment on Business Partner employee level. In this model, customers lose also the flexibility to update communication data with the changed main contract data.

VMODE2

In VMODE2 the data model has been changed for multiple employments by creating independent Business Partners with role vendor (loosely coupled). The Business Partner in role employee does never keep the role vendor. All other disadvantages from VMODE1 takes place here as well.

Path to New Employee Business Partner Data Model

The overall goal of the blog is to illustrate the new model. Nevertheless, it’s right to ask how I get from a legacy world to the new employee business partner model and what pitfalls I’m facing on that journey. I would like to encourage you to study SAP Note 2340095 and the attachment to this carefully.

In general, the new model application is employee specific and depends on the Business Partner instance carrying the role employee. The new model can be applied for an employee, if its Business Partner in role Employee does not have the role Vendor, before starting the transition. In such constellations, the transition is always compatible. This model can therefore be applied for

  • All employees of greenfield SAP S/4HANA customers, starting with the new model from scratch.
  • All employees of SAP S/4HANA live customers who are running on VMODE2
  • For newly hired employees of brownfield SAP S/4HANA customers running on the S/4 standard model or VMODE1 model.

Due to existing references with vendor master data which need to be safeguarded, a migration for employees created in VMODE1 (means the Business Partner in role employee keeps additionally the vendor role) is handled differently. In this case the legacy version of the new Business Partner model is applied as a fallback for an employee. The connection between the Business Partner in role employee and vendor to the contract must be kept stable, otherwise the CVI would fail. The legacy model supports almost all requested features. Only the update of address and bank information for main employment cannot be fully reached. However, the employment scenarios as well as the updated workplace address of the user with main employment data can be reflected.

Conclusion and Outlook

As previously explained, only the New Employee Business Partner Data Model in SAP S/4HANA ensures the entire life-cycle of an employee. The employee Business Partner always carries the most up-to-date data. This was not possible in the other models and caused problems in the past.

In the future, the new model will become increasingly important as more and more line of businesses will rely on the employee and employment business partners. In SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud, only this model will be used in the future. This makes a later migration of customers that are moving to SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud much easier.

Future developments in this area will probably only be considered in the new model. As an example of future functionality, you can have a look at the synchronization of external employees that is based on the new model. We will update this blog as soon as the function has been released.

To complete this blog, I also wanted to encourage you to take a look at SAP Note 3023906 from my colleague Luis Francisco Herranz, who answered many important questions about the new model in FAQ format.

Additional information  

New Employee Business Partner Model in SAP S/4HANA OP

  • New Employee Business Partner Model in SAP S/4HANA in SAP Help 
  • SAP Note 3023906 FAQ – NEW Employee to Business Partner synchronization in SAP S/4HANA OnPremise (NEW MODE) 
  • SAP Note 2340095 – S4TWL – Conversion of Employees to Business Partners (see attachments) 
  • SAP Note 3068404 – VMODE is not considered in new function /SHCM/EE_BP_1 

Employee to Business Partner synchronization in SAP S/4HANA OP 

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