SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2088055 - SuccessFactors Instance Synchronization Feature Guide & Need to Know Information


  • What is the synchronization feature?
  • What objects are supported?
  • Is the sync reversible?
  • Basic checks and key information about instance sync errors and issues
  • What should be provided when opening an instance sync case?


SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite


Note: If a full/exact copy of another instance is needed, a clone/refresh of the source instance must be created. See KB 2088117 for further information.

What is Instance Sync?

  • Instance synchronization is a means of copying the configuration of multiple SAP SuccessFactors instances. This enables you to "push" new configurations from one instance to another, such as from your Test instance to Production instance. To use this new tool, see Instance Sync: Implementation and Administration.

What items are supported?

  • These are the Instance Sync Artifacts that you can copy:
    • Career Development Plan Templates
    • Compensation Lookup Table
    • Competencies
    • Data Models
    • Families and Roles - (Only Job Description Manager)
    • Form Label Translations
    • Foundation Objects
    • Homepage Tile Configurations
    • Homepage Tile Groups
    • MDF Configuration UI Settings
    • MDF Data
    • MDF Custom Object Definitions
    • MDF Rules
    • Role-Based Permission Groups
    • Role-Based Permission Roles
    • System Properties
    • Workflow Groups
  • The following artifacts have been moved to Configuration Center:
    • Goal Management Templates
    • MDF Picklists
    • MDF Object Definitions
    • Performance Management Templates
    • Rating Scale
    • Workflows (Route Maps)


  • Clients can run syncs in Test-Only mode to preview the sync before processing
  • To locate diagnostics - Action Search: Instance Synchronization Monitor Tool > Select your criteria > Under the Actions column, click Details > Select Download Report
  • If you would like to sync Job Profile Builder Families and Roles, see KB 2970252

Recommended Sync Order:

  1. MDF Picklist (moved to Configuration Center)
  2. Data Model
  3. Foundation Objects
  4. Workflow (Route Maps) (moved to Configuration Center), Workflow Groups
  5. MDF Object Definition (moved to Configuration Center)
  6. MDF Configuration UI
  7. MDF Rules
  8. MDF Data
  9. RBP Permission Groups
  10. RBP Permission Roles
  11. Rating Scale (moved to Configuration Center), System Properties, Form Label Translation, Families and Roles (Only Job Description Manager), Goal Management Templates (moved to Configuration Center), Career Development Plan Templates, Compensation Lookup Table
  12. Homepage Tile Configurations, Homepage Tile Groups

What is expected during blackout periods?

Blackout periods are times when Production and Preview data centers are on different release versions. Release schedules can be found in Product Release & Road Map Information. During this time, the following artifacts are not allowed to be synced until both SOURCE and TARGET instances are on the same version:

  • RBP Permission Role
  • Foundation Object > Dynamic Role
  • Foundation Object > Position Dynamic Role


Is the sync reversible?

  • No. Clients are encouraged to run in test-only mode first in case there is data you had not intended to overwrite and need to restore.
  • IMPORTANT: Please back up everything and in case you need a system restore please see 2218169.


I have an issue with the sync tool. What can I check?

  • During setup:
    • Ensure admin users have required instance sync permissions to perform instance sync on target and source for selected objects.
    • Ensure popup blocker is disabled when trying to setup the instance sync in provisioning. The system will trigger a popup after you setup the source and target instance information to define which objects will be allowed in the sync tool.
    • Note: When pairing instances, the tool only allows pairing of Company IDs/Tenants provisioned under the same customer.
  • When using the feature:
    • If you receive a popup stating “The following are a list of artifacts and their dependencies that have not been selected”, you may not be able to sync the selected object because it depends on the items highlighted in red. You will still be able to trigger the sync of the items, but the copy might fail as the dependency validations will not be met.
    • When Syncing permission groups, ensure the criteria for these permission groups exist on the target. For example:
      • If you sync a permission group, we will not validate if the users (who are part of the group) exist on the target. The only validation will be that the group creator (on source) exists on the target.
      • If you sync a group based on a specific data model element, this same element needs to exist in the target.
      • If you have no instance visible in the drop-down menu, the initial setup was not completed successfully. The provisioning setup will have to be reviewed/re-triggered.
      • If the sync is failing, ensure the target instance admin used by the sync has the correct RBP permissions. The admin user will have been provided during the initial setup from provisioning.
      • Go to the target instance and identify the permission role that grants permissions to the target admin user. Then review the role and ensure the correct permissions are enabled in "Manage instance synchronization" section of the permissions.
    • RBP Role Sync is failing without error message or is unavailable: RBP Role sync is incompatible across releases. Please ensure source and target instances are on the same release. This might change with every release depending on the code changes made in the specific release.
    • Options in Instance Sync not available (grayed-out): Sync is incompatible across releases for the grayed-out objects. Please ensure source and target instances are on the same release.
    • Picklist sync fail due to "External Code not Unique for companyId”: External code is now a mandatory field for picklists to perform instance sync. Ensure picklists have this information.
    • Parent-child picklists: We do not display the child picklists on the list in wizard page. Child picklists will be implicitly synced as a part of the parent picklist sync.
    • Job remains in Ready status in instance sync monitor tool rather than executing straight away:
      • Check if you created a one-time sync or a sync package. If you created a sync package, you must trigger the sync for this package. More information is in Implementing and Managing Instance Sync - Instance Sync Packages.
      • You may have to trigger the job from provisioning whenever Data artifacts (User Data, Background Data, SM Positions, MDF Positions) are part of the sync. A guide is attached showing how this can be done (for support and partners as it requires access to provisioning).
    • Cannot access all the Background elements in Copy Background page in Instance Sync wizard: Try to resize the page to see all elements.
    • Auto trigger of BCUI (Business Configuration UI) is not supported post-sync of data model using the tool. If you see inconsistencies in BCUI after performing a data model sync, follow the steps mentioned in 2801085 under the "Synchronizing the Succession Data Model with Metadata Framework (MDF)" section.

I checked all the above, but my issue is still happening. What should I provide in my case with Support?

  • Screenshots from the instance sync monitor showing results of your sync
  • CSV files with results from the objects sync
  • If multiple objects are failing, are you able to sync one-by-one? If yes, which one(s) is/are failing?

For SAP Support Engineers: Check internal memo for additional support instructions when engaging with Engineering.


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Instance Sync - provisioning guide.docx