SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2088065 - Legacy Purge - Data Retention Management


  • What is the Data Retention Management tool?
  • How do I turn on the data purge tool?
  • What is the default state of the data purge tool?
  • How do you give an administrator access to the tool and what does each permission represent?
  • How does an admin purge data associated to a user?
  • How does an admin purge an inactive user?
  • How does an admin purge an external candidate?
  • Can the purged data be restored? Is the purge reversible?
  • What about users? Can the purged users UserID’s or Usernames be recycled?
  • Can the email notifications be customised?
  • What is the process of Data Retention Management?
  • What e-mail notifications will be sent from Data Retention Management?
  • Auto Data Purge


SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite



  • The legacy purge function may not meet all of your data protection and privacy requirements. It doesn’t cover data across the full HXM Suite and doesn’t enable you to configure data retention times. Please check this section of the Admin Guide to view the limitations of Legacy Data Purge Function. 

  • We encourage all customers to stop using the legacy purge function and start using data retention time management (DRTM) instead. To get started using this and other data protection and privacy features, refer to the Data Protection and Privacy guide.

  • This KBA focuses on purge types within Platform Support scope.

  • The Purge Inactive User request type will reach End of Development on Nov 17, 2023 and will be Deleted on May 17, 2024, starting from b2311 release, The Purge Inactive User request type has been disabled using the Enable Purge Inactive User request type option from Admin Center > Company System and Logo Settings > Data Retention Management >Enable Purge Inactive User request type. For more details, please refer to Disable DRM Purge of Inactive Users in Employee Central Instances | SAP Help Portal

**Note - the above link to the What's New Viewer for "Disable DRM Purge of Inactive Users in Employee Central Instances | SAP Help Portal" will only be accessible from around 18th or 19th of October 2023, as this is only released a couple of days before the Preview release

How to enable and setup data retention management tool?

  • The data purge tool can be turned on by going to provisioning > company settings in the backend, support or a partner would be required to enable this if not already enabled. You can check "Data Retention Management" option and specify the minimum number of approvers. If you already have the section in Manage Permission Roles for Manage Data Retention - this means the provisioning option is already enabled
  • Grant permissions to admin users to create and approve purge requests. Ensure permission roles who can purge inactive users also have Manage Users permission for the appropriate target population. Please review this section of the guide for recommended permission settings for Data Purge functions.
  • Further details on enablement can be found in this section of the Admin Guide.

How to submit a purge request?

The tool supports the ability to purge data associated to users. Full list of purge types available for legacy purge can be viewed in this section of the guide.

Platform team only supports the following purge types:

  • Purge Inactive User

  • Purge Completed To-Do Items

  • Purge MDF Attachments

Admin users have an option to either submit the purge and execute it immediately or by schedule. Here is an overview of the purge process for data retention management.

First Phase: Purging Inactive Users with the Legacy Purge Request (Soft purge)

Below are the fields that administrators can select when submitting a purge request.

  1. Name the request - The admin can name the request. The name will be displayed in areas where the rule is saved and in the purge request monitor page.
  2. Set the user population - Set the user population that you would like to purge. Keep in mind the user will only allow inactive users to be purged.  The user will be able to set up to 20 different populations. You will have the following choice for user selection for each population you wish to setup
    • Select a single user: enter the username into the field
    • Select multiple users based on the below criteria

      Search criteria



      Multi-select the country


      Multi-select department


      Multi-select division


      Multi-select location


      Multi-select job code

      Hire Date

      Date range

      Inactive Time

      The retention period will be applied to the user population. Retention period is defined as the time period the user has left the company.

      This is calculated as such
      Today’s Date – CompanyExitDate
      The CompanyExitDate is defined via the user import file.

  3. Upload a user list. - The users will have to be listed by userid. If you have this option selected you will be able to download an example file by clicking “Download Example”.
  4. Select Exception Rules  - The administrator can select exception rules to disqualify a user from being included in the purge. 



    Users have performance management forms

    User has a PM form

    User has goal

    User has a goal

    User has Development goal

    User has a development goal

    User is one of subjects on a calibration session

    User is one of subjects on a calibration session

    Has or is on a compensation form

    User is on a compensation form.  This is always enforced.

    Has or is on a variable pay form

    User is on a variable pay form. This is always enforced

    User has non-anonymized applications

    Filter validates whether the user has non-anonymized job applications or not

    Has varpay data associated with objectives

    Has varpay data associated with objectives

    User is one of reviewers(facilitators, owners or participants) on a calibration session

    User is one of reviewers(facilitators, owners or participants) on a calibration session

    Enable user validation for recruiting module

    Following RCM specific validations done for the users through “RCMUserFilter”.

    • In a future step in an approval workflow for requisition or offer approval.
    • Listed as an interviewer and have not yet provided feedback.
    • Listed as an operator other than originator on an open or preapproved requisition.

    This is always enforced.

  5. Select Approvers - When you submit a request you will have to select a set of approvers.

    ** For BizX instances with Learning Management System (LMS) integrated, please consider the following. Failing to meet the following conditions will result for the purge request to automatically fail with no approvals. 

    • User creating purge request must a have matching user in LMS (same ID as the userID in bizx) so Bizx ID=LMS user ID= LMS admin ID
    • The LMS admin must have the following workflows in the LMS role assigned to them: "View User", "Delete User" (system admin > security > role > search for your admin role > workflow > User mgmt).

  6. Submit the request - Keep in mind that all manually submitted requests will not execute right away. The request has to be approved by all approvers before being executed.  Once the request is submitted the administrator can view/approve the request in Admin Tools -> Data Management -> Maintenance Monitor.

  7. Reviewing Purge Completed Report - For purge inactive user completed report, you can open "UserObjectType.csv" and you can see the notes column for more details, specially if the record failed to be purged.

Sample flow:

Request to purge all inactive users in the US that have been inactive for 4 months. 

  1. Navigate to Admin Tools -> Data Retention Management ->  Create New Purge Request
  2. Select Purge Inactive User
  3. Name the request
  4. Define the population:  Country=US, Dept=All, Division=All, Location=All, Job-Code=All, HireDate=1/1/2005 to 1/1/2010.
  5. Define retention period: 4 months
  6. Select the approvers. Default is 1. You can only select users that have the “approver” permission assigned in section 5.2.
  7. Submit the request.
  8. Approve/Decline Request

Second Phase: Permanent Purge

Once the records are successfully soft purged in the system, you can now proceed with permanently purging them using "System Identifier Purge". Further details on how to do this can be found in section of the admin guide.

Things to be aware of when purging users:

  • Purge requests can are only valid for 14 days. They will expire if not approved/declined.
  • Tool is limited to purge 10,000 users per request. This is applicable for Employee Central and non-Employee Central enabled instances.
  • For scheduled purge requests, this will require 2 sets of approval.
    • Approval to generate preview report
    • Approval to execute the purge request
  • Email notifications related to purge will be sent to any users with DRM related permissions

How does an admin purge an external users in BizX?

Can the purged users UserID’s or Usernames be recycled? 

  1. The userID’s can be restored via user Import. Note that User reactivation is only applicable for soft purged users (Purge Inactive User) in BizX.
    • Create an import file containing the users that you wish to reactivate
    • Before performing the user import, make sure the "reactivate purged users" option is ticked
    • Import your user file.
    • Review the import notification report to confirm the user(s) have been reactivated.
    • You can now manage this user again.

  2. The userID’s can be permanently removed from the database.
    • The new permanent purge feature is available via Admin tools > Data Retention Management > “User Permanent Purge"
    • You will have to provide the list of UserID's to purge permanently. If required, you can download a blank example template file using the "download example" link.
    • When your file is ready to be processed, browse to the file, hit upload and then submit to submit the job.
    • Once the job completes the user(s) is/are permanently purged. You (or the requesting administrator) will receive an email outlining the outcome of the permanent purge.


Can the email notifications be customized?

Currently the email notifications generated by the data retention management tool are hard coded in the system and cannot be modified or customized.

Auto Data Purge

Starting b2105 release, customers can find Auto Data Purge Tab in both Production and Preview instances under Data Retention Management page to Purge Attachments and Person/ Non-Person related audit data.

Attachment Tables in SuccessFactors are identified as one of the largest tables in customer schemas that store all the attachments under Hana in-memory and add extensively to storage space. In order to reduce this load, SuccessFactors has introduced Auto Data Purge feature where attachment content can be replaced with dummy/blank content.

Further details can be found in this section of the admin guide. You can also check KBA 2978883 for Frequently Asked Questions gathered during Auto Data purge enablement in preview instances last 2011 release.

Overview of the Data Purge Process for Data Retention Management

For an overview of the Data Purge Process and view which E-mail Notifications will be sent from SuccessFactors, please refer to the SAP Help Portal at Overview of the Data Purge Process for Data Retention Management.

What's New in b2105?

There is now an option to terminate long running purge requests in the instance. To do this, you can either reach out to your partner/consultant to trigger the termination from Provisioning > Monitor Jobs, or reach out to Product Support by submitting a case under "LOD-SF-PLT-DRM" for assistance.

See Also

2488688 - Unable to Complete "User Permanent Purge"

2545988 - How to Purge/Delete user in BizX

MDF Custom Object Purge

Data Retention Management (Legacy and Non-DRTM)


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