SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2088117 - New Instance Creation, Test Instance, Instance Refresh and Clone - Platform


This KBA provides an overview of the processes to have a new BizX instance, whether it is a new Production or Test environments (test site); as well as refresh or clone of an existing instance.

  • How do we get a new instance?
  • How do we refresh our test instance with production data?
  • Can we have two instances?
  • How can partners request an instance?
  • How can clients request a Demo Instance?
  • How does Sales request a Professional Edition Instance?
  • What is the difference between Refresh and Clone?
  • When are refreshes/Clones preformed?
  • Is it possible to perform a refresh from a blank instance?


SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite


I/ New Production Instances

Instance Auto-Creation

All new-business instances (new customer sales) are automatically created via the Auto-Provisioning Project. If you are implementing a new customer, the instance should be created automatically and you should not have to manually request a new instance to be created. Please ensure you absolutely do need a new instance created before requesting one.


  • This will be determined prior to implementation via your Sales Account Manager for new clients;
  • For clients already live you should have two instances (test and production) created automatically. For a third instance there may be costs involved;
  • This may vary per client, depending on size and scope of project.


  • Total turnaround time: Varies based on complexity & scope of configuration;
  • Client works with Professional Services or Partner;
  • Company ID: Client to provide what they will want to use as a "Company ID". Must be unique on the target Environment, case-sensitive, 13 characters or less, no spaces or special characters. For example ABC Blocks might be ABCBlocks & ABCBlocksTest. "ABC Building Supplies" on the other hand would need to be shorten to something like ABCBS & ABCBSTest;
  • Instances are automatically created as part of the implementation;
  • For exceptions where this does not happen, client would work with the account manager to ensure payment and schedule A is generated;
  • The account manager would contact the Auto-Provisioning Project;
  • Customer Success would only be engaged in rare exceptions when the regular process did not trigger a new instance.

II/ New Test Instances

Most client contracts include a free test instance, which will automatically be created for you during the implementation phase. If you do not have a second instance please check with your account manager.

  • Most clients will automatically have a test instance created via the Auto-Provisioning team upon go live;
  • If you have been live for sometime but never had a test site, please follow the process below to get a second instance:

1. Costs

  • Most clients purchasing new product bundles now include one free test instance;
  • For clients already live and purchasing a second or third test instance, costs will be determined by your Account Manager before any work begins;
  • Costs vary per client depending on size and scope of additional instance.

NOTE: A new instance with TGM/PM feature enabled will by default get a goal/PM template. This is for customer's reference. (PMU-8802)

2. Process for Clients When the Auto-Provisioning Project was Not Used

  • Please contact your Sales Account Manager to determine if your existing contract includes a second instance who will determine costs specific to your account. Costs vary between clients as each client has a unique implementation and license counts. If costs are applicable they will be able to discuss this with you. Account managers should be aware that SuccessFactors does incur costs from our Data Center providers.
  • Total turnaround time: 2-4 weeks;
  • Open a case with Customer Success then Contact your account manager;
  • It is important to state in your request if the new site will be a clone of production or not as additional costs may be incurred for the additional action of copying everything from your production instance into your new test instance;
  • Once you have finalized the purchase with your account manager, your account manager will notify support of what will be provided;
  • We ask Account Managers (or client) to attach your schedule A to the case;
  • Please allow up to 3 weeks to process and create the new instance, however it may be much sooner. This depends on the complexities of your instance;
  • Customer Success Platform team will create the new instance via provisioning:
    • If the test instance is to be a clone of production then Customer Success will open an Engineering ticket to request the clone. Please see the section below that describes the additional actions that need to take place when a clone of data from one instance into another is needed. 

3. Considerations

  • Company ID: Client to provide what they will want to use as a "Company ID". Must be unique on the target Environment, case-sensitive, 13 characters or less, no spaces or special characters.
    For example ABC Blocks might be ABCBlocks & ABCBlocksTest. "ABC Building Supplies" on the other hand would need to shorten it to something like ABCBS & ABCBSTest. Limit of 13 characters is BizX only. Each product has its own format usually mirroring BiZX but LMS is URL based and not ID specific.
  • Most companies will want their test instance and production instance on the same datacenter and release schedule so that a consistent experience is maintained between sites. This helps when you want testing done on a new process and need to be confident that the experience is the same when you go live.
  • The alternative is that you can have your production site on our standard release cycle, while having your test instance on the preview release cycle (this will be on a separate environment).
    The preview release is provided a month before the regular releases. This introduces much more stability to your site as by the time the release hits your production site it has already had many fixes applied. With your test instance being on the preview release schedule you can test new features and functionality well before they reach your production instance. 

III/ Cloning Production Instance -  Refreshing a Test Instance with Data From Production

  • Clients may request data and configuration to be copied from an existing instance into another instance. This is called cloning or refreshing an instance.
  • Typically this is done from a production instance into a test instance.
  • The two most common scenarios are:
    1. When a new instance is created and the client requests that it be the same as production;
    2. When a client has a test instance and needs it to be refreshed with current data and configuration from production. Many clients like to do this every year or before rolling out a new business process.

NOTE: Copying settings and data from one instance to another does carry a measure of risk. Many instances today have complex integrations, and a copy may break some of these integrations, and also does not cover all SAP modules. Please see KBA 2277508.

1. Costs:

Free of charge.

2. Process for Instance Refresh Tool: 

  • The instance refresh Tool should be used when scheduling BizX refreshes moving forward Only if your instances are outsize the limitations then the manual refresh will be executed.
  • For full details on the instance refresh tool see KB article 2791468 - BizX Instance Refresh Tool & FAQ

3. Some of the limitations for the tool enablement are:

  • SOURCE and TARGET Data Center must be the same (ex: DC4 – HCM4Prev)
  • Schema Size Limitation
  • Please refer to "Limitation" section of the KBA for further details on this.

4. References:

5. Process for Manual Refresh:

  • Total turnaround time: 1-3 weeks;
  • Please submit a support ticket detailing your complete request. (If it is part of a new instance request then a second case is not needed).
  • Make sure to include the refresh request form (it can be found on Attachments section of KBA 2277508);
  • In the case please provide 3 preferred timeslots for the refresh. This will help avoid back and forth with the Operations Team while trying to find a suitable schedule for the refresh. Please note that refreshes are done from Monday till Thursday outside business hours. The SuccessFactors Team needs to be notified few days in advance before the refresh.
  • Customer Success (CS) will open an operations ticket to request the clone and get agreement on the downtime between the client and operations team.
    • For Support: Details as to what the jira requires are found here
    • Provisioning settings will need to be updated separately. See KBA 2277508 for more details on potential impact
    • Once completed CS will notify the client.

6. Considerations (see also KB article 2277508)

  • Company ID: Client to provide what they will want to use as a "Company ID". Must be unique on the target Environment, case-sensitive, 13 characters or less, no spaces or special characters.
    For example ABC Blocks might be ABCBlocks & ABCBlocksTest. "ABC Building Supplies" on the other hand would need to be shortened to something like ABCBS & ABCBSTest; 
  • We recommend that you don't use production during this process. CS can show you how to lock users out. Typically 1 day maximum;
  • No existing settings/content or data of the instance being overwritten will remain following the action, it will match the source instance exactly;
  • All data will be copied. We cannot clone just the shell. See below for clarification;
  • Copying to test only covers SF BizX modules, and does not include LMS, JAM, WFP or other SAP modules you may be using. Please discuss the project with support to determine what a refresh may or may not cover;
  • With today's complex integrations there is rarely a simple refresh, and most requests will require scoping, and consultation and could take a few weeks to complete to your requirements.
  • After a system instance refresh, information such job requisitions history or applicant history is lost, this is expected behavior see KBA for further details 2834508 - Job requisition history and applicant history lost after instance refresh - Recruiting Management

IV/ Q&A:

1. What a Refresh Does and Does Not Cover? 

  • A Refresh will copy all contents of the instance database schema. This will include internal instance settings (permissions in Admin Tools, Detailed Reporting Rights, Company System and Logo settings, etc), template configuration and supporting content materials (competencies, rating scales, picklists, etc), user data and history and other content of the instance. Customers have the option to request company settings to be copied as part of the refresh. A refresh does not include settings at the SuccessFactors application layer level (Company Module and Feature Settings, IP Restrictions, other Provisioning-based settings) or external content dependent on Company ID (as the Company Name/ID are not updated in a refresh).
  • Ultimately, setting/configuration setup of a new/refreshed instance is the requestor's responsibility to align with the customer expectations; Operations will only address any errors that occur in the schema Refresh action itself.

2. Is it possible to perform an instance clean up a target instance via Refresh?

Yes, this is possible for BizX tenants. Proceeding will wipe all Data and Configuration existing in the TARGET instance. If you wish to proceed, please open a case with LOD-SF-PLT-REF for support team to assist you. Please ensure to fill out the refresh form and mention "BLANK TENANT" on the SOURCE instance details. Further information can be seen on KBA 2277508.

3. Refresh vs Clone: What is the difference?

3.1 What is a Refresh?

A Refresh is the process of fully overwriting the database schema of an instance with the image of another. All contents of the TARGET instance will be permanently dropped and replaced with the contents of the SOURCE instance.

The best practice for refreshes is to perform this for the whole suite (BizX, LMS, ONB, WFA), but please note that each of the following platforms demands an separated ticket to demand the refresh:

  1. Learning Management System Refresh2165346 - Learning Management System Manual Refresh Process
  2. Onboarding System Refresh2278276 - Where to Create Request for Onboarding Refresh or Migration - Onboarding 1.0
  3. Work Force Analytics Refresh2341764 - Workforce Analytics (WFA) Refresh - FAQ
  4. BizX Suite Refresh2277508 - SuccessFactors Cloud Manual Instance Refresh Process & FAQ 

3.2 What is a Clone compared to an (Instance) Refresh?

A Clone is almost the same as an Instance Refresh but requires an additional process to have a net new instance provisioned. Were as an Instance Refresh already has a TARGET established, a Clone does not yet have a TARGET and the TARGET is created as part of the process.  The significant difference in both is that any net new instance requires proper Sales documentation completed via CRM.  Each instance provided to customers is contractually committed so any additional instances sought must first have the necessary CRM process completed.

3.3 What is Instance Synchronization? 

  • To keep your instances in-sync please open a case and request the Instance Synchronization Feature (KB article 2088055);
  • Once the instance has been synced, it is important that going forward the Administrators of the system ensures that any changes that are made in one instance, is also made in the other instance. For example – it is recommended that the customer makes changes in their test instance first; and fully test the results to completion. Upon completion of testing, move the final changes over to production. This method will ensure that both instances remain synced. Otherwise, it is recommended that the customer utilize the “Instance Synchronization Feature.”

3.4 What is the Configuration Center tool?

Starting b2105 release, customers can also use configuration center tool (will eventually replace instance sync tool) to view their tenant configurations in a holistic way. Currently, we have 4 module areas supported for this release. Further details can be found in KBA 3047688

3.5 Requesting a Demo Instance or Sandbox - For Partners and SAP SuccessFactors Employees? 

As an SAP SuccessFactors employee, or partner, you can request Demo Instances/Sandboxes via  the automated Demo Request Tool on the HCM Cloud Ops Portal.



See Also

  • 2791468 - BizX Instance Refresh Tool (aka IRT tool) & FAQ
  • 3047688 - The Configuration Center tool
  • 2088055 - Instance Synchronization Tool
  • 2165346 - Learning Management System Manual Refresh Process


SF, success factors, PLT, platform, Instance creation, refresh, clone, new environment, copy, instance sync, sync, Configuration center, demo, manual refresh, sf, sfsf , sf sf, SuccessFactors, SuccessFactor, Success Factor, bizx , KBA , LOD-SF-PLT-REF , Instance Refresh , LOD-SF-LMS , Learning Management System , LOD-SF-PLT-IRT , Instance Refresh Tool , How To


SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite all versions