SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2089674 - Spreadsheet Reports: Updating an Existing Automated Report Export - Reporting and Analytics


  • News Update
    • As of 2011 Ad Hoc Reports replaces our legacy SpreadSheet Reports. The following information is made available for legacy clients. We encourage all clients to start using our Ad Hoc reporting which is a much more robust reporting offering. Information on Ad Hoc reports is available at the following page: Ad Hoc Reports
    • Does SuccessFactors Develop New Custom Spreadsheet Reports (RDF)
    • SuccessFactors supports the development of very powerful Adhoc Reports (ARB/BIRT). Please read the information further down on how we can help create the rich, powerful reports you are looking for!
    • As for custom Excel Spreadsheet reports based off the older RDF (Report Definition File) templates, as of 1/1/2012 SuccessFactors no longer directly supports the development of legacy spreadsheet reports now that we are able to offer Adhoc Report Builder (ARB) / BIRT based reports. Where a client has a need to create an RDF SuccessFactors via our reporting partner can offer these services.
  • Client has an existing RDF based spreadsheet report that is running via FTP export. It is no longer pulling the latest data.Client needs it to pull the current cycles data, can it be updated?
  • As of 1/1/2012 SuccessFactors no longer supports these reports. Clients are encouraged to stop using these legacy reports and develop Ad Hoc based reports to get the data.
  • We have an automated report export setup however it is no longer returning the data we need in the results. How do we update and correct this? 


  • Reporting and Analytics


Updating Existing FTP Report Exports

While we no longer support these legacy reports, the functionality to update is still available, and clients can follow the steps below to send Customer Success a new report definition.

We will work with you to update the report, but considering the investment can be several weeks, we recommend that all clients rather invest the energy in developing and deploying new Ad Hoc based reports. 

2089519 - Ad Hoc Reports: Creating New Ad hoc Reports, BIRT, Custom Reports, Updating Existing Reports - Reporting and Analytics

Why do these need to be updated? In general most export reports your company has in place should be regenerated periodically to ensure accurate data exports.

  1. When export reports are set up, the client generates and provides SuccessFactors the search criteria xml file being used to export the current data set (this may have originally been done for you by SuccessFactors Professional Services). The generated xml had a number of hard coded search variables about your company instance that existed on the day the file was generated. Many variables are subject to change in your instance, such as a new business department, division or a office locations etc. Since these new variables do not exist in your old file, people from these locations or departments will not be getting captured in your current export.
  2. Another common reason is that you had selected specific form templates to report on, and now you want to change this to report on different forms, usually for the current year.
  3. SuccessFactors monthly releases may have introduced an enhancement to the product that now has an impact on your current search xml criteria, beyond your basic filter options, requiring that you regenerate a new search criteria xml file to bring your search criteria xml in line with the new product enhancement.
  • Note: Although the only change that maybe needed is something as simple as changing the export from last year's form to this year's forms, a new "Export Search Criteria" file needs to be generated. 
  • We do not attempt to modify your old xml file. This is because the generated xml contains many system variables that change due to our monthly releases which require a new file is loaded.

How to Replace Your Current File

  1. Run a Detailed Document Search to create a report defined by the criteria you want your automated report based on.
  2. Go to Reports/Analytics > Classic Reports > Detailed Document Search.
  3. Set your filter options to get the exact data set you need.
  4. Use the Export Doc Contents button to save the report in Detailed Document Search.
  5. Closely review the exported report as this is exactly what our system is going to export to you.
  6. When the report satisfies your requirements, export the report XML using the "Export Search Criteria" button and attach it to your case.
  7. Save this report so that next year, or when you need to provide us a fresh search criteria you can easily rerun the report and generate the new Search Criteria xml
  8. Open a new case attaching your xml file.
  9. Clearly state the current automated report that this file will replace.
  10. Customer Success will arrange to have this done. The typical turnaround time for this type of request can take up to 1 week.
  11. We will let you know when the new file is in place and when an export report is ready for your review.
  12. Review the results. It is typical in this process that we may need to make refinements to the search xml to have it match your previous data export. Therefore you would identify any issues and what may need to be changed.
  13. We will make the changes if it is one of the variables described below.
  14. Note: Please allow 3-4 weeks total turn-around time to allow for your testing, and subsequent updates to the report that might be needed to have the data exported exactly as desired. This is often an iterative change process that might take a few cycles of updates and testing.

Report Variables:
There are a few variables in the default search criteria xml that can be changed to suit your needs. Your current file may have had these modified so please let Customer Success know if your new file also needs to be updated so that exported data matches the current variables you may have used.

Export reports in Detailed Document Search are by default in v4e format, with a .v4e file extension. This means that fields include quotes and are separated by the caret character.
“^”userid”^“last name”^”first name”^”….

Field Separator:
You can change the field separator and file extension and choose whether to enclose fields in quotes by editing the report xml (Export Search Criteria) and changing these values:
It is common to change this to a comma CDATA[,]]

File Extension:
For reports over 65000 records this should not be changed due to excel limitations. For smaller reports .xls is a valid extension, as is .csv if needing a comma separated file.

If using a comma separator in any of your exported data, then you would also want to use quotes so that any records that have commas in them naturally are not interpreted as field breaks.

Date Format:
You may want to change the default date format. The default is MM/dd/yyyy but you could use any format you require, such as MMddyyy, or ddMMyyyy, dd-mm-yy etc.


Additional Information for SuccessFactors Staff

  • If the client always wants the Detailed Document Search export to pull data from all data points in all filters, then you can manually edit the Export Search Criteria that the client provides by removing all the data between the code-list tags, leaving:
  • Keep a backup of the client's original export.
  • Removing the filter options does not exclude the client from the need to generate a new search xml when they need the report updated as the code base for the search xml changes beyond the basic changes required by the client, and generating the new search xml is the only way to ensure that the search.xml will work correctly against the latest build.
  • Because of changes to the system code that occur, it is not recommended we simply update the clients old/current search.xml file.
  • Once the report variables (mentioned above) have been set based on the client's requirements submit this to operations.
  • Ask operations to make a backup of the current file and replace production with the new code.
  • The client will then test the new report and notify us via the case if the report is not functioning as required, highlighting any variables that need changing.
  • This process may require a few iterations before the new report works exactly as required.


KBA , LOD-SF-ANA-VIE , List View, Spreadsheet & Classic reports , How To


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