SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2092850 - Massive Changes to Employee Data via Import - Employee Central


  • There may be cases where you need to make changes on mass to employee data, and Mass Change may not support the area in which you need to make mass updates in.
  • This article touches on the subject and reviews how an Administrator should action this task via Imports.
  • We have updated our Division Foundation Object labels, and now we need to update all affected employees. How do we do this via import?

Image/data in this KBA is from SAP internal systems, sample data, or demo systems. Any resemblance to real data is purely coincidental. 


SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central


  • To handle high volume changes via Import, you will need to extract the data from the system, make your modifications (if any) and then build it into an import template and import the data back into the system. To do this, please follow these steps very carefully -:

Scenario 1 – Add new effective dated record for all employees to update their Division label -:

  1. Run a "Person & Employment Export" Ad Hoc report on Job History columns only (do not include columns from any other area) and then run the report. This will export all Job History data for all employees (unless filtered otherwise).
  2. Then you will need to remove all rows that do not have an End Date of 12/31/9999 (this end date indicates that the record is the current Job History record for the employee).
  3. Then use the remaining rows (you should be left with all the current records with end date 12/31/9999) to build an import template. To do this, copy & paste the data from the columns in the report you generated, to the matching columns in the import template. The import template can be downloaded via Admin Tools > Import Employee Data.
  4. Once this is complete, you need to update the Start Date column for all records you are importing, to be the same date or a later date than the label change you made to the Division Foundation Object. So for example, if the new label for the Business Unit is effective 01/01/2014, then the new Job History record needs to be inserted on or after 01/01/2014. You do not need to update the Division field itself, as the CODE value that is in there was not changed, only the related label.
  5. Once this is complete, remove the End Date from all records (as the system will add this automatically).
  6. Next step is to import the data via Admin Tools > Import Employee Data, using Incremental import mode.
    • This will add a new Job History record to the system for all employees included in the import file. It does sound like a lot to do, but should not take more than 30 minutes to complete as the report should pull out the Code value for Business Unit, and not the Label.


Scenario 2 – Update the current dated record for all employees to update their Division label

  • You can also update the existing Job History record of an employee via import, instead of inserting new ones. You would follow the same process as detailed above, but you would ignore Step 4, and leave the Start Date as is. But, if you go this route, be sure that the Division Foundation Object change is effectively active on or prior to the earliest Job History record start date you are updating. Then the system will update the current Job History record instead of adding a new current record.
  • Once the import (either way) is complete, the system will trigger an HRIS Sync job and update Employee Profile data also.


Scenario 3 – Mass Changing non-Foundation Object based fields -:

  • You would do this the same way as described in Scenario 1, but you would also need to update the picklist value to the new value. For example, if the current picklist value is 11675 (OptionID of the picklist value) and you need to update the value for the users to 11676, you would perform all the same steps, but before you import the file you would need to use the Find & Replace function in Excel or OpenOffice to find the old values and replace with the new values.


Scenario 4 – Partial Imports -: Chapter: Uploading Import Files in Incremental Load Mode

  • You can now perform a partial import for Job Information data, meaning you only need to include the following columns in your import for the import to be successful - user-id, start-date, seq-number, event-reason,Legal Entity's externalCode value.
  • Then you can include only the fields you wish to update, for example, company, division and job-code
  • All other columns that do not get included will have the &&NO_OVERWRITE&& switch applied, meaning for all other fields, the value in the preceding record will be used in this new record.
  • This is much faster than the other scenarios but is more useful for inserting new changes. Scenario 1 is always best used when you are making historic corrections. View  Uploading Import Files in Incremental Load Mode

Note:  Chapter - Role-Based Permissions for Employee Data Import

  • Employee Central Import Settings
  • Enable execution of rules against NO_OVERWRITE  
  • Business rules attached with the selected Employee Central Import entities will also update fields that are marked as 'NO_OVERWRITE' in your import file template.


Scenario 5 – Retroactive Update -

To update data where the change is in the past - the method is no different that mentioned above. You could either do a Partial Import or use Mass Change tool, but the above logic would still be the same.

  1. Ensure the new label is added to the Foundation Object on the past date
  2. Perform either a Partial Import or Mass Change on or after the start-date of the new Foundation Objects label - and ensure you include the field in the import/mass change that is being updated. For example if you updated the Division label, then ensure Division field is present in the import file or selected in the Mass Change job



  • Please be sure to first try this type of mass change via import in your Test Instance first, prior to performing these actions in a live Production Instance.
  • Also, please feel free to reach out to Customer Success via the Support Portal if you need any further assistance with this process.
  • Don't carry out mass updates (for example, using imports) in parallel with a data extraction run performed by the API. Or else employees might not be picked up due to deferred storage on the database. Meaning that the data hasn't yet been stored,but extraction is already running. In such a case, the last_modified_on time stamp could be older than the last_modified_on time stamp provided with the next query call, resulting in employees not being considered anymore.

FAQ - Additional Information

Q) Where can I get information on this from the Guide?

A) Guide:  Employee Central Imports Guide

See Also

Implementing the Employee Central Compound Employee API - Thresholds, Limits, and Performance - direct link

  • 2079466 - Managing Foundation Object Translations - Employee Central
  • 2413486 - Correct or Update Compensation Information record via Import in Full Purge mode
  • 2494885 - Correct or Update Pay Component Recurring or Pay Component Non Recurring Information record via Import in Full Purge mode
  • 2489526 - Correct or Update Job Relationships Information record via Import in Full Purge mode
  • 2317955 - Correct or Remove Job Information record via Import in Full Purge mode
  • 2080829 - Data Imports - Best Practices and FAQs - Employee Central
  • 2747652 - Job Information Error After Running Check Tool for Employee Central Core


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