SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2165346 - Learning Management System Manual Refresh Process


  • Steps to be performed by customers before and after refresh activity for SuccessFactors Learning Management System
  • Best Practices and Frequently Asked Questions on LMS Instance Refresh requests
  • Download the latest LMS Instance Refresh form 

NoteThe manual refresh process is only for specific scenarios where the Instance Refresh Tool (IRT) cannot be used. For more information on the Instance Refresh Tool please see 2835061.

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 HXM suite
  • SAP SuccessFactors Learning

Reproducing the Issue


  • Refresh Activity is a full data copy from one database to the other. There is currently no way to select what is copied over and omit particular objects (i.e., users, admins or configuration).
  • After Refresh activity, customers may face issues related to integration, Connectors, FTP, etc. This happens because the configuration files of the Target instance have been overwritten with the Source instance configuration.
  • After the refresh, the Target instance will have its OAuth Client Secret overwritten by the Source's. If OData API is used in the Target instance, it's mandatory to generate a new client secret to avoid any issues.
  • To avoid such issues, refer to the steps provided in this KBA to be followed before and after the refresh activity.


Best Practices

  • Refresh requests must be requested through a MEDIUM priority case under LOD-SF-LMS component and include the filled in Instance Refresh form (See Attachments section) signed as an attachment. 
  • It is necessary to allow a minimum of 10 days (Business Days) notice to our Operations team to have a Refresh booked in. They will review the request and advise on the availability for the Refresh to be carried out and to approve physical completion date/time. 
  • Refreshes requested for 'as soon as possible' will be assigned the next available time slot. If your preferred date/dates is not available Operations will advise on the next available date.
  • Refresh activity overrides all the data, configuration files and other configuration settings in the target environment and adds source data into it. Please see the IMPORTANT note below to see what data is reverted back from scripts after the refresh is completed.
    Source is the environment from where the data is being copied and Target is the environment in which the data will be pasted.
  • The Target environment must be on the same or newer version than the Source environment.
  • During refresh activity, the source LMS environment will still be available for users and admins. For example, if you have requested to copy Production data into staging environment, it will not affect Production environment availability. During the activity schedule, you can access Production environment.
  • Why a refresh? for instance, you refresh your stage instance with production data so that you can test new configuration or functionality with actual production data before implementing the change in production environment.
  • When requesting a refresh for LMS you should also refresh the related Bizx instance and vice versa to avoid data, access issues (sometimes naming conventions, user IDs and admin IDs differ between environments which can cause issues if we only refresh LMS or Bizx)


Any manual refreshes scheduled after 02 June 2021 will have some scripts that will automate some of these processes. In case there are some configurations that are not covered, we suggest that you back those up manually. We will ask that you complete the pre and post manual refresh activities and inform us if you see issues post the completion of the refresh process. The automation scripts will back up and revert the following:

  1. All Configuration files under System Configuration.
  2. Entity configuration will be backed up and restored from the Target tenant schema.
  3. The Mail Configurations: Admin Email Address, Student Email Address, and backend configurations such as the Mail Server. 
    • Email notifications will be disabled in Target instance post-refresh, irrespective of the status before refresh or the email configurations settings in Source instance. Only the following email related configurations will be backed-up and restored in the Target instance during the refresh: Admin Email Address, Student Email Address, and the SMTP Mail Server. These do not include email enabled/disabled setting, meaning by default the email notifications will be disabled in Target post-refresh.
  4. The REPORT_DEVELOPER Role (however, it will still need to be manually reassigned to any adminIDs post refresh).
  5. All jobs copied are copied in both IRT & Manual including APM, single & recurring report jobs, and others (connector, etc).
    We do NOT backup Target jobs.
    We disable (not delete) all jobs in Target, including recurring report jobs.
  6. All recurring APM jobs will be disabled post-refresh in the Target instance except background, auto-scheduled APM Jobs. These APM jobs are those which the customer cannot see in the LMS Admin UI under the System Administration -> Automatic Processes. In other words, all the customer-facing APM jobs will be disabled in the Target instance post-refresh.

If any of these were not done correctly, please inform the Support Engineer that is working with you on the manual refresh.

Before Refresh Activity:

Steps #1,2,3,4,5 are optional. If you do not disable it pre-refresh, the scheduled jobs will be copied over to the Target instance, and you need to ensure that you disable them afterwards if they do not need to run.
If you do disable them in the Source environment prior refresh, then they will be disabled in the Target environment as well, and you will need to enable the ones you do need to run post-refresh.
In case of notifications on step #2, please note that if you choose to not disable it before the refresh, users may receive some notifications from Target and Source instances after the Source is copied to Target. If this is something that has a huge impact on your business, we recommend to disable it before the refresh process.

  1. Important Change: Take the following steps in the Source environment to have backup access to the Target environment post-refresh in case there are some configuration issues. These steps do not have to be done due to the automatic scripts as mentioned above but can be done as a contingency plan.
    1. Access the Source environment.
    2. Go to Learning Administration > System Administration > Security > Administrators > Search or create a new Administrator account.
    3. In the Administrator record that was just created or accessed, go to the Assigned Roles tab and make sure that the ALL and ALL_CONNECTOR roles are assigned.
    4. In the Summary tab, make sure to associate a Related User. The Related User CANNOT be a user account that is managed in BizX. Skip to Step 4 if you know the Related User is not managed in BizX.
      1. To validate if the account is managed in BizX, go to the User record under People > Users > Search, and access the user record. If the user is managed in BizX, a banner at the top of the User Details tab will indicate this. The Password field at the bottom will also be gone.
      2. If there is no user that can be used, go back to People > Users > Select Add New, and create a new native LMS user. Associate the user to the admin.
    5. Go to People > Users > Search for the user, and access the record.
    6. Scroll down in the User Details tab until the Password field is visible, and set a new password. Save the changes.

  2. Turn off notifications in both environments.
    • System Admin > Configuration > Global Application Settings,  and select Mail tab.
    • Select disable, and click “Apply Changes”.

  3. Turn off all Automatic Processes (APMs) on the Source. You can also take notes or screenshots of it for your reference.
    • Go to System Admin > Automatic Processes.
    • Deselect “Schedule This Process” checkbox, and click “Apply Changes”.

  4. Turn off all connectors on the Source.
    • Go to System Admin > Connectors.
    • Deselect “Schedule This Process” checkbox, and click “Apply Changes.

  5. Take backups of configuration files from the Target instance.
    • Go to System Admin > Configuration > System Configuration .
    • Open each file in edit mode, copy paste the content into notepad, and save as txt.
    • We recommend taking backups of all files, but if you only want to backup the relevant ones, we recommend BIZX, CONNECTORS, REPORT_SYSTEM, and iContent.
    • Confirm you know your SFTP password for the Target instance (in case you are using separate SFTP accounts for separate instances).

  6. Recurring reports:
    • Please note that those will be copied over and can only be accessed by the admin who scheduled them (Reports > Report Job tabs) or from Bizx proxy.
    • All recurring report jobs are disabled after the refresh process in the Target system.
    • If there is a need to delete recurring report jobs, please follow instructions in 2250223.
  1. Please keep your logos handy. You need to upload them at the following location after refresh activity.  Note: Labels, QuickGuide images, Company logos, and custom thumbnails are not backed up or stored in the LMS database. Therefore, you need to have these files available to upload them in the LMS Target instance after the refresh.

  2. Take a backup of all Deployment Location screen from the Target instance.
    • Navigate to Content > Deployment Location.
    • Open the file in edit mode, copy paste the settings into notepad, and save as txt or take screenshot.
    • Please note that the password is encrypted in Deployment Location, so the copied password should be corrected manually.

Note: VSaaS (validated) target systems should download the IQ report as needed prior to refresh as the IQ report will show the Source URL/info post-refresh.

After Refresh Activity:

Important: If your Learning tenants have IAS enabled, the steps mentioned in the guide must be completed for user data to sync.

  1. Validate and update all configuration files with the backup files in the Target environment if needed. This will help in avoiding new issues related to integration and Connectors after refresh activity.
    • Please note that for SFTP, password details are encrypted in the file and do not actually show the real value. Copying and pasting may not be enough, and you will need to input in the file the actual values again and apply changes.
  2. Please note that the email masking is done during the Bizx refresh, and the LMS users records will be updated once you restore the connectors and the data between BizX and LMS are synchronized.
    This will not take care of admin emails, which should be deleted manually or replaced in bulk using the admin connector.
  3. Turn on APMs.
  4. Turn on notifications.
  5. The connector jobs' details will have the backup from the Target and will be disabled after the refresh. Edit them as needed.
  6. Update your company logo
    • Login into LMS as Admin.
    • Go to System Administration > Application Administration > Images.
    • Upload your company logo and other images as needed.
  7. Delete any recurring report jobs as needed if not performed in pre-refresh steps.
  8. Purge Emails: These are the emails which were generated but not yet sent out in the Source environment, and they have now been copied over to the Target environment and need to be deleted
    • In the Learning Admin interface, select System Administration > Manage Email > Manage Unsent Emails.
    • Select 'Delete Unsent Emails'.
  9. Revert back Deployment Location settings in Target LMS.
    • Go to System Administration > Configuration > Content Deployment Location> Refer to the backup screenshot and revert back the settings.
    • Please note that the password in the backup screenshot is encrypted. You need to input the correct iContent account password manually.


  • The Custom Labels and Customizations on the User Landing Pages (including Custom Tiles) are not copied from the Source to the target LMS environment and will need to be restored manually.
  • Customers are responsible for recreating/set them up all over again on the Target instance post-refresh. As a suggestion, you can take screenshots and copy the source code of the custom tiles from the Source environment, and after the refresh, use them to restructure and customize the Landing Pages and Custom Tiles.

See Also

Support agents and CSPs, please refer to the Internal Memo to get latest refresh request forms.


SF, Success Factors, LMS, learning, Refresh, instance snapshot, DB, database dump, clone, process, LRN-61980, COSD-37358 , KBA , LOD-SF-LMS-REF , LMS Manual Refresh , LOD-SF-LMS , Learning Management System , LOD-SF-LMS-SER , Config. Consulting & Service Requests , How To


SAP SuccessFactors Learning all versions


LMS_Instance_Refresh Request Form_V2_1.docx