SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2315202 - Employee Central - Data Model XML & UI


This is a collection of useful articles related to Data Model XML & UI.

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


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Reproducing the Issue

At this stage you have reviewed and confirmed the solution cannot be found in the Implementation Handbook and the configuration looks correct. The next step is to review the Tips and Tricks below to see whether they answer your question. Please note this article is updated regularly with new Tips and Tricks

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Before opening an case with Product Support, it is wise to double check your configuration based on the related Implementation Handbook. There are several questions you can ask yourself to help identify the root cause:

General Configuration - Before you open a support case with Product Support, ensure you have performed the following sanity checks on your configuration/data bearing in mind most issues are due to configuration:

  • Business Rules - Remove any rules assigned to the element/field and test again
  • Check that the fields configuration is correct according to the Employee Central Master implementation handbook.
    • If the field is a Picklist or Object related field, ensure the related picklist/object is configured correctly (double check the configuration/compare it to a working one).
  • If you are half-way through a configuration, please finish the configuration before testing further. Errors are reported because the person configuring the feature has not completed all necessary steps and is why there is an issue
    • This includes Object/Picklist field values - make sure there is at least 1 value to test with as no values could cause an issue (particularly on Required fields)
  • Has the configuration changed recently?
    • Can the recent change be un-done?
  • Can the issue be reproduced for just 1 or multiple users?
    • If the issue is reproducible for all, it is likely to be a configuration issue.
    • If it seems to be related to 1 or a small user population, the next step is to verify the data is correct. 

Element/Field Configuration - It is always best practice to verify that the field you have enabled for a particular hris-element is valid for that element. Please refer to Data Model Field Information for Employee Central which details supported fields and how they should be configured. Some of the more common issues encountered are due to trying to re-purpose delivered fields to do something else.

Note: The following is a list of things you should not do when configuring fields

  • Do not configure a pre-delivered field to use a custom picklist - always use the exact picklist that has been delivered. If the customer has other requirements, use a custom field instead
  • Do not configure an Object field to use a picklist - i.e. do not add a picklist to the field "company" in the jobInfo hris-element. This is not supported.
  • Do not change an existing field from String to Picklist/Object or Vice Versa - this will lead to Data Inconsistency and possibly unexpected behaviour i.e. you are capturing data in custom-string16 with a picklist assigned to the field, and you decide to change the approach and turn the field into an Object field. Best practice is always to use a new custom-string field for the new approach. Do not recycle fields.
  • Do not delete fields from the XML to "tidy it up" - use the visibility="none" switch to turn the field off. Deleting the field from the XML does not disable the field; it will still show in the UI/RBP/etc. When it comes to future configurations, you don't want to accidentally re-use a field that was once a picklist, but now is an Object field. This would again lead to Data Inconsistency and unexpected behaviour.

Business Rules - A lot of common issues are due to incorrectly configured Business Rules, which can cause undesired behavior or application errors if not created/configured correctly. Typically if a rule is causing an error message:

  • Configuration: The rule is not configured correctly - 2277956
  • Trigger: Has the wrong Base Object defined for the HRIS Element the rule has been assigned to - 2163077

Feature Enabled but not Configured - Some issues also occur because you have enabled/included fields in multiple features (i.e. Time Off or Position Management), but have not performed the basic configuration steps:

  • Fields for a feature (i.e. Position Management-related fields for Job Information) are enabled in the Data Model configuration, but you have not enabled the feature itself. Do not enable features until you are ready to configure them. Disabling a feature can be a quick way to work past the issue until you are ready to implement it.
  • Feature has been enabled but you have not included the related fields in the Data Model configuration - In some UIs, enabling a feature requires you to enable related fields and complete certain base-level configurations.

UI Errors - Most UI errors are caused by configuration issues, and the remaining UI errors are caused by data issues. It is very rare we encounter a UI product defect in comparison to invalid configuration/data issues. Please double check the following before assuming it is a defect:

  • Data Portlets and Pages: When a specific portlet or page is opened/loaded, an error is encountered. Things you should check are:
    • Field Configuration - Check the field configurations. A field configuration may have changed and the data in the field is still in the previous format (hence why we recommend never to re-configure fields, but instead migrate them to new fields)
      • Picklists - Make sure the picklist is configured correctly.
      • Objects - Make sure the field is configured correctly. If the object has a parent object associated, it will need field-criteria specifying this.
    • Business Rules - Depending on whether the page is loading, you're using a field to make a change, or are clicking save, all rules in a Portlet or UI should be disabled if you cannot determine the cause of an error message.
      • onView rules cause Error Messages in the UI if they are not configured correctly. Disabling onView rules will help you rule them out as a cause. onView rules will trigger even on the page level
      • onChange - only consider them if the error occurs when changing a fields value
      • onSave - should always be considered if the error occurs while Saving a change
    • Data Issues - generally the result of a configuration change or configuration issue. Identify 1 user with the issue and export the data to check it row by row. Do not rely on the UI at this stage as the data issue may not be visible. Most commonly caused by:
      • Overlapping End/Start dates (made it into the system during initial data loads or API tests)
      • Incorrect Sequence Number (generally caused by Import or API data loads during testing)
      • Invalid Data in Field (caused by changing the configuration of a field; this is not supported)
    • Calculation Errors - Typically caused by missing or incorrect data, and sometimes incorrect configuration:
      • Calculation is incorrect - check the related data and calculate it manually. Most calculation issues are due to Data issues and not a product defect
      • Calculation field gives an error - typically indicates missing configuration for the transient field to work correctly
    • Field Missing from UI - usually happens when the Data Model and BCUI are out of sync. Reuploading the Data Model will resolove the issue.


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Tips & Tricks

Below are some tips and tricks recommended by Product Support, which you should consider first before opening a Support case.

FAQ Index

Please use the below Tips & Tricks as the initial checklist to perform when you encounter an unexpected issue during Implementation

Data Models - Implementation Guide Overview

Please review SAP SuccessFactors Data Model Reference Guide - Data Models in SAP SuccessFactors and ensure you review the entire Chapter with all subsections.

Please also refer to Data Model Field Information for Employee Central for an overview of all EC related tables, supported field,s and field configuration types/requirements. This handbook helps explain expected behaviors of pre-delivered fields as well as any known limitations and configuration advice.

Employee Central currently uses between 5 and 7 Data Model XML files to define the Employee Central "Core" configuration. Depending on configuration, you could use more or less XMLs. You will always use the following 5 XMLs in any Employee Central implementation:




Common Data Model Implementation Issues

Most issues of this nature occur when trying to load the EC Data Models for the first time, or after configuration changes have been made:

  • 2244928 - Unable to import Succession Data Model
  • 2223353 - Blank Page After Export Country Specific XML
  • 2330262 - Which hris-elements are supported in the Country Specific Succession Data Model
  • 2631176 - Cannot Export Corporate Data Model
  • 2280824 -  HRIS Section - Incorrect/Missing configuration can lead to undesired UI behavior
  • 2586311 - Manage Business Configuration: Which hris-elements must be enabled and configured for Employee Central
  • 2555493 - Missing Standard Elements Field in Manage Business Configuration "BCUI" <role-name></role-name>



Job Information

Product Support often sees implementation-related cases raised regarding Object filtering or Application Error messages encountered in Job Information when editing/inserting data. This is most commonly due to missing field-criteria configuration for Object fields where the Object has an association with another object. The most common causes are:

  • Custom Fields - custom-stringXX field has been configured with type="ObjectName"; i.e. you add custom-string20 with type="BusinessUnit", but BusinessUnit object has an association to Legal Entity. You must still include the field-criteria for this field
  • Field Criteria - sourceFieldName is not correctly defined
  • Association - field-criteria is missing on another Object further down the page. Filtering will work from the ground up (literally).
  • Feature Fields - If not configured correctly, or the related feature (such as Time Off) is not enabled and configured, you will likely encounter errors. Try not to enable a feature until you are ready to configure it.

Please refer to the following articles to help troubleshoot this configuration issues:

Other general configuration issues related to Job Info errors or undesired behaviors are as follows:

  • Invalid/Corrupt Business Rule(s) - Best practice is to first remove all rules from the field/element and see if the error persists without Business Rules enabled for that element
  • Invalid Fields - Fields are added to the element for a feature that is not enabled in the instance (i.e. Position Management, Time Off, Time Sheet)
  • HRIS Section is not correctly configured for the jobInfo hris-element in both Succession Data Model and Country Specific Succession Data Model - 2280824
  • Manager cannot be found - Unable to select user as a Manager in Job Information - 2080091

Event Reason

Most Event Reason issues are either caused by Event Reason configuration (wrong status has been set) or permissions (permission has not been granted)

Pay Scales

Please review the handbook first and also use the handbook section to troubleshoot Pay Scale issues. A majority of tickets raised on Pay Scales are configuration issues, not defects. Configuration information for Pay Scales can be found in Implementing Employee Central Core

Forward Propagation

What is Forward Propagation, and how does it work?


  • 2576250 - Job Information: How to configure FTE to calculate Standard Weekly Hours
  • 2406898 - How to use Business Rules to calculate FTE
  • 2498292 - Manual FTE value is not saved - After saving the UI shows the calculated FTE and not the value set manually
  • 2564087 - FTE Reset to 0 When Operator Changes Job Info for Employee

Leave of Absence

  • 2560416 - Employee Central: Legacy Leave of Absence FAQ (v12 Revolution UI only)
  • 2577808 - Time Off for Leave of Absence (PP3 and V12) FAQ
  • 2354737 - Leave of Absence Functionality is Not Working as Expected (Expected Return Date field is not visible in Job History > Insert New Record)
  • 2577804 - Migration to Time Off for Leave of Absence FAQ

Application Error Examples

What do Aplication Errors mean? Typically they would indicate a Configuration or Data issue with one or more sets of data being called to the UI. Most typically errors are caused by configuration issues - more commonly due to a feature that is not correctly enabled/configured or a Business Rule which is invalid/incorrectly configured.

HRIS Section

Configuration used to specify which field shows in which section in Job Information portlet.

Country Specific Fields

Master Data Model (SDM, CSF, CDP, CDCSF)

Data Error Examples



Compensation Information

There are many different behaviors and functionalities found in the Compensation Information (compInfo) HRIS element. To understand what is going on behind the scenes or how the functionality works, please refer to the below diagram in which each of the different features is pointed out:


Pay Groups

Allows you to group Pay Components together using associations (CDM configuration). It's a simple way to restrict the available Pay Components based on Pay Group selection. TYou typically have one Pay Group per Region or Country.

Pay Range (Compa-Ratio & Range Penetration) specific issues

Please see the below KB's that focus on troubleshooting Pay Range (Compa-Ratio + Range penetration) related issues. Most of these calculation issues are caused by Configuration issues or Data Issues.

Compa-ratio & Range Penetration Errors

Pay Component Groups

Pay Component Groups are used to display calculated totals of associated Pay Components. These are used to display the Annualized Salary or Total Earnings Opportunity calculations. Please note the values are not saved to the Database automatically. You need to enable the PayComponentGroupSums scheduled job to make the calculated values reportable. Some frequently encountered issues include understanding of behavior and more custom configuration scenarios:

Recurring Pay Components

Currency Conversion

Compensation to Employee Central Integration

Forward Propagation

What is Forward Propagation, and how does it work?

  • 2891375 - How To Enable Forward Propagation for Publishing Data from Compensation Module
  • 2369331 - Application Error after Forward Propagation for Compensation is enabled



Employment/Termination Details

Employment Details

Termination Details



Personal Information

It is possible to extend the Gender fields options from just Male/Female, to also include Undeclared, Unknown and Others. Below KBA's detail how this is achieved as well as how it can be reverted if needed. Please note that assigning a custom picklist to this field is not supported and will cause unexpected behaviours in the system -:



National ID

Most National ID error are caused either by incorrect configuration of the "reg-ex" code defined in the Country Specific Succession Data Model, or because the Deep Validation feature is enabled, and the National ID that s being entered is not a real/valid National ID. Below are some examples of configuration issues when Deep Validation is enabled, but the configuration is not correct (more can be found in the Knowledge Base Portal) -:

  • 2472343 - How to manage National ID Formats via Manage Business Configuration (BCUI): 1705
  • 2668688 - National ID Card: How to create custom Regular Expression and Display Format
  • 2093378 - National ID validation issues - Employee Central
  • 2334505 - Sri Lankan National ID Format
  • 2291503 - National ID for Sri Lanka - Please enter a valid NIC - National Identity Card
  • 2349366 - Unable to add valid New Zealand IRD national ID numbers
  • 2276560 - 12 digit National ID for Vietnam
  • 2234859 - France National ID correction to Numero de Securite Sociale



Propagation XML

Troubleshooting & Configuration




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Opening a Data Model XML & UI Support case

Please ensure you have completed the above steps before opening an case. If an case must be opened, please ensure the following information is attached to the case. The more information you provide, the faster an case can be reviewed and solutions identified.

  • Attach the Data Models related to the issue: Succession Data Model, Country Specific Succession Data Model, Corporate Data Model, Country Specific Corporate Data Model and HRIS Propagation Configuration XML.
  • If any Business Rules exist for the area/element in question, please attach a screen shot of the rule(s).
  • Please provide detailed steps to reproduce the issue you are encountering - preferably including screenshots. Please ensure the screenshot is full screen (meaning to show complete web page view)
  • Please answer following questions (answer whichever is applicable; if a question doesn't apply to a scenario, answer "Not Applicable"):
    • Did this issue start recently?
    • Was the same feature or functionality working before?
    • Is the issue reproducible for other users?
    • If the issue is related to a picklist field or Foundation Object, please attach an export of the Picklist/Object

Object Associations

  • Attach all Data Models: Succession Data Model, Country Specific XML for Succession Data Model, Corporate Data Model, Country Specific XML for Corporate Data Model and HRIS Propagation Configuration XML
  • If MDF Foundation Object is involved: Screenshot of Configure Object Definition page of Object in question (Legal Entity, Business Unit, Department, Division, Cost Center, Pay Group, Job Classification, Job Function)


  • Attach all Data Models: Succession Data Model, Country Specific XML for Succession Data Model, Corporate Data Model, Country Specific XML for Corporate Data Model and HRIS Propagation Configuration XML
  • Attach screenshot of Propagation Rules involved in the Object/UI



See Also

  • 2315109 - Employee Central - Tips & Tricks from Support


Data Model Configuration, FAQ, Employee Central, xml, bcui, manage business configuration, sdm, csf-sdm, succession data model, country specific succession data model , KBA , LOD-SF-EC-BCI , Manage Business Configuration (BCUI) & Data Models (XML) , LOD-SF-EC , Employee Central , LOD-SF-EC-HRS , HRIS Sync , How To


SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central all versions ; SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite all versions