SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2583967 - Custom MDF: Unable to edit or insert new record when there is an approval pending


I am unable to add a new record while there is a pending approval. When we try to add a new effective dated record on a custom object we get the following error: "This external code [XXXX] already exists. Try another.".

"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 HCM Suite
  • Metadata Framework (MDF)

Reproducing the Issue

  1. Go to the custom MDF portlet and create an initial record by selecting the required date;
  2. A workflow approval request is submitted;
  3. While the initial record is submitted for approval, click on edit and add a record for a different effective date. The below error is encountered:
  4. After approving the first record, if we try inserting a new record and send to approval, while the workflow is not approved we are able to submit new records with different effective dates. If we try using the same effective date, it gives the same error as above.


This issue occurs only when the user tries to insert a new record when the initial record for the object is still pending approval. The first record that is added is a CREATE record, all subsequent records are INSERT or CORRECT records. Once the first record is approved a new workflow can be created for those newly added INSERT/CORRECT records.


To add subsequent records on an effective dated MDF object, the very first record needs to be created and approved. If the first record is still under approval and if the user tries to add a new record (selecting a new effective date) then, you will encounter an error as shown in the screenshot above.

To resolve this issue, end-users have to make sure the initial record is created and approved.

After this first record being approved, you will be able to submit several workflows for new records with different effective dates, however, if you try inserting a new record with the same effective date as one record that is still pending approval, it is expected that you will see the same error.

See Also

2544336 - [Custom MDF] Behavior of the workflow depending on Pending Data = Yes or No.


Custom MDF object, effective date, internal, external code, Found more than one internal code for the same external code (upper). The same externalCode has already been created, record, create, insert,This external code already exists. Try another , KBA , LOD-SF-MDF-WFL , Custom Object based Workflows , LOD-SF-MDF , Metadata Framework , Problem


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