SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2803695 - Creating and Configuring Background Elements Using BCUI


This article will guide you on the existing options for the creation and configuration of Background Elements using Business Configuration UI Tool.

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SAP SuccessFactors Employee Profile

Reproducing the Issue

Please keep in mind that for this guide you need to have BCUI Enabled in your instance. To do so, please submit an case to our Support Team, or engage your Implementation Partner, as this needs access to Provisioning. Please refer to Enabling Business Configuration UI article in our Help Portal for more details.

In addition, if you go to Manage Business Configuration, you should see the list of existing elements for your instance on the panel on the left. In case the Elements are missing, you should provide the correct permission to the admin user, as it is described in further detail in the article 2080620.


When you first go to Manage Business Configuration Screen, you should see on the left panel a list for your Employee Profile fields (and also one for your Employee Central fields, in case you have it enabled). By expanding on the Employee Profile, you should see Background Elements among the list of field types, some of which we will cover later in this and other articles. Clicking on it will bring the full list of Background Elements present in your instance, as well as the "Create New" Button on the bottom of the list.


If you want to create a new background element, click the "Create New" button, and you'll see a blank background element definition screen like this one:


Id: The global name or ID for this section. Must be unique. It has no default value, but a best practice is not to capitalize its first letter but capitalize the following words, as it doesn't support spaces, e.g., outsideWorkExperience. You will see this ID being used in the export and import Live profile background and rating files. ANY ID THAT BEGINS WITH SYS MEANS THIS SECTION IS A SPECIAL SYSTEM SECTION, AND IT HAS CERTAIN RESTRICTION WHEN MODIFYING IT.

Type Id: Should be an unique integer numeric value. To be sure it is unique, take a look at the existing Background Elements in your instance, as repeating it might cause errors.

Label: The name that will be displayed within the instance. In here, you can also add its translations for the languages you have enabled in your instance when clicking the Globe icon on the right.

Default Label: The label that will be displayed in languages that do not have a label specifically configured for them.

Enabled: Make sure it is set to yes in case you wish to see the field under Configure People Profile.

Description: Description of what should be put into the block. For reference reasons only. Not required.

Max Entries: The maximum number of entries allowed via live profile self service. This limit does NOT apply when importing data items.

Scale Id (Feedback Type): Used for rating sections. Lets you define which rating will be used. Leave it blank for other types of portlets.

Data Fields

After defining the block settings you can add the data fields. The first four fields are displayed on the same screen, but you need to click the "Details" to see the full list of fields.


Id: The unique ID for each background data field.

Enabled: Set to yes so you can use the field.

Hidden: Set it to yes in order to hide the field column in UI. Otherwise always set to No.

URL Link: System will display the value in hyperlink in the UI if set to yes.

Field Name: The field name is the database field name to use. Find the list of supported fields below:

  • VARCHAR (text) field (vfld1- vfld13): This should be used for text, picklist, and any other field types that can take text input.
  • DATE fields (dfld1 - dfld5): This fields will take date in the date format configured on your instance/language. They will have the "calendar button" next to them for date selection as well.
  • Start Date and End Date (startDate, endDate): These work the same way as the date fields, but one depends on the other. Using these make sure an user doesn't add a start date that is after the end date, for example. Note that only one start and one end date should be used per block. In addition, both should be required, as not to have end date filled in with no start date, for example. 
  • INTEGER fields (ifld1 - ifld4): Supports integer numeric values ranging from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647 (its not a good idea to use those for phone numbers, for example, due to the range). Use for fields that need to be calculated, for others, VARCHAR should work.
  • FLOAT (real number) fields (ffld1 - ffld4): Supports floating point numbers, and also has bigger range than Integer type.
  • Last Modified Date (lastModified): Will display the date when the block entry was last modified. Before enabling it, please refer to article 3216740 as it might impact with data imports.
  • Attachment Field (ATTACHMENT_ID): Used for attachment fields. Only one attachment field is supported by block.
  • Name Field (NAME): It is a free text field. 

Number Format Ref.: Refer to article 2475491.

Field Display Format Ref.: Refer to article 2475491.

Masked: It will display the field value as "********" for the user if set to yes, requiring to click a button to show the content.

Document Type Id: Attachment field attribute to identify the classification. Should only be used for ATTACHMENT_ID field types.

Max. File Size KB: Attachment field attribute for max file size. For it to have effect, it has to be equal or less than the size specified by "Attachment max file size" in Company System and Logo Settings > Document Attachment.

File Formats: Attachment field attribute for attachment file type You can configure multiple file formats using |. Supported File Formats : doc | pdf | csv | htm | ppt | xls | gif | png | jpg | jpeg | html | rtf | bmp | xlsx | docx | pptx | txt | xml | msg | docm | tif | mp4

HRIS Fields Mapping value: Do not fill this on background elements. HRIS Mappings will be covered on different documentation.

Earning Data Mapping Value: Should not be changed currently.

Text Area Enabled: If set to yes, the input area will become a text area which supports multiple lines.

Merge: Leave it as yes currently.

Label: The name that will be displayed within the instance. In here, you can also add its translations for the languages you have enabled in your instance when clicking the Globe icon on the right.

Default Label: This is the label that will be displayed in languages that do not have a label specifically configured for them.

Picklist: You can select an existing picklist for the field. Even through imports, values should match a picklist value if one is selected.

Parent Picklist Id: If you want the field to be a cascading picklist from another existing picklist field in this same element, fill it with the Parent Field ID (Not the picklist Id, but the Data field Id).

Required: Makes the field required or not required.

Max Length: Sets the maximum length for the field. Refer to article 2803767 for further info on what is the maximum allowed length for.

Display Size: The purpose of this field is to set the size of the HTML input field in characters, but it is currently not being used.

Rating Fields

Background Rating Fields are the fields that display Rating Data, such as sysOverallPerformance and sysOverallPotential fields, which will be covered in a different article. Common background elements usually won't have rating fields, but custom rating fields can be created.

Element Permission 

Element Permission refers to legacy permission settings and should only be used by fields that specifically require it. Otherwise, the fields permissions will be controlled by RBP. 

See Also

2803767 - Maximum Length for Background Element Data Fields

3033746 - Is it possible to highlight fields from background elements?

2950502 - Document Attachment manageable inside the instance


Manage Business Configuration, Background Element, Extended User Information, Manage BCUI, Live Profile Import, Data Model, XML Changes, SCR , KBA , LOD-SF-EP-BGD , Background Elements , LOD-SF-PLT , Platform Foundational Capabilities , LOD-SF-EP-BCI , BCUI & Data Model (XML) Configuration , How To


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