Why is the need to extend your SuccessFactors software?
Before we jump into why SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) and how it can help customers, let us first understand how customers transform their HCM process into SuccessFactors SaaS applications from various on-prem legacy systems. Some of them are very customizable. As a result, many customers have built some very business-specific applications in their legacy systems, or as part of the digital HR transformation project, they realize that they need that extra bit out of the SuccessFactors system. Hence SuccessFactors customers sometimes find the need for building something beyond the built-in configuration capability of the software.
What are the possibilities?
Based on your specific business case, there could be two different ways you can take care of your need to build something on top of your SuccessFactors system. Let us explore in detail both the options:
Like most SaaS products in the market SAP SuccessFactors is highly configurable, allowing adjusting standard SaaS solutions to meet your requirement.
The SuccessFactors extensibility framework (Extension center “formerly known as MDF.”) allows users to create and modify objects, screens and add rules within SuccessFactors without the requirement to code, enabling customers to build precise functionality needed to the company’s unique business requirements. All the changes made as part of In-App extensions are within the SaaS solution.
Your HR business and SuccessFactors Administrators can extend SuccessFactors delivered objects by configuring labels, required fields, pick lists, and adding custom fields to provide features and functions much faster.
The MDF objects created by customers come ready with an OData API that can both read and write data. This helps customers to integrate changes into their existing SuccessFactors-based business processes. These MDF objects can be consumed both from within EC and from SAP Business Technology Platform as OData API.
This extensibility layer allows customers to extend SAP SuccessFactors applications from within the application or in the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP).
Business Technology Platform (BTP)
SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) brings together intelligent enterprise applications with database and data management, analytics, integration, and extension capabilities into one platform for both cloud (SuccessFactors) and hybrid (on-premises HCM and SuccessFactors) environments, including hundreds of pre-built integrations for SAP and third-party applications.
BTP enables customers and partners to build and extend applications that integrate with SuccessFactors and SAP on-premises HCM.
It allows you to bring your core business data from SAP SuccessFactors using OData APIs and easily create extensions on top. With rich set of BTP services, tools and capabilities, customer can experience added business value.
Using Extension center, customers can develop custom objects, automatically expose them to BTP, and use them for extended applications, new UI5 Fiori-based interfaces, integration with Intelligent Technologies such as Digital Assistant (SAP Conversational AI), Analytics (SAP Analytics Cloud), and much more.
This process allows customers to quickly define the data layer inside the SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite and then access that data layer and build on top of it by defining complex application logic and creating a feature-rich user experience in SAP BTP.
How does a typical extension based on SAP Business Technology Platform look like?
The above architecture diagram represents a typical set-up of extension applications. You have Java or SAP UI5 extension application running on SAP Business Technology Platform, which consumes OData API from the SuccessFactors. In the end, the extension application is configured as a tile or navigation link on the SuccessFactors side. End users access the extension application directly from the SuccessFactors even though the application runs on SAP Business Technology Platform.
BTP could be the Game Changer for many SuccessFactors Customers with Complex business requirements
BTP extend SAP SuccessFactors without disrupting the performance and the core processes.
There are huge benefits of the automated integration between SAP SuccessFactors and SAP BTP. You can develop an extension application extending your SAP SuccessFactors system and, at the same time, ensure security when accessing this extension application.