Configuring Learning Activities for non-SAP SuccessFactors LMS Customers

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Identify Learning Activities for non-SAP SuccessFactors LMS Customers

Legacy Learning Activities Implementation Warning

Implementation Considerations for Customers NOT Using SAP SuccessFactors LMS

SAP offers two options for maintaining learning histories for users. The recommended approach is to use the SAP SuccessFactors Learning Management System (LMS). However, SAP also provides a legacy system for customers as well. Customers implementing the legacy system who plan to upgrade in the future to a SuccessFactors LMS need to know that not all information from a legacy implementation will be transferred to a new SuccessFactors LMS. This information transfer issue can cause complications during SAP SuccessFactors LMS implementations which can negatively impact customers. For that reason customers are strongly advised to use the SuccessFactors LMS.

The legacy procedures outlined in this lesson should only be implemented by customers who understand the potential drawbacks of this approach. In addition, customers planning an eventual migration to an SAP SuccessFactors LMS should avoid using legacy learning activities. As workarounds, customers can configure a table field in the development plan to capture learning data. Alternatively, customers can use CPM activities and achievements to capture this information. Neither of these options are as robust and a fully compliant LMS, but they are preferred over using legacy learning activities.

The Legacy Learning Activity Catalog

Legacy Learning Activity Catalog for non-SAP SuccessFactors LMS Customers

The Legacy Learning Activity Catalog is represented in CDP as a listing of the learning activities (courses, books, job aids, video, instructor led training, etc.) that employees can associate with development goals. Typically, learning activities are managed by a third-party LMS.

The Learning Activity Catalog in SAP SuccessFactors is created and managed via an imported flat file. The import file includes a definition for the catalog itself and the learning activities included within a catalog. The file is imported in comma separated (CSV) format in Admin Center.

Legacy Learning Activity vs LMS Learning Activities

An instance cannot simultaneously support a CDP integration with SAP SuccessFactors LMS and a Legacy Learning Activity catalog for custom Learning Activities. This is not a supported configuration option. The two types of learning activities, integrated and legacy, are not designed to work together. The SAP SuccessFactors LMS has its own learning catalog.

There is an important note for customers who plan to use legacy learning activities and implement SAP SuccessFactors LMS at a later stage. If the transcript feature (LMS integration) is turned on, the legacy Learning activities are no longer visible. The legacy learning activities are not deleted/lost when the transcript feature is turned on. If the transcript feature is disabled, the legacy learning activities reappear (if using the same/original learning activities template).

Therefore, if a customer has SF LMS on their roadmap for implementation and wants to integrate SF LMS learning with CDP learning activities, then it is not recommended to enable the legacy learning activities in CDP. Once LMS is implemented (or during the LMS implementation), then the SF LMS integrated learning activities within CDP should be implemented.

Scope of the Legacy Learning Activity Catalog

The Learning Activity Catalog import file described here allows to display, search, and in some cases launch learning activities associated with development goals.

  • The catalog is defined by a numeric identifier and a name.

  • The catalog contains learning activities that are described by:

    • Globally unique numeric identifier

    • Descriptive text

    • Asset or content locale

    • Asset or activity type

    • Detail or launch URL

    • Identifier of the catalog this learning activity is included in

    • Whether the activity is active or inactive.

  • The entire catalog is available to all users who can create Development Goals.

  • The catalog is a single level structure (no hierarchies or categories/sub-categories).

  • The catalog supports optional fields that can be used to describe additional learning activity attributes.

Create a Legacy Learning Activity Catalog

The permission to manage learning activity catalogs can be found in Role-Based Permissions.

The catalog is created by importing the Learning Activity CSV file in Admin Center. Navigate to Admin CenterDevelopmentManage Learning Activity Catalogs.

From here you can:

  • View available catalogs

  • Import a new catalog

  • Export an existing catalog

  • Delete an existing catalog

Although multiple catalogs can be specified in a single import file, it is recommended that each import file only reference a single learning catalog.

For organizations that use competencies, Learning Activities must be mapped to competencies. To complete the linkage, there also needs to be a mapping for jobs to competencies. If competencies are specified with a development goal, the system can then initially display a subset of Learning Activities (those matching the competencies) when adding a learning activity to a development goal.

Update the Legacy Learning Activity Catalog

Any update must include the complete Learning Activity Catalog. Partial or incremental updates of Learning Activity Catalogs are not supported. Learning Activities are deleted from the Catalog if they are not specified in the import file.

Learning Activities are updated based on the learning activity GUID. If the GUID exists, the Learning Activity is updated according to the import file (any of the Learning Activity fields can be updated – name, description, URL, etc). If the GUID does not exist, a new Learning Activity is created within the catalog.

When updating a Learning Activity Catalog, we recommend first backing up the existing Learning Activity Catalog by exporting the active catalog then importing the new catalog file.

Updates to the learning activity catalog do not affect those learning activities already assigned on a Development Plan.

Legacy Learning Activity Catalog Restrictions

There are a few restrictions regarding the Legacy Learning Activity Catalog to keep in mind:

  • SAP SuccessFactors supports multiple learning activity catalogs. The most common use of multiple catalogs is to support catalogs for different locales. Each development plan can only be associated with one learning activity catalog.

  • Any user who has permission to Add Learning Activities to a Development Goal can access the entire Learning Activity Catalog (all or nothing). It is not possible to restrict parts of the catalog for access by subsets of users.

  • The Learning Activity Catalog does not support hierarchies; it is a flat, single level collection of learning activities. The Catalog does not support the ability to specify categories and/or sub-categories to hierarchically organize learning activities.

  • GUIDs must be unique across learning activity catalogs and goal.

Legacy Learning Activity Catalog Import File

The import file format is CSV and should include the columns below with a header row specifying the column names as in the Name column.

Common CSV formatting rules apply. For example, text strings that include commas must be surrounded by double quotes (""), and quotes within text strings should be escaped by doubling them.

NameRequiredData TypeLengthValues or Example






‘LACatalog’ for Catalog entry

‘LearningActivity’ for Learning Activity entry





Unique identifier provided by the customer (not managed by SuccessFactors). GUID order is used to determine catalog view display order.





SuccessFactors locale ID.

Examples: en_US, fr_FR





The Learning Activity name.

Used in development goal, and catalog display and search





GUID for the Catalog this learning activity should be included in (single value)





The Learning Activity description.

Used in development goal display, and catalog display and search





Optional field used according to Learning Activity template configuration.

Example use: duration





Optional field used according to Learning Activity template configuration.

Example user: vendor name





Optional field used according to Learning Activity template configuration.

Example use: prerequisites





Optional field used according to Learning Activity template configuration.

Example use: cost





Detail or launch URL.

For example:

To launch the target in a pop-up window, include popup as a prefix to the URL.

For example: popup





String to describe activity type (e.g., Online, Instructor Lead Training, Video, Coaching, Book, Job Aide)

This field used for catalog search grouping and searching



‘1’ or ‘0’


‘1’ for active learning activities. These are included in catalog display and search.

‘0’ for inactive learning activities. These are excluded from catalog display and search.



‘1’ or ‘0’


‘1’ to allow users to edit learning activities once on their development plan.

‘0’ to not allow users from editing learning activities on their development plan.

Note: Currently learning activities are only editable, so this field should always be ‘1.’

Mapping the Legacy Learning Activity Catalog CSV File

For end users to use the Legacy Learning Activity Catalog, the GUID catalog defined in the CSV file has to be mapped in the Learning Activities Template XML. This is in the obj-library code.

End User View

End users can go to their development plan and create or edit a new goal. In the goal pop-up window, after the last field, they will be able to add a learning activity, or edit and delete existing ones connected to this goal.

The same options also exist directly from the development plan so that end users do not have to edit existing goals to make changes to the learning activities or to add a new one.

When we click on Add Learning Activity from either places, the development plan or the goal pop-up window, we can choose between a Custom Learning Activity or Select from Learning Catalog.

When selecting from the legacy catalog, there will be different search criteria available. End users will be able to search by competency if a mapping exists, by type or by keyword. They can also directly click the Search button without selecting any criteria to display all the learning activities available in the catalog. They can just check the box corresponding to the learning activity they want to add and they can click on the button Add Selected.

Learning Activities Mapped With Competencies

It is possible to map learning activities to competencies. You can use a CSV file. It can be imported from Admin CenterDevelopmentManage Learning Activity to Competency mappings. This file includes:

  • COMPETENCY_GUID: it can be visible in the competency library

  • ENTRY_ID: the GUID of the learning activity defined in the learning catalog

  • ENTRY_TYPE: this is always 1

Existing mapping can be exported or deleted.

If you are replacing an existing mapping, you should delete the mapping before performing the import. It is also recommended to export the mapping and saving the file as a back-up before making any changes.

You can also review the mapping associations of all Competencies to Learning Activities in the system. Go to Admin CenterDevelopmentMapping Learning Activities to Competencies.

Learning Activities Linked to an External LMS

Learning activities can optionally include a field containing a URL that links to a course delivery or registration page within an external Learning Management System.

Linking to an External Learning Management System with a URL Field

The field goto-url can be defined in the Learning Activity Template.

This field is populated from the catalog and hidden from the user, so it is not necessary to add it to the read or write field permissions. As long as the catalog contains URLs that populate the goto-url field, an icon will appear in the development plan and will link to the specified URL.

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