Using XML during data model configuration

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Configure the data model in Employee Central

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Core structure

Employee Central is the core HR solution of SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite.

Complete the interaction below to learn more about the components that make up Employee Central.

Employee Central Core Structure

Data models in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central

In this unit, you will learn about the Employee Central system's setup, including the Admin Center configuration and the relevant XML files.

Data Models describe how data elements are structured in a database. They also define the properties these elements possess and their relationships to each other.

Complete the interaction below to get a basic understanding of XML configuration.

Example of Data Model

Data Model Configuration

The data models in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central play a critical role in configuring customer requirements. You have already seen an example of visibility and custom labels in the interaction, Person Info Element. Remember that you could not see the Date of Death field and that the Place of Birth field was relabeled to the City of Birth. When configuring the data models, you can:

  • Set the visibility of a field in the instance.
  • Define custom labels and fields.
  • Define the relationship among Foundation Objects.
  • Set the order of fields that appear in the instance.
  • Set a picklist for a field.

Any changes made in the data model must comply with the Data Type Definition (DTD). That means you cannot add a new element, field, or attribute unless it is defined in the DTD. When a particular field is not needed in the configuration, we recommend you hide the field rather than delete it from the data model. If it must be deleted, for whatever reason, we recommend you set the visibility to "none" before deleting the field.

The Four Data Models

Use the interaction to learn how the data models are used in Employee Central.

Employee Central Data Models

Linking a data model to a DTD

To correctly validate data models, you must link the correct DTD. For example, to validate Succession Data Model (SDM) against sf-form.dtd, replace the URL from "http://svn/viewvc/svn/V4/trunk/src/com/sf/dtd/sf-form.dtd?view=co"> to "sf-form.dtd">. This will allow the data model to read the DTD, provided both SDM and DTD are in the same local folder.

Linking Data Model to a DTD

Data ModelDTD
Succession Data Modelst-form.dtd
CSF Succession Data Modelcountry-specific-fields.dtd
Corporate Data ModelCorporate-datamodel.dtd
CSF Corporate Data Modelcountry-specific-fields.dtd

Exercise: Prepare the data models

Business Example

You will upload the Data Models as part of the initial setup.


  1. Determine the XML Editor that you will use.

    1. For PC users, use XMLPad at or for Mac users, use Oxygen (30-day trial)

      Please use the Direct Download link to avoid the adware.

      We do not guarantee any of these software’s stability or security. Please respect your company's IT policy when downloading and installing programs. XML Pad does have some known bugs. 
  2. Download the Data Models from the Course Files (included in the assigned course content in the Learning Hub) and organize them in your local drive. Alternatively, you can also download the Course Files in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Academy Learning Room (Learning Hub License is required to access Learning Rooms) Content Section → Latest XML and DTD Files Folder.

    1. Create a folder (use your company ID) in your local drive.

    2. Move all four data models (.xml file extensions) and three DTDs (.dtd file extensions) into your new folder.

      Validating data models with the DTD will not work unless the DTD files are stored in the same folder as your data models. 
    3. Create a backup folder and place a copy of each data model in the folder.

      There are three data model versions in the course files: data-model_DC2, DC4, and DC8. Use the one corresponding to your sales demo data center (DC).

      The URL on your instance indicates the DC of your system. When you log in to your instance, and the URL starts with https://salesdemo4 , you will use the DC4 version. If it begins with pmsalesdemo8, please use the DC8 version. If it starts with salesdemo., then please use DC2. The only difference is the business rule Id referenced in the data models.

  3. Upload the four data models (.xml files).

    1. Log in to Provisioning and use the username and password in your welcome e-mail. Alternatively, you can upload the Corporate and Country-Specific Corporate data models in the Admin Center.

    2. Choose your company name. 

      Use the company ID you received when you requested your instance.
    3. Scroll down to Succession Management.

    4. Select and import each of the following from your folder:

      • Import/Export Corporate Data Model XML
      • Import/Export Country Specific XML for Corporate Data Model
      • Import/Export Data Model
      • Import/Export Country Specific XML for Succession Data Model
    When uploading the data models in Provisioning, there might be some warning messages of deprecated fields. You can ignore these as long as the data models are imported successfully.

Supplemental guides


There are two supplemental guides in the SAP Help portal which describe the data models used in SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite and the corresponding fields in the data models. These are:

  • SAP SuccessFactors Data Model Reference Guide
  • Data Object Tables in Employee Central

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