Configuring the People Profile

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Use Admin Center and Succession Data Model to configure People Profile
  • Configure standard elements in People Profile
  • Maintain custom fields and filters
  • Manage the People Profile using the Configure People Profile tool
  • Maintain the People Profile using Header Settings
  • Hide, show, and upload a photo into People Profile
  • Run Batch Upload and Batch Export processes
  • Use Manage Badges to create custom badges
  • Add deep links to People Profile Blocks

People Profile

SAP SuccessFactors People Profile connects employees and supports talent decisions by delivering relevant, community-enriched employee information through an integrated repository.

With People Profile, you can view and edit a person's entire profile on one simple, consolidated page and take immediate action. You can quickly find the most important or most recent information and drill down to see more detail when needed. The responsive SAP Fiori design means that People Profile adjusts to fit your device, for optimal viewing on desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

Administrators can use a convenient drag-and-drop configuration tool to set up People Profile for your company. You can select which data fields to highlight at the top of the page and control the layout and organization of profile content for your company. Visibility of employee data on the profile is controlled by Role-Based Permissions.

The People Profile page is organized into sections, subsections, and blocks. Related information is grouped together in "blocks" and appears directly on the page background. Details are hidden at first view, to reduce clutter and make the page easier to scan quickly. You can expand or collapse subsections and blocks to show or hide details as needed.

Navigate to People Profile

To navigate to the Employee Profile, proceed as follows:

  1. In the upper left-hand corner of your instance, choose the Navigation Menu and choose My Employee File.

  2. This takes you to your People Profile.

  3. You can see your personal information, such as name, e-mail, location, and so on. The fields listed in this portlet vary depending on your company’s configuration as well as your permission level.

Profile header

The People Profile includes a configurable page header that displays the profile photo and basic information about an employee.

As you scroll down the page, the header then reduces into a collapsed state and sticks to the top of the page, for easier navigation, as shown here.

Information blocks

The People Profile page is made up of the ‘profile header’ and one or more profile ‘sections’. Each section consists of one or more ‘subsections.’ Each subsection, in turn, consists of either one or two ‘blocks.’

Some blocks are predefined and are not configurable, such as the Succession block, while other blocks are customizable and allow you to configure which data to display, such as User Info or Background blocks.

Most blocks take up one column of a two-column subsection. So, in most cases, you can fit two blocks in each subsection. Some blocks, such as Badges or Skills, take up the full width of the subsection.

People Profile Configuration

People Profile is configured using both Admin Center and the Succession Data Model. The Succession Data Model is an XML file. If you do not have prior experience working with XML, please review the previous lesson, Describing the Basics of Extensible Markup Language (XML).

The configuration process

Both Admin Center and the Succession Data Model are required to configure People Profile. The following table details the capabilities of each tool in relation to the configuration of the People Profile.

Admin Center

Arranges the layout

Data Model
  • Defines the Standard Elements used in the People Profile

  • Defines custom filtering fields (if applicable)

The Standard Elements are the fields that you see in your instance, such as name, hire date, address, phone number, and so on. Defining the fields can include changing the labels as well as determining if a field is required. You will then configure the permissions for the Standard Elements. This helps the system determine who has access to each field and the level of access, read or write. For example, an employee may be able to see, but not edit his or her hire date.

If you want custom-filtering fields, these are maintained in the data model as well.

Once you have made the appropriate changes to the data model and imported the file, you can change the field order within Admin Center.

XML Data Model use

To make updates to the data model, you must open the XML file with an XML editor. Oxygen and Notepad++ are very popular throughout the industry. XMLPad is a Windows only software and is available for download online using CNET.

When reviewing the XML Data Model, you will see three primary elements:

  • Standard Elements: Used to define the fields and labels used in the Employee Profile.

  • Background Elements: Used to define data field mappings to the SM_Background table (no updates to this element will be made in this course).

  • Custom Filters: Used to turn one or more of the 15 custom fields into a filter that can be used in the system for tasks, such as reporting.

File management of the Data Model

When working with data models in SAP SuccessFactors, there are some file management considerations. First, we have created a folder specifically for the versions of the data model. In the figure, File Management of the Data Model, file A is our original data model. This is the backup and should never be edited. Files B and C are version one and version two of the data model file. Using Save As and creating file versions is a best practice when working with SAP SuccessFactors data models and should always be followed.

Download the Data Model

The Succession Data Model is located in Provisioning under the header Succession Management. It is very important to note that the data model is a single file that overwrites upon upload. When downloading and making changes to a data model, it is crucial that you back up the original data model and use very strict version control to avoid time-consuming or critical errors, particularly when working in a customer environment. To download the Succession Data Model from your instance, proceed as follows:

  1. Log into Provisioning and select your instance.

  2. Scroll down to Succession Management and select Import/Export Data Model.

  3. Select Export File and then Save As.

Data Model version control in Provisioning

It is possible to back up multiple versions of the Succession Data Model in Provisioning and restore a version for the instance. This feature helps protect the configuration and track data model changes. In case of issue, it can speed up the instance recovery.

Comments can be added during the import. It is then easy to download a certain version.

The system keeps up to 100 versions of the Succession Data Model backup. Earlier versions are deleted when the limit is reached.

The version control does not record changes made from BCUI, but only pertains to data model loaded via Provisioning.

Standard Elements

The Standard Elements are where we define the standard, single value fields that are seen in the Personal Information section of the People Profile. Each of the fields that we see in the Personal Information portlet relates to a Standard Element in the data model. For example, the Last Name field is controlled by the Standard Element that begins on line 13 in this sample data model. The order of the elements, however, is not defined within this data model.

Standard Elements configuration

Many elements (fields) already exist in the data model downloaded from Provisioning. You can search for these elements using the search functionality of your XML editor. One of the first and most common tasks requested is to change the label of a standard element. For example, if the default label for the first element is Username but you would like it to read Login, proceed as follows:

  1. Locate the Standard Element, Username.

  2. Look for the <label> tags and update the text in between those tags to say Login.

Further Configuration of Standard Elements

When configuring a Standard Element, other common changes include the following:

  • Making a field a required field, by setting the required attribute to "true".

  • Changing labels to reflect multiple languages.

  • Adding a picklist to a field.

Configuration Testing

To see the changes reflected in your instance, you must save a new version of your data model and then import the file into Provisioning. Follow the same instructions as when you downloaded the file; however, this time, simply chooseImport File. Once you receive the message that your template has successfully uploaded, you can log onto your instance to see the updates.

Configuring Background Elements

These are elements where a "one to many" relationship exists between the field and the data it can store. There are two kinds of background elements. Those consisting of data fields and those with rating fields. Some examples of background data elements are Education and Work Experience.

Rating fields can be the ones from the Performance Management module or can be imported, or can also be those entered in the People Profile. The kind of rating depends on the field used and its configuration.

The background element contains an ID which must be unique. This ID is 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 restrictions when modifying it. You cannot remove or comment out data-fields or rating-fields from a ‘sys’ section. If a field should be removed, then set the hidden attribute to true for the data fields and the visibility attribute to ‘none’ for the rating fields.

The attribute max-entries defines the maximum number of rows that could be added from the UI. This limit does NOT apply when importing data items.

The ID must be unique for each background element data field. This is the name used in the templates.

The Type Id is the global identifier for this section. It must be unique.

The field-name is the database field name to use.

There are different options available:

  • text/varchar fields (eg. vfld1)
  • date fields (eg. dfld1)
  • integer fields (eg. ifld1)
  • real number/float fields (eg. ffld1)

The following names are supported: name | desc | vfld1 | vfld2 | vfld3 | vfld4 | vfld5 | vfld6 | vfld7 | vfld8 | vfld9 | vfld10 | vfld11 | vfld12 | vfld13 | vfld14 | vfld15 | startDate | endDate | dfld1 | dfld2 | dfld3 | ifld1 | ifld2 | ifld3 | ifld4 | ifld5 | ffld1 | ffld2 | ffld3 | ffld4 | lastModified | attachment1

The required attribute is used to force the user to input information for that field.

The max-length attribute defines the maximum number of characters that can be entered.

With the document-type-id attribute, each background element can have ONE field of attachment type. It allows customers to classify uploaded documents for easy search. For example, customers can do a search on all the documents of the type "Classification", in this case, any document with type-id = Classification will be returned. This attribute is optional, if not specified, the system just considers this document as not classified.


With the max-file-size-KB attribute, we can define the maximum size file that can be uploaded. The size must be smaller than the size specified by "Attachment max file size" in Provisioning.

The file-formats attribute determines what file extension is allowed. For example, if only pdf files are allowed, then the value is pdf.

With the attribute text-area-enabled set to true, the input area becomes a text area which support multiple lines.

Attachment field and text area field

Below is an example of xml code for a background that contains an attachment and a text area field.

As an end user, you can add the attachment by selecting the paper clip icon and then on the next window, on the "+" icon.

A cascading picklist in a background element

Background elements can contain fields linked to a picklist. Cascading picklists are also possible when adding the parent-field-id in the picklist configuration. Below is an example of xml code with a cascading picklist. The xml code is continuous, although it is presented in separate figures here for easier reading:

In this example, the connection between the picklists variant and language also exists at the picklist level by adding the parent picklist code from the language picklist in the corresponding child value in the picklist variant.

Background Elements with rating fields

These background elements are rating sections.

The feedback-type attribute is a unique integer that specifies the source of feedback for the section:

  • 5: Overall Competency Rating

  • 6: Overall Objective Rating

  • 7: Overall Potential Rating

  • 8: Overall Performance Rating

  • 27: Custom1

  • 28: Custom2

The xml code is continuous, although it is presented in separate figures here for easier reading:

Custom fields and filtering

SAP SuccessFactors supports custom fields and filtering. Customers may add up to 15 custom elements to the People Profile. When custom filters are set up, these elements can be used for reporting purposes or to perform administrative functions, such as generating forms. For example, a custom field like Region can be used in Reporting Dashboards to further filter information.

Custom fields configuration

As mentioned before, there are 15 custom fields available. To use these fields on a People Profile requires the following two steps:

  1. In your data model, change the label to meet the customer’s requirements.

  2. In Admin Center, configure the People Profile to include the new custom field.

The custom filters XML Element

To enable filtering based on custom fields, you must add the <custom-filters> element to the XML data model. This element is not included in the system default data model of the training instance, so the code must be added manually as follows:

  1. Since this new <custom-filters> element must be added after the last background-element and before the first element-permission, locate the position to add the custom filter file.

  2. Add in the custom filter element with the appropriate standard element references. In the figure, Add a Custom Filter, you can see that we are adding a filter for custom field 01.

  3. Save a new version and upload the updated data model to Provisioning.

People Profile layout configuration

The following image illustrates how the above profile is configured in the Configure People Profile admin tool.

Although a new section called "Section 2" has been added, it currently does not contain any information blocks and, therefore, does not yet appear in the profile UI above.

People Profile configuration tool

You can manage the content and layout of the People Profile using the Configure People Profile admin tool.

With it, you can add and configure the sections, subsections, and blocks you want to include on the People Profile and adjust the way these are laid out on the page. You can also configure the information that appears in the profile header, set the data source and date range for ratings data, and add localized translations of custom labels.

To access the configuration tool, you can use search or go to Admin CenterEmployee FilesConfigure People Profile.

Granting Permission to Configure People Profile

To use the Configure People Profile admin tool, you must be granted the Manage Employee Files permission. To grant this permission, complete the following steps:

1. Go to Admin ToolsManage Permission Rolesand select the role to which you want to grant these permissions

2. Select the Manage System Properties tab, in the Administrator Permissions section.

3. Select the Manage Employee Files permission.

4. Choose Done to save the changes.

People Profile header settings

Header settings enable you to configure the appearance and functionality of the profile header.

You can also enable or disable the profile completion feature within the header settings.

Finally, in People Profile, you can configure which employee data fields appear in the profile header, using the Configure Header Fields dialog. You can also access this dialog within the header settings.


  1. Go to Admin Center, Configure People ProfileGeneral SettingsHeader Settings

  2. Select the desired settings. For a description of each setting, see the link below.

  3. Save your changes.

Description of header settings

The following table describes the available header settings in the People Profile.

Configure Header FieldsOpens a dialog that allows you to configure which data fields are displayed in the profile header. See Configuring Header Fields for details.
Allow employees to edit background imageIf checked, users can upload their own background "cover" image to their profile header.
Disable background image uploading by employeesIf you check both this option and the Allow employees to edit background image option, users change their background image only by choosing one from the image library.
Manage background image libraryOpens the existing Manage Background Image Library dialog, which allows you to manage the images from which users can select a background "cover" image for use in their profile header.
Allow employees to upload an audio file for name pronunciation

Enable the "My Name" feature, allowing users to upload a short audio clip or enter a phonetic spelling to show how their names are pronounced. To enable this feature, admins are also required to accept a user agreement acknowledging that all media content is stored in the SAP data-center in Germany. Users aren't presented with this agreement.

Allow employees to upload an About Me video

Enable the "About Me" feature, allowing users to upload a short video about themselves. To enable the "About Me" feature, admins are also required to accept a user agreement acknowledging that all media content is stored in the SAP data-center in Germany. Users aren't presented with this agreement.

Allow employees to enter an introductory textIf checked, users can enter a short text about themselves, of up to 500 characters, which is visible in the profile header.
Set all fields as expanded by defaultIf checked, when employees access the People Profile page, all the content that they have permission to access on the page is displayed. Employees can choose to show less or more content in blocks as needed.
Choose the name format displayed on the profile.You can select one of the name formats configured in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central to display in the profile header.

Configuring header fields

You can use header settings to configure what employee data fields are displayed in the profile header.

The Configure Header Fields dialog is used to configure the appearance of the profile header only. You can select the fields which are most useful and most relevant to your company and display them more prominently, at the top of the profile page.

By default, the profile header contains the following basic employee information: photo, display name, username, title, department, division, location, time zone, local time, e-mail, two selected phone numbers, and links to Facebook or LinkedIn. You can also add up to three other custom fields.

Remember, all of this employee data is also controlled by Role-Based Permissions. If the logged-in user doesn't have permission to view a particular field on a particular profile, it does not appear in the header. If you want to hide a particular field everywhere in the system, or if you want a particular field to be visible only to certain users and not to others, you can do that using Role-Based Permissions.

Adding custom header fields

You can add up to three custom data fields to the profile header.

A custom header field can be any of the basic user information fields defined in the data model for your system. You are not limited to only the fifteen ‘customizable fields’ in the data model but can select any of the defined ‘standard’ and ‘userinfo’ fields as well. These are the same fields that are available in custom ‘user information’ blocks (and portlets) on the profile and that are present in your basic employee data CSV export.


  1. Go to Admin CenterConfigure People ProfileGeneral Settings.
  2. Select the Configure Header Fields link.
  3. In the Configure Header Fields dialog, select one of the Custom Field checkboxes.
  4. In the dropdown menu, select the desired field.
  5. Choose Save to save your changes.

Photo in the Profile

In order for you to be able to control who can see the photo and for whom in RBP, the photo standard element must exist in the Succession Data Model.

You can decide whether to hide or show the employee profile photo in the header of the People Profile.

The profile photo is treated like any other employee data field in the header, such as the employee's job title or location. As with other data fields, you can control visibility of the profile photo in the header in two ways as follows:

  • If you want to remove the photo from the header entirely for all users, uncheck the Photo checkbox in the Configure Header Fields dialog box.

  • If you want the photo to be visible to some users of your system, but not to others, check the Photo checkbox in the Configure Header Fields dialog box, and then control the visibility of the photo with Role-Based Permissions.

Uploading the photo in People Profile as an end user

From the main navigation menu, users can navigate to My Employee File. From the header, they have two options:

  • They can choose Header, associated with a pen icon, and then select Edit Profile Picture.
  • Users can also hover over the place where the photo should be.

With either option, users will be able to select an image stored on their computer or drag and drop an image. The following file formats are supported: JPG, JPEG or PNG. The file size should not be larger than 2MB and an aspect ratio 3:4 is recommended.

Batch upload and batch export of Profile photos

You can batch upload and batch export Profile photos by scheduling a Batch Upload Employee Photos or a Batch Export Employee Photos job in Provisioning.

The photos should conform to these guidelines:

  • Maximum file size: 2MB

  • File format: JPEG

  • Dimension Ratio: 3 wide by 4 high preferred

Batch upload

  • The photos should be uploaded to a directory on the ftp site configured by SuccessFactors operations for use with your instance. It will typically be /photos.

    As with all other photos, JPEG file format is recommended, and should adhere to the same size and dimension guidelines described above.

  • In addition, a csv file must accompany the photos to map the photo filenames to the username of the employee they correspond to.

    Load the csv file into the same /photos folder as the images. The csv file should be named "employee_photos_yymmdd.csv", where yymmdd is the year, month, and day that the file is loaded.

    The csv file should include a header of "Username" followed by "Filename". The following figure shows an example.

  • You can upload employee photos in ZIP files. This option is off by default.
  • There is also an option to delete each photo file from the FTP site immediately after it is imported, including ZIP files. Always select this option if using a SuccessFactors FTP server.
  • After the upload completes an e-mail will be sent to the administrator named in the scheduled task.

  • Important: at this time there is a limit of 5,000 photo files that can be processed in a single pass. If you have more than 5,000 photos to upload, make sure that they are separated into different CSV files and different scheduled uploads.


We no longer support the upload of photos hosted at an external URL.

Batch export

With the export, the exported files include a csv file with two columns the username and the file name and the related employee photos.

The exported files will be stored on and FTP server according to the job configuration.

If the user does not have photo, it will not be included in the exported files. The exported files could be reused for batch with the upload employee photos job in Provisioning.

FTP account creation for customers

  • Every customer is entitled to have two SFTP accounts for Bizx, One for Test/Preview and one for Production.

  • In order to have an SFTP account created for themselves, customers can contact customer support. Credentials can only be shared to an e-mail address from within the Company Domain.

Badges block

Recognition is a good motivator. Employees can recognize each other by giving badges, outside of the normal performance and compensation management process. This can be done in the Badges block in the People Profile.

The background for the badges should in the Succession Data Model.

Code snippet
<background-element id="sysScoreCardBadge" type-id="49"> <background-element id="sysScoreCardBadge" type-id="49"> <label>Badges</label> <label xml:lang="de-DE">SF-Abzeichen</label> <label xml:lang="fr-FR">Badges SF</label> </background-element>Expand

The permission should be given from RBP under the category Employee Data and the block should be added in Configure People Profile.

Administrators can create custom badges from the Action Search → Manage Badges.

Up to 20 badges can be enabled. This includes custom and predefined badges.

Once a badge is given, it cannot be edited. Only the employee who gave or received the badge can remove the badge. Users can't add badges to their own profiles.

Deep links to People Profile Blocks

Deep links can be used to send users directly to a specific People Profile block of an employee. Users can access directly a specific block in People Profile and save the effort to look for relevant information on the profile page.

Deep links are available to all types of blocks and can be used anywhere hyperlinks are possible, including the following:

  • E-mail notifications
  • SAP SuccessFactors applications
  • Offline content
When users who are not logged in select the deep link to a block, the link directs them to login, and after they are logged in, only the specific block is displayed.

For more information, see how to create a deep link to a block in People Profile on the SAP Help Portal.

Working with the Data Model

Business example

You are required to make changes to People Profile. You must first download the data model from Provisioning and then download the DTD file from Course Files.


In this step, you create an XML file that is required for subsequent exercises in the course.

Use the sf-form.dtd available in the Course Files you downloaded at the beginning of this training.

Task 1: Download the Data Model from Provisioning


  1. Log into Provisioning.

  2. Select your company instance, download and save the data file.

    1. Choose your Company Name.

    2. Scroll down to Succession Management and Choose Import/Export Data Model.

    3. On the Import/Export Data Model screen, select theExport file (Select ‘Save’, not Open’) radio button.

    4. Choose Submit.

    5. In the File Download dialog box, Choose Save.

    6. In the Save As dialog box, specify where you want to save your file.

    7. Choose Save.

      The file is saved as an XML file. Make a note of the file location, you will need it in the next exercise.

Task 2: Open the Data Model in an XML Editor

You are required to change the DTD file path in your employee profile data model.


  1. Make sure the sf-form.dtd file is in the same folder as your XML file.

  2. Open the XML editor.

  3. Open the file you saved in the previous task, change the DTD file path. You must change the DTD file path to refer to a DTD in your local folder instead of referring to the internal svn repository for SAP SuccessFactors since you cannot access that location. Validate the XML after the change.

    1. In the XML editor, choose FileOpen.

    2. Navigate to the location where you previously saved the data file.

    3. In line 004, change the line http://svn/viewvc/svn/V4/trunk/src/com/sf/dtd/sf-form.dtd?view=co to sf-form.dtd.

      The link points to an internal SAP SF repository built in Apache Subversion (abbreviation svn) that external users cannot access.
    4. To validate the XML code, from the menu, choose XMLValidate.

Task 3: Change the label of a Standard Element

Next you will have to change a field Country in their employee profile into Country of Residence. You will then include two customizable fields "Region" and "Marital Status". In order to make this change, you will change the label of the standard element in your xml file.


  1. Open the data model file and change the Country label to Country of Residence.

    1. Open the data file you saved in a previous exercise.

    2. Search the XML document for the standard element with the ID country.

    3. Change the label for this element from Country to Country of Residence.

  2. Search for the standard element ID custom01, and change the label from Customizable Field 1 to Region.

    1. Search the XML document for the standard element ID custom01.

    2. Change the label for custom01 from Customizable Field 1 to Region.

  3. Search the standard element with the ID custom02, and change the label from Customizable Field 2 to Marital Status.

    1. Search the XML document for the standard element ID custom02.

    2. Change the label for custom02 from Customizable Field 2 to Marital Status.

  4. Validate your changes and save the data model as a new version (_V2 in the name).

    1. From the menu bar, choose XMLValidate.

      If there are any errors, review your configurations and update as required.

    2. Choose FileSave As.

    3. Since version control is very important, be sure to save the file as a new version.

    4. Specify a location to save the file and choose Save.

  5. In Provisioning, import your updated data model. You may see warning messages but the system should indicate "Template(s) has(have) been uploaded and saved."

    1. Log in to Provisioning.

    2. On the Companies screen, choose your Company Name.

    3. Scroll down to Succession Management and choose Import/Export Data Model.

    4. On the Import/Export Data Model screen, select the Import File radio button and then Choose File .

    5. On the Choose File to Upload dialog box, navigate to the file you saved previously and choose Open.

    6. On the Import/Export Data Model screen, choose Submit.

  6. Log out of Provisioning.

Task 4: Configure employee files

You have changed the label of standard element and now you wish to change the available employee information in the Employee Files tab.

Add Region and Marital Status fields and move them further up after the Last Name field. You will use Configure People Profile tool to do that.

Configure employee files


  1. Log into your instance.

  2. Use the Action Search to navigate to Configure People Profile or on the Admin Center screen, navigate to Employee Files → Configure People Profile.

  3. On the Profile Section, choose the Personal Information sub-section and Personal Information block.

  4. At the right side, under User Fields choose add field.

  5. Add Region and Martial Status in the list of fields and move it under theLast Name field.

  6. Choose Save on the bottom right.

  7. Check the layout in your People Profile by navigating to My Employee File.

Add a custom filter

Business example

You want to add a custom filter in the data model.


  1. Open the data model file from the previous exercise.

    1. In XML editor, choose FileOpen.

    2. Navigate to the file you saved in the previous exercise.

  2. In the data model file, after the last background element, enter the following code:

    Code snippet
    <custom-filters> <filter-module id="default"> <standard-element-ref refid="custom01"/> </filter-module> </custom-filters>Expand


    <filter-module id="default">

    is already there, only add

    <standard-element-ref refid="custom01"/>



  3. Validate your changes and save your updated version of the data model.

    1. From the menu bar, choose XMLValidate.

      If there are any errors, review your configurations and update as required.

    2. Choose FileSave As.

    3. In the File name field, save the file as a new version.

    4. Specify a location to save the file and choose Save.

  4. Import the updated data model.

    1. If you have not already done so, log in to Provisioning.

    2. From the list of companies, choose your company’s instance.

    3. Under Succession Management, choose Import/Export Data Model.

    4. On the Import/Export Data Model screen, select the Import File radio button.

    5. Choose Browse and navigate to the updated data model file.

    6. Select the file and in the Choose File to Upload dialog box, and choose Open.

    7. On the Import/Export Data Model screen, choose Submit.

  5. Log out of Provisioning.

  6. Verify that the new filter is available in Manage Employee Import.

    1. Log in to your instance.

    2. Use the Action Search to navigate to Manage Employee Import.

    3. Verify that the filter by options now include Region.

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