Creating foundation object records during implementation


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Create Foundation Object records during implementation

Foundation Object Overview

Foundation Objects

As mentioned in previous units, SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central has a fundamental corporate and employee data structure. Corporate data includes information about the company's organization, pay, and job structures.

The data is organized in different data tables or objects. Objects that hold company-specific data are called Foundation Objects. These must be built before any employee data can be added to the system. Employee Central comes with standard predelivered objects which can be customized to meet the customer requirements.

Complete the following interaction to learn the status of standard predelivered Foundation Objects.

Employee Central Structure and Foundation Objects

Employee Central Structure and Foundation Objects

Foundation Object structures are managed either in XML or MDF. Several FO's are in the corporate data model while others are managed without XML intervention in the Admin Center.

XML-based and MDF-based objects are managed using different tools.

Foundation Object Tools

Tools for Managing Foundation Objects

Use the interaction below to learn the tools used for XML and MDF-based foundation objects.

XML-Based Versus MDF-Based Objects

Configuration tasks such as relabeling fields and creating associations of Legacy Foundation Objects (XML-Based FO) remain in the Corporate Data Model. Record creation and management are done in the Manage Organization, Pay, and Job Structures tool.

The configuration of MDF-based corporate data (MDF-based Foundation Objects, also known as Generic Objects) is performed in the Configure Object Definitions and it's record management in Manage Data.

To manage foundation records through import, XML-based entities use Import Foundation Data while MDF-based objects use Import and Export Data.

Foundation Object Permissions

Foundation Object Permissions

You can control access to the Foundation Objects and Foundation Object records with these role-based permissions:

  • Manage Foundation Objects
  • Manage Foundation Object Types
  • MDF Foundation Objects

Foundation Records

Foundation Object Record

In the figure, Manage Data, you can see a Foundation Object Record. Ace Germany (ACE_DEU) is an example of a Legal Entity record.

Foundation Object Effective Dating

Like Employee Records, Foundation Objects are effectively dated. The start date for any record is the first date entered. For previous records, the end date is one day before the new record begins.

The system records the changes between updates using cross-outs. Most Foundation Objects are effective dated; on the screen, look for Effective as of

Use the interaction to learn how changes are made to effective-dated foundation objects.

Propagation: Foundation Objects and Employee Files 

As mentioned previously, corporate data MUST be created first before any employee data is added to the system, as it provides the underlying information for employee files.

Once the Foundation Objects are made, the information can be used to propagate the employee file.

For example, your company is hiring multiple employees with the same Job Classification. The HR admin selects the Job Classification: Engineer (ENG) during the new hire process. Propagation automatically populates subordinate fields like Job Title, Pay Grade, Regular/Temporary, and so on using information from the Foundation Object records. Rules are built for the system to know which employee field is auto-populated by which Foundation Object record. We call this process ‘propagation’. You will learn how to create propagation rules in a later unit.

Complete the interaction below to see how propagation works.

Standard, Custom and Country-Specific Fields

Standard, Custom, and Country-Specific Fields (CSF)

Each Foundation Object has standard fields and custom fields. In addition, several objects have country-specific fields, which allow you to collect locally-relevant data.

Field Types

Associations with Foundation Objects 

Foundation Objects can also have relationships; known as associations. For example, the Location object is associated with the Legal Entity object. In the figure, Relationships: Associations, you can see that the San Mateo office belongs to the ACE_USA Legal Entity. When you change an employee’s company to ACE_USA, you can only see records in the Location field associated with the ACE_USA Legal Entity record.

You will learn how to configure associations in a later lesson.

Picklists are lists of values defined in the instance, which you can reference from any of your Corporate Data Models, Succession Data Models, or MDF Objects. Picklists can streamline data and make data entry more efficient. Picklists determine dropdown options available to the users. Some picklists are already specified in your instance; for example, the Job Level dropdown menu is populated from a list of job levels defined in the JobLevel picklist.

As an administrator, you manage picklists using the Picklist Center. To do that, you will need Picklist Management and Picklist Mappings Set Up permission in RBP.

Organization-Related FO

Standard Foundation Objects

Use the following interaction to learn the standard foundation objects delivered by SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. 

Organization-Related Data

Job-Related FO

Job-Related Data

Payment-Related FO

Payment-Related Data

Foundation Record Administration

Foundation Object Record Administration

Foundation Object Record Tools

Administrators can add, delete, and update records for any Foundation Object directly in the instance or by using the import tool.

To add, delete, and update records of objects in the Corporate Data Model, use the Manage Organization, Pay, and Job Structures tool. Import records with the Import Foundation Data tool.

Use the Manage Data tool to add, delete, and update records of objects in the Configure Object Definition.

XML-Based (Legacy) Foundation Object RecordsMDF-Based Foundation Object Records
Manage Organization, Pay and Job StructuresManaged Data
Import Foundation DataImport/Export Data

Record Administration of XML-Based Foundation Object

Once you have navigated to Manage Organization, Pay, and Job Structures, you can see the main administration page.

Complete the following interaction to see how the tool works.

Record Administration of MDF-Based Foundation Object

Once you navigate to Manage Data, you can see the main MDF administration page.

Complete the interaction below to know how the tool works.

Foundation Object Record Import Process

Importing Foundation Objects Records

Actions for managing a single record, like Creating, Editing, and Deleting, can be processed in bulk, whether you are administering bulk changes for XML- or MDF-based records. The import file must always match the object configuration; a template must always be downloaded before any import action.

Complete the two interactions below to see the difference in importing XML-based from MDF-based foundation records.

Importing XML-Based Foundation Objects Records

Importing MDF-Based Foundation Objects Records

Exercise: Create Foundation Object record data

Business Example

Ace Corporation is growing. They need to update their organizational structure to reflect their new Berlin office and their entry into the storage business. They have also decided to enter into the Storage business in the United States and add a new job classification and two pay ranges in line with this growth. You will add the new Storage Business Unit, Division, Department, and Location in the following tasks. You'll then import the Cost Centers. Finally, you'll create additional job and pay structures.

You must have completed Prepare an Instance (Unit 1) and Prepare the Data Models (Unit 2) exercises before completing this hands-on. This exercise activity is not required for completing succeeding hands-on exercises for this course.

Task 1: Create Organization Foundation Object Records

In this task, you will add the new Storage Business Unit, Division, Department, and Location to update the organizational structure. Watch the video for a demo of how the records are created.


  1. Go to Manage Data to create the Storage Business Unit using the details in the table.

    Storage Business Unit

    Start Date1/1/1990
    Business Unit CodeACE_STOR
    Business Unit NameStorage
    1. Go to Manage DataCreate NewBusiness Unit.

    2. Add Storage Business Unit information to the record. Use the Storage Business Unit table for details.

    3. Select Save

  2. Go to Manage Data to create the Storage and Housekeeping Division using the table for details.

    Storage and Housekeeping Division

    Effective Date1/1/1990
    NameStorage and Housekeeping
    Business UnitStorage
    1. Go to Manage DataCreate NewDivision

    2. Add the new division according to the table. 

  3. Go to Manage Data to create the new Storage Engineering Department using the details in the table.

    Storage Engineering Department

    Effective Date1/1/1990
    NameStorage Engineering
    DivisionStorage and Housekeeping
    1. Go to Manage DataCreate NewDepartment

    2. Add the new department according to the table. 

    3. Select Save.

    4. Verify that the new department was saved by searching in Manage Data. 

  4. Go to Manage Organization, Pay and Job Structures to create the new Berlin location using the details in the table. Take note of the effective date. You won't be able to associate the location record with the legal entity if it's older than the legal entity record.

    Berlin Location 

    Effective as of1/1/1990
    Location GroupEMEA 
    GeozoneEurope, Middle East, and Africa
    Legal EntityAce Germany
    Business AddressRosenthaler Strasse 30, Berlin, 10178, Germany
    1. Go to Manage Organization, Pay and Job StructuresCreate NewLocation.

    2. Use the table for details. Select Save

    3. Verify that the new location was saved by searching Manage Organization, Pay and Job Structures.

    Task 2: Import Organization FO Records  

  5. Go to Import and Export Data to create new Cost Centers 50000-51303 using the details in the table. Just like any other import process, you'll need to download a CSV template and ensure the formatting is correct before uploading the file.

    Cost Centers Data

    externalCodeEnd DateNameeffectiveStartDateDescriptioneffectiveStatusparentCostCenter.externalCodecostcenterManager 
    StatusParent  Cost Center CodeCost  Center  Manager
    CodeStart Date 
    50000 Storage1/1/1990StorageA  
    50001 Storage Executive Office1/1/1990Storage Executive OfficeA  
    51100 Storage Sales1/1/1990Storage SalesA  
    51200 Storage Product Dev1/1/1990Storage Product DevA  
    51300 Storage  Customer Success 1/1/1990Storage  Customer Success A  
    51301 Storage Support1/1/1990Storage SupportA  
    51302 Storage Consulting Services1/1/1990Storage Consulting ServicesA  
    51303 Storage Implementation Services1/1/1990Storage Implementation ServicesA  
    1. Navigate to Import and Export Data.  

    2. Choose Download Template from Action to Perform.

    3. Select Cost Center as the Generic Object.

    4. Select NO for Include Dependencies.

    5. Select Download.

      You can use Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice to open the CSV file. Choose UTF-8 as character encoding and comma as the delimiter/ separator.
    6. Transfer the information from Table 5: Cost Centers Data to the template and save the file locally. The order of the columns may not match your template. Use the headers to map which columns to transfer the data.

    7. In Import and Export Data page, select Import Data in the Action to Perform.

    8. Select the Cost Center as the Generic Object.

    9. Browse for the file.

    10. Use Unicode (UTF-8) as file encoding.

    11. If necessary, choose the format that matches your locale.

    12. Leave the rest of the import options to the default setting.

    13. Select Validate.

    14. In a separate tab, use action search to navigate to the Scheduled Job Manager . Check the validation results.

    15. If there was no error, select Import in the Import and Export tool. 

      If you set the administrator's e-mail account as your own, you will receive an e-mail notification for import jobs. 
      Task 3: Create Pay and Job Structure FO Records
  6. Go to Manage Data to create the new Storage Hardware Engineer Job Classification using the details in the table.

    Job Classification Data

    Start Date1/1/1990
    Job CodeSTHWEN 
    Job TitleStorage Hardware Engineer
    Job LevelIC - NonManager 
    Employee ClassConsultant
    Is Full-time employeeYes
    Pay GradeSalary Grade 16 (GR-16) 
    1. Log in to your instance.

    2. Navigate to Manage Data

    3. Choose Create New → Job Classification

      Use the data in the table, Job Classification  Data.

    4. Select Save.

    5. Verify that the new Job Classification was saved.

  7. Go to Manage Organization, Pay and Job Structures to create Pay Ranges using the details in the table.

    Pay Range Data 

    Pay Range ID

    NameLegal EntityMinimum - Maximum PayCurrencyFrequencyPay Grade  
    US_ST_H D_ENGStorage  Hardware  Engineer ACE USA85,000 - 95,000 USDAnnualSalary Grade 16(GR-16)
    DEU_ST_ HD_ENGStorage  Hardware  Engineer ACE Germany75,000 - 95,000 EURAnnualSalary Grade 16(GR-16)
    1. Go to Manage Organization, Pay and Job Structures.

    2. Choose Create New → Pay Range.  Enter the Effective as of 1/1/1990.

    3. Use the data in the table, Pay Range Data.

    4. Select Save → OK.

    5. Verify that the new Pay Range was saved. 

    6. Repeat the steps to create the second pay range record.

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