Managing the User Data File


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Access required permissions to import employees
  • Maintain user data with the User Data File and Admin Center

Manage Employee Import

To import employees in the instance, administrators need the appropriate permission for a specific target population or for each criteria available.

This permission does not necessarily come from RBP. There is a tool called Manage Employee Import available from the Action Search. We simply need to find the user, define the target population, and select Save Definition For Selected Users.

If the customer wants to manage this permission from RBP, we simply need to activate the switch Enable Control on Employee Import in Role-Based Permissions available from the Action Search > Platform Feature Settings.

Data management options

You can manage user data in SAP SuccessFactors in the following ways:

  1. User Data File (UDF)

    The UDF is a comma-separated value (.csv) file and is used to add or change data for one or more employees at a time. It is created manually or as an automated output from your Human Resources Information System (HRIS). Using this file, you can add data to or change information in SAP SuccessFactors by importing the file manually through Admin Center, or by automating the upload through File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

    There are advantages to using the UDF method to add or change data:

    • Only records in the system with changes or additions in the file are updated, all others are ignored.

    • Multiple employee updates and additions can occur at the same time.

  2. Links in Admin Center

    You can also enter data directly into SAP SuccessFactors with manual entry through Admin Center. The manual entry method is typically used for changes that affect one or two users at a time.

    Using this method provides the following advantages:

    • Quick, one-off changes can be made without waiting for the FTP or full file import.

    • Corrections can be made after data import as needed.

Any changes made using the Admin Center links are overwritten by the import process if the .csv file is not updated, with the manually imported information, for the next import.

Data export

Exporting data allows you to download a list of existing users in your SAP SuccessFactors system. You can use this file as the basis for updating or importing user information.

User Data File (UDF) Export

To export the UDF, from Action Search select Employee Export.

You can export a list of existing users in SAP SuccessFactors in the .csv format. This is the most commonly selected format, as it allows you to easily modify the data using Microsoft Excel.

Best Practice

It is recommended that the existing UDF is downloaded before making changes and importing them. Using a stored file on a local drive increases the risk of being out of sync with the current system data, either due to manual updates that have occurred since the last import, or automated imports.

After selecting the format of the export file, you can specify additional export options:

  • Valid users only

    Select to export only active users from SAP SuccessFactors in the import file.

  • Short format: only system fields

    Select to show only the required fields, omitting any empty or custom fields.

Do not select Short Format if you want to include user compensation data.

Next, specify the file language format and batch or scheduled processing options:

  • Character Encoding

    If you are using languages with specific character types (for example, Chinese or Japanese), you can select the appropriate encoding type from the dropdown menu so the system recognizes the characters.

  • Export as a batch process

    Select this option if you have a large number of employees. It allows you to continue working in the system as the export is being run. You will receive a notification when the file is ready to download.

Once the file is downloaded, you can open the file to make changes and additions to the data. When you are finished, save the new data file as a .csv file. So that you have the original data file as a backup, SAP SuccessFactors recommends that the new file is saved with a new file name.

Data changes with the User Data File

The UDF consists of standard data elements, which include the required fields, filter fields, and optional fields. Fields vary depending on your configuration and modules.

SAP SuccessFactors User Data File

The UDF has several required fields.

Required UDF Fields

Required UDF Fields

Required FieldDescription
STATUSThere are two status choices, active or inactive. All users on the initial data load have an active status.
USERIDThis is a unique system identifier for each user, and can not be changed once set. The format can be letters, numbers, or a combination of the two. Avoid using leading zeros and special characters, for example & or #.
USERNAMEEmployees use this to log into the system. It must be unique for each user. Consider using the same login that is used to log into your company network.
FIRSTNAMEFirst name of the employee
LASTNAMELast name of the employee
GENDERThis field is required for the Writing Assistant. Only provide the abbreviations, M for male or F for female.
EMAILThe business e-mail address of the employee. The system uses e-mail addresses for notification purposes. E-mails are sent, for example, to inform individuals that forms have been sent, or to remind individuals that items are due or late.
MANAGERThis column requires the USERID of the manager of the employee to establish the company hierarchy. For the individual or individuals who are considered to be the highest level in the company, NO_MANAGER is used to designate that they do not have anyone above them in the hierarchy.
HRThis column uses the USERID of the Human Resources (HR) representative that is assigned to the employee. If the company chooses not to assign an employee with an HR rep, use NO_HR.
TIMEZONEThis field is used for time stamping. Some companies use their corporate time zone as the default.
DEFAULT-LOCALEThis setting is the default language that is displayed to the user when accessing SAP SuccessFactors.
PERSON_ID_EXTERNALAssignment ID is an identifier assigned to a person to define the relationship between the person and a company. You can use it to identify users and change it if needed.
ASSIGNMENT_ID_EXTERNALA unique identifier of a person

Standard filters in the SAP SuccessFactors UDF

There are three standard filter fields in SAP SuccessFactors:




These fields are displayed throughout SAP SuccessFactors and are used for filtering within reports and permissions. Additional filter fields are created by a SAP SuccessFactors Consultant during implementation.

The Job Code field is optional and is used to associate an individual with competencies. Job Codes are assigned to employees and correspond to the job role that is set up within the system. You can associate a job role with a set of competencies.

There are also 15 custom fields that can be used for other data you need to bring into SAP SuccessFactors.

The .csv template for your instance was provided to your company during configuration. However, you can download the template at any time using the Employee Export feature.

Rows 1 and 2, System ID and Label respectively, must be preserved, including all the required columns in the template. You can rename Row 2 labels during system configuration. Save the file format as a .csv file.

File behavior

When the UDF is uploaded, SAP SuccessFactors searches the records in the file and only makes changes to data in SAP SuccessFactors where the USERID field matches a USERID in the system. When SAP SuccessFactors encounters a USERID that currently does not exist in the system, it is considered a new user and is added to the system as such. When the UDF does not contain a record for an existing user in the system, no changes are made.

Adding New Users using the UDF

To add new users, add a new row to the UDF. Complete the required fields and import the file into the system. File behavior determines that the system does not recognize the new USERID and adds this record as a new user.

Changing User Data using the UDF

To change user information using the UDF, you must first export the current data from the system, edit the records that require editing, and then import the updated UDF. File behavior determines that the system recognizes the USERID of the changed user and changes the information accordingly in the system.

Inactivating a User using the UDF

To inactivate a user you follow similar steps as when changing user data. In this case, the STATUS of the user is changed. To inactivate a user, SAP SuccessFactors recommends that the current data is exported from the system. Edit the STATUS field for the appropriate user to inactive, and import the updated file into the system. File behavior determines that the system recognizes the USERID of the inactivated user and inactivates the user in the system.

Setting the record of a user to inactive freezes the user account in its current state, this means you cannot make changes to the account.

User Data File (UDF) Import

After making changes to the UDF, you must import it into SAP SuccessFactors for processing by the system. This import can be performed manually through Admin Center or automatically through FTP.

Procedure: Importing user data

To upload the system with user data changes, the User Data File can be uploaded to SAP SuccessFactors. It must be formatted correctly and have all required fields.

From the Action Search, go to the Employee Import tool. It is only available in systems that do not have Employee Central enabled. If Employee Central is enabled, another tool is chosen to import basic user information.

  1. From the Action Search, go to Employee Import.
  2. Select Choose File to select your user data file.
  3. Specify how initial passwords are to be assigned for new employees.
  4. Optionally, you can select other options, such as
    1. Send welcome e-mail to new users: The e-mail template needs to be enabled beforehand. If it is not yet enabled, a warning is displayed.
    2. Validate Manager and HR fields: To ensure that each employee record has a valid manager and HR representative.
    3. Process inactive Employees: To update the information of inactive employees to the system.
      Employee Import cannot be used to import inactive users to the system
    4. Re-activate purged users: To reactivate purged users in the system if the users are active in the user data file.
  5. Validate Import File is used to validate the user data file. If any errors are found, the errors are displayed on the top of the page.
  6. Choose Import User File to import the user data.

After the file is uploaded, the SAP SuccessFactors user database is updated with the information from the file. An e-mail notification is sent with the results of the upload, including any errors. If the updates include manager changes, another e-mail notification with the results of document transfer is sent and it includes the list of users whose forms have been transferred or failed to transfer.

If any errors occurred, you need to correct them in the file and then upload it again. If that does not resolve the problem, contact SAP Cloud Support.

Employee Import files can be scanned in instances with our without Employee Central. For example, fields containing cross-site scripting are detected, skipped, and reported in the import status e-mail.

Data change management with the Admin Center link

In Admin Center, use the Manage Userslink to make quick, one-off changes to user records. For example, you can use this link to change data to correct information that was imported either manually or via FTP. Such changes can include the following tasks:

  • Initiating manager changes and transfer forms from an old to a new manager

  • Modifying the status of a user to active or inactive

  • Changing the name of a user

Extended User Information

Extended user information consists of supplemental data about users in the SAP SuccessFactors system, beyond the "basic" user information such as name, job tilte, and department.

There are three types of extended user information:

  • Personal information: Personal information consists of supplemental "one-to-one" data about a user— that is, data for which there is only one record for each employee.
  • Trend Information: Trend information consists of "one-to-many" rating data from your talent review process— that is, data for which there may be multiple records for each employee.
  • Background Information: Background information consists of supplemental "one-to-many" background data about a user— that is, data for which there may be multiple records for each employee.

It is recommended that administrators perform periodic exports of all three data files and save these outside of the application, in case there is a need to refer to historical data and/or need to restore old records that are deleted by mistake.

It is also recommended that before any manual import of any profile data, a backup is exported first. This way if a mistake is made (usually with the Import by overwriting existing data option), then this can easily be recovered.

All the options and file types mentioned in this section also apply to the FTP process.

In the Import Extended User Information or Export Extended User Information page, the system displays the settings defined for the last import or export. So it is not necessary to reset all the settings for each import or export. This mitigates the risk of data loss caused by incorrect settings.


When importing background information, you also have the option to overwrite the data of users in the import file so that for only the users listed in the import file, their background data is replaced by the corresponding data in the file. This type of import Overwrite the data of users in the import file only affects these specified users' background elements that are included in the import file.

User Management

On the Admin Center page, locate the Manage Employeessection and navigate to Update User InformationManage Users to perform the following actions:

  • Add New Users: Click Add New Users to enter information about a new user in the text fields provided. Save changes.

  • Change User Data: Click the name of the user to edit the information for that individual. In the Edit Userwindow, scroll through the data to find the fields to change, for example, the name of the user, manager, address, status (active or inactive). Make the edits. Save the changes.

Managing user information

User information

In SAP SuccessFactors, user information consists of basic and extended user information. If you are managing users in Employee Central, there are even more user information elements. This training is mainly focused on managing basic and extended user information for users that are not managed in Employee Central.

Basic user information is what you must provide for a user when adding the user to the system. It contains data like employee name, gender and address. Basic user information is required for functionality, reporting, administration tasks, and most importantly, permissions.

Once the SuccessFactors system is live, admins need to perform ongoing administrative and maintenance activities to keep it running smoothly. Among these activities, an essential one is user information management, which involves actions like adding users, managing user accounts, and updating user information. You need to ensure that all user fields your company needs are included and defined with required information in the data model.

Make sure that you have included all user data fields in the data model for your system. Setting up data model with required information is a standard part of nearly all SAP SuccessFactors implementations.

If you want to configure changes and add user data fields in the data model, you can use the Business Configuration UI (BCUI). This tool enables you to maintain the data model from your end-user UI, instead of maintaining these elements in the XML file and contacting SAP Could Support who has access to Provisioning.

Assignment ID

Assignment ID is an identifier assigned to a person to define the relationship between the person and a company. You can use it to identify users and change it if needed.

Currently, assignment ID is NOT supported in some SAP SuccessFactors areas, for example, Learning, Compensation, Onboarding, Recruiting Management, and data protection and privacy features. This might cause display inconsistencies across the suite. Before you change assignment IDs, we recommend that you contact SAP Professional Services to evaluate the risks associated with the inconsistencies. If changing assignment IDs isn't an option for you and you still have the business need to change user IDs, raise a support ticket to initiate the user ID conversion process.

Assignment ID (assignment_id_external) is unique, case-sensitive, visible, and can be given to an employee, a contingent worker, or an intern. Assignment ID is used to identify users across the HCM Suite, in import and export tools, in the user interface, in APIs, and in reports. User ID (users_sys_id) still exists, but we recommend that you use it for system integration.

The system automatically generates assignment IDs for users created prior to the Q3 2019 release, and their default values are the same as the current user IDs. However, in the Employee Central-enabled instances, if you have used a business rule to generate assignment IDs, the system then creates assignment IDs based on the rule and the assignment IDs might be different from the user IDs. When you create new users using the user management tools such as Employee Import, Manage Users, or OData APIs, assignment IDs for these users are also added to the system.

Assignment ID can be changed ONLY through the convertAssignmentIdExternal function import.

Differentiating between Person ID, UUID, User ID, and Assignment ID



Can this ID be changed?

Relationship between these IDs

Person ID (person-id-external)

A unique identifier of a person in Employee Central. Person ID identifies a natural person. An employee generally has only one person ID throughout their time at the company, since this ID is associated to each person.


UUID and person ID are in a one-to-one relationship.

User ID and assignment ID are in a one-to-one relationship.

One person ID is associated to one or more user IDs and assignment IDs.

One UUID is associated to one or more user IDs and assignment IDs.

UUID (per-person-uuid)

This identifier is generated when person data is created in the system. UUID is introduced for integrating person data in Employee Central with other modules. UUID is stored at a database level only and is not visible on the UI.


User ID (users-sys-id)

A unique identifier of user entity. A person might have one or more user IDs. If a customer maintains only one employment per person in SuccessFactors, the user ID can serve as the person’s unique identifier in the company.

Assignment ID gradually takes place of user ID on the UI across the suite. User ID still exists, and we recommend that you adopt it for system integration.


Tools for user management

There are several tools for managing users in the system. In this lesson you will learn how to choose the right one to use in different scenarios.

  1. You can Manage Basic User Data by using the UI ‘Manage Users’ tool.

  2. The Employee import tool has also been discussed earlier.

  3. Another tool to use for managing users by import is ‘Import Extended User Information’ tool which can be used to import more granular data for live profile information in CSV file.

  4. Check tool can also be used for User Management.

Refer to the following table to choose the correct user management tool depending on your system configuration.

If you want to...

Use this tool for users that are managed in Employee Central

Use this tool for users that are NOT managed in Employee Central

Add or update basic user information by using the UI

Employee Self-Service and Manager Self-Service

Manage Users

Add or update basic user information by using a data file

Import Employee Data->Basic User Import

Employee Import

Download basic user information

Employee Export

Add or update extended user information

Import Extended User Information, Import Employee Data->Extended Import, or Import Employee Data -> Background Import

Import Extended User Information

Download extended user information

Export Extended User Information

Validate your user data

Check Tool->User Management

Manage Employee Import Permissions

Business example

In this exercise, you will find the Admin User and verify their permission to manage the Employee Import Privilege, for all divisions, all departments, and all locations.


  1. Find the HR Coordinator and verify their permission to manage the Employee Import Privilege.

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

    2. On the Manage Employee Import Privilege screen. Add HR as the first name and then choose Search Users.

    3. Scroll to the table, and verify that the checkbox Manage Employee Import is selected.

    4. In the Divisions column verify All Divisionsis selected.

    5. In the Departments column verfiy All Departmentsis selected.

    6. In the Locations column verify All Locationsis selected.

    7. If you made any changes, save your work by selecting the Save Definition For Selected Users button.


You found the admin user and updated their permission to manage the Employee Import Privilege, for all divisions, all departments, and all locations.

Repeat this process again to ensure your changes are saved by the system. Often the change is not saved even though the confirmation message appears that states the changes have been saved.

Maintain employee records in the User Data File

Business example

You need to make changes to an existing data file. Best practice advice is to export the relevant file from your instance, before making data changes.

Task 1: Export the existing data file

In this task you export an existing data file from your instance and save it to your desktop.


  1. Export the existing data file from your instance.

    1. Use the Action Search to navigate to Employee Export.

    2. On the Export Users screen, choose Export User File.

    3. In the File Download dialog box, choose Save.

      Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut, Alt+S.


    The Download Complete dialog box appears.

Task 2: Modify the User Data File

As an administrator, one of your responsibilities is to maintain employee records, including keeping the User Directory up to date.


  1. Start by maintaining the employee records.

    1. Open the UserDirectory csv file that you exported previously.

    2. Go to the Configuration Files of this training and open StarterUDF.csv

    3. Copy the data from the StarterUDF into the UserDirectory file and change the e-mail addresses in column H to your e-mail address

    4. Save the UserDirectory file as a version 2 (_V2) and make sure you use the CSV format (not the Excel format).

    5. Close your new csv file.

Task 3: Import the data file

You have made changes to a data file, and you need to import the modified data file to your instance.

In this exercise, you validate and import the modified data file to your instance.


  1. Select and validate the data file for upload.

    1. Use the Action Search to navigate toEmployee Import.

    2. On the Import Users screen, select the Choose File... button.

    3. Select the file to upload by choosing the relevant file name.

    4. Choose Open.

      Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut, Alt+O.

    5. Select the Send welcome e-mail to new users checkbox.

    6. Make sure that the checkbox Validate Manager and HR fields. is activated.

    7. Choose the Validate Import File button.

  2. Verify the message and solve the issue accordingly in your csv file. Adding the Job Code of IC to HR Coordinator and any other users that do not have a Job Code should solve the issue.

  3. Import the validated file to your instance.

    1. On the Import Users screen, choose the Browse... button.

    2. To select the file to upload, in the Choose File to Upload dialog box, choose the relevant filename.

    3. Choose Open.

      Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut, Alt+O.

    4. On the Import Users screen, choose the Import User File button.

    5. In the Message from webpage dialog box, choose OK.

  4. In the Action Search window, enter Manage Users and verify that Alex Anderson has been successfully created. There may be a slight delay.


You exported the existing User Data File from your instance, and saved it to your desktop. You then successfully modified the User Data File. 

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