SAP SuccessFactors Learning product guidelines and best practices regarding feature usage
- This KB article provides guidance regarding intended use of tools and features, which have the potential to cause disruption to our customers’ business operations when used outside of our design guidelines
- In the same way email is not intended to handle large file sizes that a protocol such as FTP or a service such as DropBox does, the SAP SuccessFactors APIs, PRD reporting framework, and any Robotic Process Automation tools are not intended to replace large scale or high-volume data extracts and interactions. The following guidelines are intended to provide guidance for these tools that fall into the “even though you could use these tools a certain way, you really shouldn’t” category. We would also like to remind you that conducting load or performance testing against our environments via any tool is explicitly forbidden, and detection of such activity will result in corresponding services to be immediately blocked.
- It is recommended you adhere to the best practices described below to ensure optimal performance of your SAP SuccessFactors Learning application without disruptions in service.
SAP SuccessFactors Learning
- The SAP SuccessFactors Learning APIs are designed and built primarily to satisfy portal use cases. An example use case is supporting real-time end-user interactions and transactions via a UI-based portal / application that sits outside of and is integrated to SAP SuccessFactors Learning, such as displaying learning assignments on a client portal. The APIs are meant to allow for a different UI experience than the one provided by the SAP SuccessFactors suite, or to abstract specific data and interactions to a higher-level portal solution. They are not, however, designed for extracting or importing high-volume data from or to SAP SuccessFactors Learning.
- As such, the use of client applications or bots that make multiple calls on a continuous basis in order to extract or import data, or in order to conduct performance testing, can have unintended consequences and impact underlying resource availability, cause performance issues, and ultimately interrupt customer operations. As part of SAP Data Center security and performance monitoring, such activity may be detected as a potential Denial of Service (DoS) attack and blocked. SAP reserves the right to shut down these services if it’s determined that they are used in the aforementioned manner and cause disruptions to our datacenter operations. If this occurs, there is no guarantee that the services will be re-enabled. The disruptions in service and to the customers’ business operations may require a paid services engagement in order to correct any issues and to migrate to an SAP-approved solution.
- Much like companies provide methods of sending large files for which email was not designed, SAP offers data import and extract tools that are specifically designed to meet high-volume use cases. Please refer to the bottom of this guide for examples. We advise you to seek guidance from an SAP consultant, a certified (see below) implementation partner, your Preferred Success Customer Success Manager, or your Customer Engagement Executive who will be able to advise you on the right solution that meets your business need.
PRD (Plateau Report Designer)
- The PRD Reporting framework was built to provide SAP SuccessFactors Learning customers access to the same tools our engineers and consultants use to develop standard transactional learning reports.
- The SAP SuccessFactors transactional (PRD) reports are not recommended to be used as a replacement for proper integration or data extraction tools that SAP SuccessFactors offers. They also come with various limitations: generated reports must adhere to a maximum of 5 GB size limit, a 1,000-page limit, contain up to 52,000 rows of data, and take no longer than 15 minutes to generate. Unlike the tools detailed at the bottom of this guide, PRD does not provide the fail-over and file recovery capabilities that data extraction tools do. Using PRD as a substitute for such tools may cause timeout issues or partial file extracts.
- SAP offers various options for file-based integrations and high-volume extraction use cases. Please refer to the bottom of this guide for examples. If you are interested in reviewing your options for such use cases, we advise you to seek guidance from an SAP consultant, a certified (see below) implementation partner, your Preferred Success Customer Success Manager, or your Customer Engagement Executive who will be able to advise you on the right solution that meets your business need.
RPA (Robotic Process automation)
- RPA tools can automate repeatable tasks, without having any dependency on an application’s APIs (or lack thereof). While RPA tools can be useful in some situations, they can be very brittle and cause major disruptions.
- We’ve already seen examples of customers who attempted to use RPA tools and ended up creating millions of erroneous data in their system due to issues with their RPA scripts. In some cases, the tool was unable to recognize and adjust to error conditions or changes in the UI, which resulted in wrong data and stalled system processes. Correcting such issues is very expensive and coming up with a workable and sustainable alternative option to satisfy the business need when such a situation occurs is extremely disruptive. Such tools can also easily be misused to mimic the behavior of bots and utilized to perform large-scale, high-volume loads or extracts, or performance / load tests. This is not what these tools are designed for; using them in this manner is explicitly forbidden, and detection of such activity will result in corresponding services to be immediately blocked. SAP reserves the right to block these tools if it is determined that they cause disruptions to our datacenter operations and there is no guarantee that the services these tools depend on will be re-enabled. Disruptions in service and to the customers’ business operations may require a paid services engagement to correct any issues the use of these tools has caused and to migrate to an SAP-approved solution.
- If you are interested in evaluating an RPA tool for your use cases, we recommend that you involve either an SAP consultant, a certified (see below) implementation partner, your Preferred Success Customer Success Manager, or your Customer Engagement Executive who will be able to advise you on the right solution that meets your business need.
SAP-approved solutions for data extracts
Producer Connectors for targeted data outputs:
- Push normalized data sets to a particular consumer process on a scheduled basis
- Great solution for sharing data or status with a downstream system or application
- Provides a delta (hourly, weekly, monthly) output that is focused on a set of entities or user scope
- Uses the same connector framework admins are already familiar with for inbound connectors
LMS Data Extracts for in-house use and analytics:
- Extract raw learning database datafor importing into a data warehouse / data lake to be combined and used with other non-relational data
- Customers can import the data to perform analytical queries based on their variable needs
- Provides a nightly delta output with flat files based on customer utilized entities
- Suitable for extracting and analyzing large amounts of data not meant for transactional reporting
- For more information regarding this solution, please refer to the SAP SuccessFactors Learning Data Services guide.
Certified implementation partner consultants
SAP has a vast ecosystem of skilled and knowledgeable partners, who undergo specially developed training that certifies their ability to implement, consult on, configure, and manage your SAP applications. If you decide to utilize a partner for your needs, we advise you to ensure that the partner resources who will be responsible either for consulting on a plan of action or executing on that plan, are maintaining a current certification on the specific application of interest. For example: if you seek the guidance of a partner on your Legacy exams (PQE) to Assessments migration plan, ensure that all resources who will be coming up with this plan and performing the actions necessary to execute on that plan, are maintaining a current SAP SuccessFactors Learning certification. Be wary of cases where the certification is not current, not specific to the SAP application of interest, or not maintained by all or most of the partner resources involved in the project.
Under the General Terms and Conditions, including but not limited to part 2.3 and 2.5, for uses that circumvent or endanger SAP operations or security, SAP may suspend or limit use of the Cloud Service if continued use may result in material harm. SAP will promptly notify the Customer of the suspension or limitation as described in the GTCs.
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