SuccessFactors Report Center – Universal Push Update in Q2/Q3 2019
SuccessFactors Report Center will be pushed through a Universal update in Q2 2019 (for all Preview Instances) and in Q3 2019 (for all Production Instances). That means there is no way around Report Center anymore. With this article I would like to remind you of some helpful resources to understand and move to Report Center, explain in detail what is behind each feature in Report Center and give you some best practise recommendations.
SuccessFactors Report Center – Basics
Report Center simplifies the usage of SuccessFactors Reporting Tools by providing access to reports from one place. SAP also like to call it the One-Stop-Shop. It can be enabled via the Upgrade Center. You can find further details on how to Enabling Report Center from the Upgrade Center here.
SuccessFactors already spend a significant amount of time and effort to explain and share prerequisite, important information and what to expect if you change from the Classic Reporting View to Report Center. Therefore, I would like to quote the most important information and point you to the right place to read further. If you already have Report Centr configured, please jump to the next section.
If you want to Enable the Report Center, be aware of the following:
- Instances with the Report Center enabled will provide a different navigation pathway to reports for all users.
- To ensure your users can still run reports the “Report Center” RBP permission will need to be given to the user’s role after the Report Center Upgrade is completed.
- NOTE for non EC Customers: The Enable Generic Objects — requires “Enable the Attachment Manager” feature has to be enabled in provisioning, to avail of report scheduling in Report Center. If you do not have access to partner provisioning reach out to Support.
With the Upgrade to the Report Center the following will occur:
- The Analytics option from the Main menu, Sub-tab is not available anymore. Further details on Navigation after Enabling Report Center
- New permission required for the Report Center. Further details on Assigning Admin Permissions for Report Center or Assigning User Permission in RBP
- All the reporting Types (Ad Hoc, Dashboards, Advanced & Detailed Reporting) are now consolidated into 4 types (Canvas, Table, Tile, Dashboard) under Report Center. Further details on Getting Familiar with New Reports
- Advanced Reporting or Detailed Reporting query designers will no longer be available as standalone tools. Instead query creation is embedded directly into the report creation process and existing queries can be accessed by creating a new Report – Canvas report.
Further details on creating new Advanced Reporting or Detailed Reporting queries and on Accessing my existing Advanced Reporting or Detailed Reporting queries.
- All of the Reporting activities (run, export, create, edit, share report & job schedule) are now available from the Action Menu under Report Center Understanding the Action Menu in Report Center
- Classic Reporting remains available in the Report Center through “Switch to Classic View” button. Further details on Switching between Report Center and Classic Reporting UI.
- Report Scheduling is now available for all reports type via the Report Scheduler within the Report Center. Further details on Scheduling Reports.
The pre-existing bundles created via the Legacy Report Distributor remain available through the “Switch to the legacy Report Distributor Tool” button. Further details on Accessing the Report Distributor.
More Information and Quick Links:
- Download the Managing Report Center PDF here
- What is behind each Report Type: Reporting Type Overview
Report Type Labels changed from classic view to the Report Center:
|What it used to be?||What is it now?||What is behind?|
|Adhoc Report||Report – Table||Internal: Ad-Hoc Reporting|
|Adhoc Report with a custom template||Report – Custom||External: BIRT Template|
|Online Report Designer Report (ORD)||Report – Canvas||Internal: Live Detailed Reporting or EC Advanced Reporting|
|Tile||Tile||Internal or External: YouCalc Dashboard Tile|
|Dashboard||Dashboard||Internal or External: Standard or Custom YouCalc Dashboard|
SuccessFactors Report Center – Best Practise, Tipps, Tricks and Information
First of all, let me give you a classic overview of the Report Center
- Switch to Classic View
- Sort and Filter
- Share Indicator
- Run, Edit, Share, Copy, Rename, Delete, Export or Import, Schedule reports, and Add Custom Labels
- Create New Reports
- Import report definition
- View Schedules
The Report Overview contains 5 Columns:
- Last Modified
1. Switch to Classic View
You can find Classic Reports (List Views, Spotlight Views, Classing Reporting and Spreadsheet Reports) by clicking Switch to Classic View link in Report Center.
Note: Classic Reports will be obsolete soon and SAP recommend using more stable frameworks like Ad-Hoc Reporting or ORD.
The Search focus on column Name and Author. It works mostly to also look for parts of the word. For Example it you search for “Rec” it will give you all Report Names, which contains the 3 letters, which include “Recruiting”.
3. Sort and Filter
Please review the Report Type above again. The Author Filter contains the user auto fill feature you already know from the SuccessFactors search. You can either select a specific day or a date range for the Last Modification Filter. Last Filter is on Labels.
Best Practise: Most companies use Labels to properly filter Reports. I mostly see them labelled by Module (Recruiting, Compensation, Goals and Performance, …) or Topic (Talent, Payroll, Monitoring…). It also makes sense to label some Reports as “Popular” or “Favourite”. If you want to save some space use intuitive short codes e.g. RCM for Recruiting, COMP for Compensation and so on. If you work in a big organisation it also makes sense to use PreCodes or Versions in the Reporting Name (e.g. RCM_ReportingName_V2)
Note: After searching a Report you can’t sort anymore!
The main reason for Labels I already explained in the section “3. Sort and Filter”. Use colours if you want to highlight different labels. Labels can be added/modified by all users with edit permission for a report. Any changes made to a label will affect all reports that label is applied to.
Tipp: Avoid to many Labels. They can be overwhelming if extensively used and if additionally, strong colours come into play you may find yourself more confused than without Labels. It may help to use the same colour for each Label if you use a lot of different Labels.
5. Share Indicator
If a Report is shared with you or you share a Report with others, you will see an Icon next to the Report.
6. Run, Edit, Share, Copy, Rename, Delete, Export, Schedule reports, and Add Custom Labels
There are couple things to mention if you want to run any of the action. First, you will recognise if you can run an action or not (it is greyed out). Some points to remember:
- You can’t run Tiles in Report Center. Tiles are either for the Homepage or put together in a Dashboard.
- You also won’t be able to Share, Duplicate or Schedule a Tile or Dashboard. Permissions are managing in RBP and there is no option to Export (except you want to export a drilldown Table, but they are not possible to schedule). To duplicate a Tile or Dashboard go to Manage Dashboards Export and Import under new Name.
- Run/Export options for Ad-Hoc Reports (Report – Table): Run Online, Download (CSV), Run Offline, Export (PDF, Excel, PPT)
- Canvas Reports are ORD Reports, which are simply embedded in the Report Center. Most of the Filter, Pages and Export options are like the legacy Online Report Designer. I would skip details at this point but let me know if you need more information.
You can delete a single report, but you are also able to delete several reports. Export reports as zip and the delete options will pop up as soon as you select 2 or more reports.
Sharing Reports is a very powerful feature in the Report Center. You can share reports with Users, RBP Groups or Roles. Due to the extensive possibilities I will skip details for the different Filters. Have a look yourself:
To schedule a Report in Report Center you have an intuitive 4-Step process stream (Job Definition > Filter > Destination > Job Occurrence). You can schedule the Report for FTP or Offline. It is very easy to schedule a report but let me know if you need more information for this section.
Please review the section “9. View Schedules” for more important information!
Tipp & Best Practise: Don’t abuse Reporting for Integration. Integration Center (based on OData) have far more options for a proper Integration. There are some business cases which makes Report Center more convenient for the moment. I would be suggesting submitting feature enhancements if you miss anything.
7. Create New Reports
I think all important things were described before in this article (Please review Reporting Types at the beginning of the article). This are the 4 most common Report types you can create in SuccessFactors Report Center:
8. Import report definition
Standard Report templates are available on the SAP Help Portal (SAP SuccessFactors Workforce Analytics Reference). Import the templates to your instance and the validation process will assist you to refine the standard templates for your target instance, enabling them to run successfully.
The Standard Report Packages will be updated every Release. That’s also how you move one Report from one Instance to another Instance
Tip: You don’t need to Import a Report 1 by 1. The Standard EC Report come with a single XML file to import multiple reports (e.g. Basic ECREALMS$1811 Report Package – Basic.xml). All Standard Reports in the package will be uploaded.
Best Practise: I recommend working with your EC Implementation Partner together if you go through the Validation of the EC Standard Reports. Each EC Implementation can be very different, and I could fill an entire article with more details about the Import/Validation function.
9. View Schedules
There are several things you need to know about scheduling when working with Report Center:
- Existing Provisioning schedules are available in Report Center.
- Existing Report Center schedules are not available in Report Center.
- Newly created Report Center schedules do not appear in Report Distributor.
Scheduling Differences (from legacy Ad Hoc Provisioning or Report Distributor)
Following are the differences between scheduling in Report Center and scheduling from legacy Ad Hoc Provisioning or Report Distributor.
- Bundles are not currently available in Report Center.
- Email and Recipients are not currently available in Report Center.
- Dynamic Date Filters are not currently available in Report Center.
- Individual Online Report Designer components are not currently available in Report Center.
- Workforce Analytics Reporting Paths support is not planned in Report Center Scheduling in Report Center.
The View Schedules UI is straight forward. You have the option to Refresh, Search, Sort and Filter Jobs. You can review your own Jobs or view all Jobs in the Tab “All Schedules”. The Filter variates a bit, because you don’t need to filter by author for your own jobs =)
Report Center – Latest Updates (Q1 2019)
- In-App Notification: If you don’t have Report Center activated and configured yet you will get a In-App Notification. This Notification informs End User that there will be a Universal Update, which makes Report Center Mandatory.
- My Report Tabs: A new Tab called “My Reports” Tab will appear in the Report Center, where you can find Reports you are the Author of or have been shared with you. That will bring a better overview for Admins or User, who have access to all Reports
- Change Author: It is now possible to change the Author of a Report
- Self Service Enable ORD/Advanced Reporting: It is now possible to enable ORD and Advanced Reporting via Upgrade Center.
- Deprecation of BIRT Version 2.6: BIRT Version was updated by SuccessFactors to 4.3. Custom Reports (Ad-Hoc Reports with BIRT Templates), which are build with a lower version will cease with Q2 2019 Release.
- Reminder Adhoc Guardrails: Guardrails are checks built in the system to ensure customers do not get a sub-optimal performance experience when executing reports. There are 3 types of guardrails at the moment: Report Definition, Concurrent Report Execution and Overall Server Resource Availability (More Info here). There will be more Guardrails coming soon.
- Important Note: The Number of columns for Online Execution is now limited to 30 Fields and offline to 110 Fields! That causes concerns for some customers. Please check if you are affected in your processes.
For more and detailed Information or other SuccessFactors Reporting Updates please review the Q1 2019 Release Update in the SuccessFactors Community (for customers) or JAM Group (for SAP Partner).
Report Center Conclusion / What to come
SuccessFactors has begun in 2017 its transition to a new reporting platform on top of HANA database, utilizing SAP Analytics Cloud technology for the reporting layer. The first phase is to consolidate multiple reporting tools into a unified navigation experience > Report Center. The second phase is to unify all SuccessFactors data into a single data model in the back end > Unified Reporting. In the Second half of 2019 we will testify the move to Unified Reporting and finally get a new embedded Reporting tool called SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC).
Moving all clients to Report Center will complete phase 1 of the transformation.
Because of some SAP Partners, who may use new SAP terms differently I would like to clear some definitions by SAP in this article already. The new label “People Analytics” comes from an SAP branding relabel of their product. People Analytics is simply the new name for Reporting and Analytics in SuccessFactors and can be separated between
- embedded Analytics = formerly Reporting (Ad-Hoc, BIRT, Tiles/Dashboard and ORD)
- extended Analytics = formerly Analytics and Planning (WFA and WFP)
SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) will be embedded in SuccessFactors in second half of 2019 and will be part of embedded Analytics.
Please watch this blog closely and subscribe to get the updates. We are working on a new articles/interview with SAP to give you a clear understanding what is behind People Analytics, Unified Reporting, SAP Analytics Cloud and much more….
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