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steffendubetz
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
Hello SAP SuccessFactors Time Management Community, 

We are thrilled to announce the support of effective dating for the time profile with the 1H 2023 release of SAP SuccessFactors Time Management. This new feature is fully integrated in all time management processes and brings a range of benefits, including improved usability, increased efficiency, and enhanced performance. We believe that it will make a significant difference to the way HR professionals or system admins work with the system and we are excited to see the positive impact it will have on their work. 

This blog post will help you to understand the basic concepts of effective dating, the advantages you will gain in your daily business and the steps that need to be taken to enable it.

Table of content:

  1. What is Effective Dating

  2. Example Scenarios of an Effective Dated Time Profile

  3. Enable Effective Dating for the Time Profile

  4. Check Tool Enhancements

  5. Workflow Support for Effective Dated Changes to the Time Profile

  6. Incompatible Changes

  7. Outlook

  8. Conclusion


What is Effective Dating


Before coming to the details let’s have a look at what effective dating is about. 

Effective dating in SAP SuccessFactors is a practice of keeping track of changes made to data over time. It involves assigning an effective start date to each record to indicate from when the record is valid. This allows you to change the data over time, to keep the history of all changes, as well as to see the current and future status of the objects. 

Effective dating is particularly useful in business processes requiring frequent data changes. For example, on the time profile, effective dating can be used to track time management related information as they change over time (such as available time types or allowance types, status, and other attributes). This information can then be used to generate reports, track trends, and make informed decisions. 

In addition to keeping historical records, effective dating can also help to ensure data accuracy and reduce implementation time and errors. By keeping track of when changes were made and by whom, businesses can find and correct mistakes more easily. 

If configuration data is assigned to employees, such as a time profile, effective dating will reduce the effort of changes dramatically. Instead of creating a new instance of the configuration object and assigning this to all affected employees, only a new record needs to be added to the existing assigned object and that’s it.  

System Changes 


As for all the new features, also the support of effective dating for the time profile comes with some changes to the system. In the next chapters those changes are explained in more detail. 

Time Profile 


Up to the 1H 2023 release, the time profile was not enabled for effective dating. Instances had always one record with the fixed validity from 1 January 1900 to 31 December 9999.  

But this has finally changed, and we now support effective dating for the time profile. 

Let’s have a detailed look at what has changed. 

In the picture below, a time profile without effective dating is shown. 


Non-effective dated time profile


 For a non-effective dated time profile following operations were possible: 

  • Create – create the first and only record starting on 1 January 1900 

  • Correct – correct the record 

  • Delete – delete the record 


Starting from the 1H 2023 release, the time profile supports effective dating and instances can have multiple records with different effective start dates. The effective end date of the last record is always 31 December 9999 and there are no gaps allowed between the records.  

In the picture below, two time profile examples are shown. The first time profile has only one record valid from 2 February 2000 to 31 December 9999. The second time profile has three records with an inactive record starting on 1 June 2026. 


Effective dated time profile


For the effective dated time profile, the following more fine granular operations are now possible: 

  • Create – create the first record with an effective start date of your choice

  • Correct – correct any of the records 

  • Insert – insert a new record by specifying the effective start date of this record 

  • Delete – delete a record


Permissions 


Before the support of effective dating, only three permission settings could be defined for the time profile:  

  • View – user is allowed to view the time profile 

  • Edit – user is allowed to create, correct, or delete the time profile 

  • Import/Export – user is allowed to import/export the time profile 


With effective dating this will change, and more fine granular permission settings are possible: 

  • View Current – user is allowed to view the record which is valid as of today 

  • View History – user is allowed to view all records 

  • Create – user is allowed to create the first record 

  • Insert – user is allowed to insert a new record to an existing time profile 

  • Correct – user is allowed correct an existing record of a time profile 

  • Delete – user is allowed to delete an existing record of a time profile 

  • Import/Export – user is allowed to import/export the time profile



Permission settings for the effective dated time profile



Manage Data UI 


The Manage Data UI in the Admin Center will also look different once the time profile is changed to effective dating. The new screen layout is shown in the picture below. 


Manage Data UI for the effective dated time profile


The highlighted sections are: 

  • Create New (red)  

    • Create a new time profile (the start date is defaulted to 1 January 1900 but can be set to any other date) 

    • Required Permission -> Create 



  • Insert New Record (yellow) 

    • Add a new record to an existing time profile starting at a certain date 

    • Required Permission -> Insert 



  • History (blue)  

    • History section with all records of the time profile including the effective start date and the data that has changed  

    • Required Permission -> View History 



  • Take Action (green) 

    • Menu with actions that can be performed on the selected record 

    • Required Permissions -> Correct, Delete or Create (for Copy) 



  • Time Profile Main Page 

    • Attributes of the selected record  

    • Note: In case only View Current permission is granted, the history section is not shown, and the record valid today is shown in the main page 



  • Search As Of (grey) 

    • The date as of which the time profile should be searched




How Effective Dated Records Work 


It is important to know that an employee is assigned to one single time profile within a job information record, independent of how many records this time profile has. The system will automatically detect the relevant data, considering the correct effective dated job information and time profile slice. 

To explain this in more detail, let’s have a look at the data setup shown in the picture below. 


Effective dated time profile and job information records


There are two time profiles with effective dated records and employee Carla Grant with her job information records: 

  • TimeProfile_USA_1

    • Record 1: 1 January 2010 – 31 December 2019 

    • Record 2: 1 January 2020 – 05/31/2026 

    • Record 3: 1 June 2026 – 31 December 9999 (inactive) 





  • TimeProfile_USA_2

    • Record 1: 1 January 1900 – 05/31/2022 

    • Record 2: 1 June 2023 – 31 December 9999 





  • Carla Grant

    • Record 1: 2 January 1990 – 1 February 2000

      • no Time Profile assigned 



    • Record 2: 2 February – 31 Mai 2025

      • TimeProfile_USA_2 assigned 



    • Record 3: 1 June 2025 – 31 December 9999

      • TimeProfile_USA_1 assigned 






Let’s assume Carla Grant creates an absence starting on 4 March 2020. In this case, the time types of assigned time profile TimeProfile_USA_2 are available. If the absence is created starting on 7 August 2025, the time type of time profile TimeProfile_USA_1 record 2 are available. Whereas no absences can be created if the absence starts on 1 July 2026. 


Time profile records relevant for Carla Grant




  • 1 January 1900 – 1 February 2000

    • no time profile is available 



  • 2 February 2000 – 31 May 2023

    • record 1 of TimeProfile_USA_2 is relevant 



  • 1 June 2023 – 31 Mai 2025

    • record 2 of TimeProfile_USA_2 is relevant 



  • 1 June 2025 – 31 May 2026

    • record 2 of TimeProfile_USA_1 is relevant



  • 1 June 2026 – 31 December 9999

    • no time profile is available as TimeProfile_USA_1 is inactive 




Example Scenarios of an Effective Dated Time Profile 


Now let’s stop with all the theory and look at some real business examples to understand how this new effective dating setting will help you in your daily business. 

Scenario 1 


As an HR admin, you want to add a new absence time type “Covid Leave” to an existing time profile from 1 May 2020, so your employees can record absences for this time type beginning from this date only. 

Without Effective Dating (up to 1H 2023) 


As there is only one record valid for the whole time, you need to copy the existing time profile and add the new time type. Afterwards, you need to find all employees assigned to the old time profile and assign them effective from 1 May 2020 the new time profile manually or via import. 

Disadvantages:

  • Duplicated time profiles for any change 

  • High manual effort 

  • Both time profiles are still available for choice in the time profile field on the job information as they have a validity from 1900 - 9999

  • Risk of inconsistent data 


With Effective Dating (starting from 1H 2023) 


Insert a new record to the existing time profile with the effective start date being set to 1 May 2020 and add the time type “Covid Leave”. 


Time profile with effective dated record for added Covid Leave


That’s it! Quite simple, isn’t it? 

There is no need to change employees' job information anymore. All employees assigned to the time profile can create absences for “Covid Leave” with a date on or after 01/01/2022 only. 

But what happens with the time accounts or accruals for the added time account type? The system will detect automatically whether manual follow up activities are needed based on the data that is changed in the time profile and whether employees are assigned to it in the period, the change was made. If there is something the HR admin should be made aware of, a warning pops up with the details shown. Now the admin can decide whether the change should still be saved or discarded. 

 


Warning message when time type is added



Scenario 2 


As an HR admin, you want to remove the absence time type “Covid Leave” again from the time profile effective from 1 October 2023, such that your employees cannot record absences anymore for this time type starting from 1 October 2023. 

Without Effective Dating (up to 1H 2023) 


Removing a time type as of a certain date is also not possible on the time profile without effective dating. You need to take the same steps as mentioned in scenario 1 above having the same disadvantages.  

With Effective Dating (starting 1H 2023) 


It’s as simple as scenario 1. Insert a new record to the existing time profile starting from 1 October 2023 and remove the time type “Covid Leave” again. 

With this, your employees assigned to the time profile will not be able anymore to select “Covid Leave” in the Time Off UI with a date on or after 1 October 2023.

 


Time profile with effective dated record for removed Covid Leave


 

But also in this scenario, what will happen to the absences of the removed time type that have already been created with a start date on or after 1 October 2023 by employees assigned to this time profile? 

The system will detect this as well and show the number of absences that are affected in a warning popup. Based on this number, the HR admin can again decide whether the changes should be saved or not.


Warning message when time type is removed


Once the time profile is saved, all the affected entities can be reviewed in detail by a new check in the Check Tool.  

Details about the new checks in the Check Tool are described in more detail in chapter Check Tool Enhancements.

Scenario 3 


As an HR admin, you want to create already in advance a time profile for your employees located in the USA that should not be used before 1 January 2024. 

Without Effective Dating (up to 1H 2023) 


The time profile created will always be valid from 1 January 1900. So, once you create this time profile, it can be assigned to employees at any date. The HR admins or managers, responsible for the hire or changes of employees' job information, must be aware that this time profile is not allowed to be assigned to employees before 1 January 2024.


Job info record with non-effective dated time profile



With Effective Dating (starting 1H 2023) 


When creating the first record of the new time profile, you can set the effective start date to 1 January 2024.


Time profile with record beginning from 1 January 2024


The time profile dropdown in the employee's job information will only show time profiles valid at the start date of the job information record. An employee hired on 12 December 2023, for example, cannot be assigned to this time profile. 


Job info records with effective dated time profile



Scenario 4 


As an HR admin, you want to deprecate an already used time profile effective from 1 January 2025 so that employees cannot be assigned anymore to this time profile after 1 January 2025 and already assigned employees cannot record absences or attendances from 1 January 2025 onwards. 

Without Effective Dating (up to 1H 2023) 


As there can only be at most one record, it is not possible to set a time profile to inactive from a certain point in time. It is only possible to set the complete record to inactive by a correct operation. But with this, the time profile becomes inactive beginning 1 January 1900 and cannot be assigned anymore to employees even before 1 January 2025. And even worse, employees assigned to such an inactive time profile cannot record any absences or attendances anymore as the time profile is inactive the whole assignment period.

With Effective Dating (starting 1H 2023) 


With effective dating, you only need to insert a new record beginning 1 January 2025 and set the status to inactive.


Time profile with inactive record


Technically employees are still assigned to the time profile, but from a business point of view, the system behaves as if employees are not assigned to any time profile within the inactive period. This means that starting from 1 January 2025 the employees assigned to this time profile cannot record absences or attendances anymore.  

Also here, the system detects automatically how many employees are assigned to this deactivated time profile in the inactive period and shows this in a warning message.


Warning message when time profile is deactivated


Once the time profile is saved, all the affected employee records can be reviewed in detail by a new check in the Check Tool.  

Details about the new checks in the Check Tool are described in more detail in chapter Check Tool Enhancements. 

Setting a time profile as of a certain point in time to inactive will also prevent that employees can be assigned to this time profile in the inactive period as the time profile dropdown in the job information will not show time profiles that are inactive at the start date of the job information record.


Job info records with effective dated deactivated time profile


These are only four business examples where the effective dated time profile will help you in your daily business and will make your life as HR admin much easier. I think there are many more you will find out when using this new feature. 

Enable Effective Dating for the Time Profile 


Now you might wonder, how can I get this new feature, and will this break my system because as we learned the permissions are different for effective dated and non-effective dated objects. 

The good news is: You just need to press one button and you are ready to go. The system will take care of all the required data migration. 

So, what do you need to do? 

  1. Navigate to Admin Center -> Release Center and select the Upgrade Center Tab 

  2. Here you will find the task Upgrade Time Profile Object to Effective-Dated in the Recommended Upgrades section for the Employee Central module 

  3. Select the task and press Upgrade Now 

  4. Enjoy the new feature  


As part of this upgrade activity, the following steps are executed automatically: 

  • The effective dating setting for the object definition of the time profile will be changed from None to Basic. 

  • The visibility of the effective start date field and the status field of the time profile will be changed to editable. 

  • All existing View permissions on the time profile will be migrated to View Current and View History. 

  • All existing Edit permissions on the time profile will be migrated to Create, Correct, Insert and Delete. 


And in case you want to revert to effective dating None, this is also possible up to 30 days after the upgrade was executed. 

Check Tool Enhancements 


As mentioned already in the earlier chapters, there might be some follow-up activities needed after removing time types or deactivating a time profile. 

The system will already provide you the number of affected employees or absences that might need your attention after the change, but we want to give you even more insights in the data so you can decide even better what follow-up activities might be needed. 

Therefore, you will find four new checks in the Check Tool that will provide all the details to you. 

Find Inconsistent Time Management Data  


When removing a time type or allowance type from a time profile or deactivating a time profile, there might be already absences, attendances or allowances recorded in the period for which the data is removed/deactivated. 

To find these inconsistent records, you can use those three new checks: 

  • AbsencesWithInconsistentTimeTypes

  • EmployeeTimeSheetEntriesWithInconsistentTimeTypes

  • AllowancesWithInconsistentAllowanceTypes 


Let’s have a look at the check to find inconsistent absences. 

You find the check in Admin Center -> Check Tool -> Validation -> Application: Time Off 


Check AbsencesWithInconsistentTimeTypes


All those checks will have selection criteria, so you get only the results you are interested in. You can filter for a period, a certain company your employees belong to and for a certain time profile. 

After removing a time type on 1 January 2023 on the time profile TimeProfile_USA, you can, for example, restrict the check results to this. 


Selection criteria


In case there are results, you find all details that are needed to decide on further actions. You can navigate to the Time Workbench of the corresponding employee and cancel the absence or change the absence to a different time type. Or you can download the results into an Excel spreadsheet and distribute the information and the needed follow up activities based on manager, the company etc. 


Check result for AbsencesWithInconsistentTimeTypes



Find Inconsistent Employee Data  


When deactivating a time profile that is still assigned to employees the check TimeProfileActiveAtJobInfoAssignment can be used to find all affected employees. 

You will find the check as well in Admin Center -> Check Tool -> Validation -> Application: Time Off. The check supplies the same selection criteria.

In the result, you will again see all required details and the possibility to navigate to the employees’ profile and correct the data here by assigning another time profile, for example.


Check result TimeProfileActiveAtJobInfoAssignment



Workflow Support for Effective Dated Changes to the Time Profile 


Workflows have already been supported for the time profile since the beginning. But this might become more relevant for customers once effective dating is supported because changes to the time profile can affect many employees or time management related data and those changes might be reviewed and approved by someone else. 

The changed record will be in state pending in case a workflow is triggered and will not be respected in any business processes until it is approved. In case the workflow is rejected, the pending record is removed. 

How to enable workflows for the Time Profile? 

  1. Go to Admin Center -> Manage Organization, Pay and Job Structures and create a new Workflow Configuration based on your needs

  2. Go to Admin Center -> Configure Business Rules and create a new Metadata Framework rule with Base Object = Time Profile and Purpose = Workflow. In this rule you can define in the If-Part under which conditions the workflow should be triggered and in the Then-Part which workflow configuration should be used. 

  3. Go to Admin Center -> Configure Object Definitions -> Time Profile set the Pending Data field to Yes and select the rule created in step 3 in the Save Rules dropdown

  4. Save the object definition and you are done 


The following example rule triggers the workflow TimeProfile_USA in case an USA time profile record is corrected, inserted, or removed. In case any time profile is created the workflow TimeProfile_General is triggered. In any other case, no workflow is triggered.


Workflow rule for time profile


Note: In case the workflow is approved, the warning messages informing about the number of assigned employees or existing absences are not shown again to the approver.

Incompatible Changes  


With the change to effective dating there are two incompatible changes you should be aware of.  

OData V2 


The non-effective dated time profile only includes the externalCode as the key property in the OData V2 GET API. With the transition to effective dating Basic, this structure changes and the key property becomes both the externalCode and effectiveStartDate. 

In case you have implemented custom integrations that query the time profile with the key syntax, those calls will fail with an error once the time profile is changed to effective dating. 

We recommend changing all GET calls from the key syntax: 

  …/odata/v2/TimeTypeProfile('<CODE>')  

to the compatible filter syntax: 

  .../odata/v2/TimeTypeProfile?$filter=externalCode eq '<CODE>' 

The filter syntax will read the time profile record valid as of today. In case you do not have changed the time profile to effective dating, it will always return the one record for the external code provided in the filter condition. 

In case you changed already to effective dating, and you want to read it on a different date, you can specify the date as well: 

  .../odata/v2/TimeTypeProfile?$filter=externalCode eq '<CODE>'&asOfDate=2000-01-01 

In case you want to get all slices valid beginning a certain date, you can use this syntax: 

  .../odata/v2/TimeTypeProfile?$filter=externalCode eq '<CODE>'&fromDate=2000-01-01 You can find more information about the OData V2 API syntax in the SAP SuccessFactors Guide. 

Import Template 


If the time profile is changed to effective dating, the import template (Admin Center -> Import and Export Data) is changed in an incompatible manner. With effective dating the new field mdfSystemEffectiveStartDate is added to the template. This means if you want to import time profiles, you must download the current version of the import template.  

Please check also the Knowledge Base Article 3132021 for more information about the incompatible changes, especially if any of the incompatible changes apply to you. 

Outlook


The change to effective dating in the 1H 2023 release is an opt-in feature, and you can decide whether you want to enable it or not. In the 2H 2023 release we plan to change the time profile to effective dating for all customers which don’t have enabled this feature yet. We recommend enabling the feature already now and getting familiar with it and using the new possibilities at the earliest. 

Additionally, there are some roundoffs planned, like the possibility to search as of a certain date for time profiles based on time types in the Time Management Configuration Search.  

There are also plans to support effective dating for other Time Management Configuration objects in future. 

Conclusion


That’s it. I hope you like the new effective dating feature of the time profile; this blog post was useful to you; you have learned about the basic concepts and how it can be used. 

If you have any questions or feedback, leave a comment or ask them in the SAP community. 

Best Regards, 

Steffen Dubetz 

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